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K440 Real Estate

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Course Code: K440
University: University Of The West Of England

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Country: United Kingdom

Question
Detail and discuss the difference between a local authority tenancy, a Tenancy Under the Housing Act 1988 and subsequent legislation, and a secure tenant under the Rent Act 1977.

Answer 
Important features of the secure tenancy and the local tenancy based on the Rent ACT 1977
Rent act 1977 in general was introduced as a protection accord to tenants. Residential properties before then were particularly in the hands and manipulation of the landlords. The landlord was free to not only determine the amount of rent but also regulate tenancies. The tenancies however began being regulated by the rent Act 1977 (Watt and Minton 2016).
The Rent Act 1977 prevented tenants from being charged unfair rental charges by the landlord. It also gave the tenants a right to occupy property even after the end of contractual terms. The Rent Act 1977 gave the tenant a freedom to apply for rental charges that they can afford. Afterwards the landlord can only use that as the highest chargeable amount. The landlord had no choice to evict the tenant from the property unless they, the landlord, obtained a court order. The ACT continues with its support for the tenants by giving possession rights to a civil partner or any other family of the original tenant. A civil partner or the tenant spouse or any other family member have the rights under the 1977 Rent ACT to take over the tenant property in case the tenant dies. The Act mostly operated before the 1988 Housing ACT (Manzi and Darcy 2017). The operation of the rent ACT 1977 with the introduction of the housing ACT 1988 was in a way compromised awarding landlords’ particular rights. Due to the introduction of the housing ACT 1988, the rent ACT is therefore referred to as a regulation of the 1988 housing ACT. Under the rent ACT 1977 there is a specific type of tenancy referred to as the secure tenancy. Secure tenancy is a type of tenancy that is awarded protection by the rent ACT 1977. The antonym of the secure tenancy is the assured tenancy which enjoys weaker privileges than secure tenancy since is exists under the housing ACT 1988 interested in protecting the rights of the landlord (Stephens and McCrone 2017).
To begin with secure tenancy under the rent ACT 1977 can only be awarded to individuals rather than a company or a group of individuals or even charity. The property must not only be a property but a place to live in, so that through the local authorities it is a set aside place to live in. The group also set asides temporary accommodation. This means that secure tenancy under the 1977 ACT does not include temporary accommodation given as charity to homeless people.
Secure tenancy is also not awarded to individuals whose tenancies have been demoted because of anti-social behaviour. The three latter mentioned conditions are the only ones that might compromise, according to the ACT, permission of an individual to be granted secure tenancy by the local authority. The possession and ownership provisions of the secure tenancy are provided for in schedule 15 of the 1977 rent ACT (Stephens and McCrone 2017).
Notable, is that most secure tenancies under the rent ACT 1977 are take care off by the local authority, also referred to as secure councils. The ACT further provides that a secure tenancy therefore is a lifetime tenancy.  The council is responsible for awarding tenancy in written agreement forms. The agreement should report the tenancy type, have a record of explanations of rights and responsibilities of the tenants. The best way that many councils use is to provide a tenancy book that explains all the necessary information that a tenant might need to know before they are awarded the secure tenancy (Forrest and Murie 2014).
Secure tenancy is awarded for life provided the individual doesn’t break any of the existing rules and regulations. The end of a secure tenancy period as provided by schedule two of the ACT can only be ended by a court order, following a court hearing that must have looked at the reasons behind the breaches of the contract (Forrest and Murie 2014).
As a secure tenant there are rights that the ACT provided which were only unique to itself. A secure tenant has the right to make improvements to the property provided they have obtained a written consent from the council in charge.  Secondly, they have the right to assign property, give it to someone else, while applying for transfer. Lastly, they have a right to sub-let all or part of their properties. This last part is referred to as lodging. The tenant can lodge the property as provided for in the ACT without the consent of the local authority. However, lodging can affect the privileges that a tenant receives by the virtue of owning a property. In Scotland, the rent ACT provides for rights to buy the property using the right to buy scheme. The right to buy scheme is a Scotland specific scheme that helps people from Scotland acquire property. The Scottish secure tenancy extends from councils and accepts housing associations and housing co-operatives in Scotland (Stephens and McCrone 2017).
The ACT further provides for succession. Succession under secure tenancy is done only upon the death of the owner of the property. The process of succession under the 1977 ACT schedule 16, which clarifies the process of succession only allows one succession. A second succession is not allowed unless determined by a court order which invokes a prior tenancy agreement (Farrall, Hay, Jennings and Gray 2015).
The ACT also provides for statutory tenancy as a way of succession. The surviving tenant who is supposed to inherit the property must have resided in the property immediately after death of the original tenant. The successor has to continue occupying the property until it becomes theirs according to statutory tenant laws. In case where the original tenant doesn’t have a spouse or a civil partner, any member of the family can only inherit the property after a period of two years. (Moffat et al. 2015).
Additionally, the ACT provides for ways in which secure tenancy could attract an eviction. An eviction is allowed when the tenant does not pay the rent, breaks any of the regulations as agreed. However, even when these rules are compromised, an eviction requires the evictee to acquire a court order. The ACT provides protection by making it a criminal offence for a landlord to harass and unlawfully evict someone (Manzi and Darcy 2017).
As assessed, the secure tenant under the Rent ACT 1977 is more concerned with protecting the tenants of properties than the landlords or the local council authorities. Such regulated tenancies give tenants important rights in relation to the amount of rent they can be charged and circumstances with which they can be asked to leave (Watt and Minton 2016).
Important features of the security tenancy and the local tenancy based on the housing ACT 1988.
The housing ACT 1988 chapter 50 provides for the local authority tenancy. In this ACT there is an attempt to improve further provisions on dwelling houses let on tenancies or occupied under local council licenses. The ACT is therefore an amendment of the Rent ACT 1977 and partly and amendment of the Wales housing association ACT of 1985. It is in part two of the ACT that confers on the certain dwelling houses that include either secure tenants or non-secure tenants. The ACT can therefore be regarded as a support or a benefit to the landlords that are basically local authorities and councils (Lund, 2017).
Prior to 1988 like noted in the rent ACT 1977 most tenancies like already noted were protected and statutory. The secure tenancy for instance, was heavily weighted in favor of the tenants. Tenants had the rights to stay in properties and even pass it on to other relatives. This made it virtually impossible for landlords, who are local authorities for the case of secure tenants, to gain possession of the property again unless the tenant chose to leave (Gibb 2016).
As a result of such protection local authorities become less willing to let tenants to their properties. The Thatcher government decision awarding council tenants the right to buy homes made it even easier for the authorities to hold such tenure. As a result, the private rented sector was developed with the need to house more people (Kemp 2015).
Local authorities’ tenancy is therefore owned by local council. The previous rent ACT provided for contractual tenancies which was subject to withdrawal by various government. A perfect example is by the Scotland local council as noted earlier. However, the housing ACT of 1988 after it was passed in 1989 introduced the concept of secure tenancies. The secure tenancy of today is occupied on a rather permanent basis. The introduction of statutory rights ensured that in addition to contractual rights successions were also provided for (Jacobs and Manzi 2017).
 
