Wealden District Council
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Amended Tenants Incentive Scheme 2018

The Council continues to experience high demand for social housing whilst up to one in six of these properties are under-occupied. The Council has therefore adopted an under-occupation incentive scheme in order to encourage council tenants to free up under-occupied council properties. Under this scheme council tenants who give up properties larger than they need and transfer to a smaller property may be eligible for assistance from the Council.

Tenants wishing to Transfer:

You may be considering moving out of your current council property and into a smaller council or housing association property in Wealden by applying to the Council for a transfer.

The Tenants Incentive Scheme Transfer is only available to Council tenants who meet the following criteria. They:

  • Have been secure tenants of Wealden District Council for a year or more.
  • Move into a property made available through a Council letting or through a nomination to a Private Registered Provider (Housing Association) – see section C for restrictions.
  • Agree to transfer to a property, the size of which meets the household’s needs according to the Allocations Policy.
  • Provide vacant possession of their present home.
  • Obtain permission from their Housing Officer that the move can take place.
  • Tenants Incentive payment for transfers is not available to those persons:
  • Who are not the tenant/s of the property being released.
  • Who are subject to a Possession Order.
  • Who have been served with a Notice of Seeking Possession.
  • Who have been served with a Demotion Notice.
  • Who do not qualify to join the housing register, or would not qualify to join the housing register, should they apply for a transfer.
  • Who hold an Introductory, Flexible Fixed Term or Family Intervention Tenancy.
  • Who have previously received a Tenant Incentive Scheme payment.
  • Are a successor (following the tenant’s death) who is under occupying the property and is a family member. This does not apply to under occupying successors who were a spouse or civil partner.
  • Who is living in a disabled adapted property where the adaptations are no longer needed – Housing Act 1985 Schedule 2 Ground 13.
Size of the new property
 
  • The tenant/s will be assessed under the Housing Allocations Policy and registered for and able to bid on the size of property that they are entitled to for their households needs. If tenant/s wants to downsize but still move into a property larger than their household needs they would not receive assistance from TIS nor would they be eligible for a larger property than they need from the Council’s housing register. Tenants wishing to downsize to a property larger than they need will need to facilitate this through a mutual exchange.
If the transfer is approved under this scheme and the tenant’s rent account goes into arrears, the Council will use part or all of the payment to ensure any rent arrears or other money outstanding are cleared.
If the tenant/s is currently in arrears on the rent account the application to move will be considered on its individual merits.

A fixed incentive payment will be paid at £1,000 for one bedroom being released and for two or more bedrooms a payment of £2,000. This payment will be made if the move is into a Council or Housing Association property. If the move is into a Council Retirement Living property then an additional £1,000 will be paid.

If the property currently occupied is a one bedroom general needs property and the tenant/s move into a Council Retirement Living property a payment of £1,500 will be made (Retirement Living is purpose built accommodation for people over 60 years of age). If the move is from a one bedroom general needs property to a Housing Association Retirement Living/Sheltered property then £1,000 will be paid.

 

 

 

 

 

Moving To

Moving from

 

 

 

1 bed flat (gen needs)

2 Bed property (gen needs)

3 property

4 or 5 Bed property

 
 

1 bed Retirement

£1,500

£2,000

£3,000

£3,000

 

living (Council)

 

1 bed Retirement

£1,000

£1,000

£2,000

£2,000

 
 

1 bed bungalow or general needs flat

£0

£1,000

£2,000

£2,000

 

2 bed property (general needs)

N/A

N/A

£1,000

£2,000

 

 

1 bed bungalow or general needs flat

£0

£1000

£2000

£2000

2 bed property (general needs)

N/A

N/A

£1000

£2,000

 

In addition all under occupiers eligible for TIS when transferring and leaving their current tenancy will have their removal expenses paid by Wealden District Council (up to a value of £600). If the cost of the removal exceeds £600 the shortfall will be deducted from the transfer incentive payment.

The removals will be carried out by a contractor employed by the Council on the tenant’s behalf. If the tenant/s wish to use alternative contractors or carry out their own removals this is acceptable but no cash alternative will be offered.

The Council will reduce the payments above by one or more of the following:

  • The amount of rent arrears owed to the council at the time of transfer.
  • The cost of any works the Council has to undertake to the vacated premises as a result of damage or neglect on the part of the tenant/s or any other housing related debt.
  • Any outstanding court costs.
  • Removal costs which exceed £600; with the tenant/s liable for any costs over and above £600.
  • Other costs as agreed with the tenant/s such as Council Tax arrears.
The above amounts are payable once the tenant/s have moved, returned the keys to the Council and we have confirmed if there are any works to be recharged to the tenant/s or other housing related debts. All tenants are asked to leave the property in a clean and tidy condition.

Those wishing to apply for assistance under the Scheme must complete a Housing Application form and a Tenant Incentive Scheme Application Form to be registered for assistance under the scheme.

Once your application is processed you will be able to log on to Sussex Homemove and place bids on properties you would consider moving to.

Eligible transferring tenants who wish to move into a Retirement Living property will be placed in band A. Other eligible applicants moving to a smaller general needs home will be placed in Band B.

Once your application is received and processed you will be visited by your Housing Officer.

Any tenant/s who are under occupying and move into smaller accommodation either owned by Wealden District Council or a Housing Association will not be entitled to the Tenants Incentive Scheme payment unless they meet the criteria set out in the policy. For example moves to nursing/residential care, extra care, owner occupation, private rented, shared ownership or into accommodation with families/friends will not meet the criteria set out in this policy.

The above payments will be subject to a budget limit. If there are more requests for transfer incentive assistance than there is funding available, the Council will:

  • Give priority to those moving from accommodation that is more urgently needed; or
  • Assist with a transfer in the new financial year.

If the funding runs out before the end of the financial year the Council will write to all Tenant Incentive Scheme applicants to let them know. Tenants can still move but they will not receive any Tenant Incentive Scheme assistance.