The section re amended the rent act of 1977 so that the local authorities offered apart from just secure tenancies, non-secure tenancies. Non –secure tenancies offered by the local authorities is part of the local authorities’ tenancies as provided for in the housing ACT of 1988 (Fitzpatrick and Pawson 2016). This type of tenancy is offered when the authority is not certain that they want the tenancy to be permanent. A perfect example is a case where the local authorities have decided to re-house. Re-housing under the provisions of part 6 of the housing ACT 1988 allows for the homeless individual to be awarded properties, however not on permanent basis. The local authorities are not obligated to re-house such individuals permanently and therefore they might decide not to (Kavanagh 2015).
The housing ACT 1988 also provided local authority tenancy durations that lasted up to 2-5 years different from the life time duration stipulated in the 1977 Rent ACT. Through such legal provisions, the local authorities are capable of offering general needs to tenants on a fixed tenancy term. Fixed tenancy terms exist between 2-5 years. The provision has been amended and lately referred to as the localism ACT of 2011 (Fitzpatrick and Pawson 2016).
Additionally, there is a distinct difference in the existence between security of tenure that exist in the housing ACT 1988. In this section, the tenants’ rights of stay are considerably curbed. With the latter ACT the tenants can now be given notice to leave after only six months of stay. The ACT provides only for six months with only two months’ notice allowed. It is noticeable that more right is therefore more focused on the landlord than the tenant. A further statement from the ACT allows for the landlord to regain possession of the property in case of rent arrears. Regaining of property possession in the secure tenancy of the rent ACT 1977 is virtually impossible since the tenant is protected in all directions including on rent and circumstances (Dwyer, Bowpitt, Sundin and Weinstein 2015).

Secured tenancy

Assured tenants

Sets out what the council must do and the obligations for a tenant.

Sets out rules and standards for landlords and what they should do.

Created by 1985 housing ACT

Created by 1988 housing ACT

Can only be evicted with the decision by the court of law

Tenant can only be evicted depending on the decision of the overall council

Possession gained through the court of law

Assured possession gained by the assurance of land lord

Succession under the rent ACT of 1977 is a right awarded to the tenants. However, in the housing ACT of 1988 in the case of death by of a tenant, the spouse or any other beneficiaries has no rights to stay in the property. The only assured tenant is not any other beneficiary but only a spouse of the decrease in the ones that inherit rental legal rights (Forrest and Murie 2014).
In the 1977 secured tenancy section under the ACT determines rent payment by the tenant agreement and the local council. The regulation of rent is determined by age, location and condition of properties. The 1988 ACT of local authorities’ tenancy removed the rent controls of the tenants so that there no legal restrictions to the amount of rent that a local authority can charge. The property and rental market are self-regulatory based on the country’s economic variation. Tenants are therefore only invited to challenge the rental amount (Moody 2015).
However, the assumption that local authority tenancy under the Housing ACT doesn’t favour the tenant is quite limited. The housing ACT of 1998 provides for tenancy agreement and favours the tenant. The local authorities under section 12 provides that the local authority must respect all the statutory rights of the tenant. If they do not the section provides that such is a criminal act that not only leads to the whole agreement being rendered invalid but also the conviction of the involved individuals (McKee, Muir and Moore 2017).
The local authority tenancy awards most of the paperwork and management to the local councils on behalf of the tenant. They are therefore considered the landlord. The local authority therefore shoulders all the legal requirements (Hollow 2016).
The right to legally regain possession as the landlord is provided for in section 21 of the housing ACT 1988. The local authorities, being the landlords in this case, have an automatic right of possession. The right of possession is awarded back once the contract is expired. The expiry is gained with or without having any reasons for the same. However, the local authority has to inform the tenant of such some decision two months before the time (Hilber 2015).
Additionally, the ACT does not ignore possession on grounds of rent arrears and anti-social behaviour. The two are provided for under section 8 of the housing ACT 1988 (Manzi and Darcy 2017).  The local authorities can regain automatic based on ground 8, which include rent arrears of huge amounts as agreed by the tenants. On ground 14 which includes anti-social behaviour the local authority is also allowed to regain tenancy. However, even when regaining tenancy as legally stipulated in the ACTS, the local authorities have to give the tenants a two-month notice. The notice can be served at any time during the tenancy period. The main difference with the secure tenant under the Rent ACT is that the latter requires a court order for the tenant to leave the property and the landlord or the local authority to regain the property (Loveland 2016).
The introduction of local authority housing tenancy increased the statutory homelessness rates in the country. The local authorities have taken over houses leaving a lot of people homeless.  It is predicted that homelessness acceptance will continue to rise over the next three years. The acceptance in 2010 led to a further increase of 36%. The homeless people are therefore forced to move into private rental services. The private rental services offer rental housing services to those who cannot afford or own local properties or the same. The increase of private rental services therefore shows how the homeless have increasingly moved to the new housing formats.
References

Dwyer, P., Bowpitt, G., Sundin, E. and Weinstein, M., 2015. Rights, responsibilities and refusals: Homelessness policy and the exclusion of single homeless people with complex needs. Critical Social Policy, 35(1), pp.3-23.
Farrall, S., Hay, C., Jennings, W. and Gray, E., 2015. Thatcherite Ideology, Housing Tenure and Crime: The Socio-spatial Consequences of the Right to Buy for Domestic Property Crime. British Journal of Criminology, 56(6), pp.1235-1252.
Fitzpatrick, S. and Pawson, H., 2016. Fifty years since Cathy Come Home: critical reflections on the UK homelessness safety net. International Journal of Housing Policy, 16(4), pp.543-555.
Fitzpatrick, S., Bramley, G., Pawson, H., Watts, B. and Wilcox, S., 2015. The homelessness monitor: England 2015. London: Crisis. (pp. 142-158)
Forrest, R. and Murie, A., 2014. Selling the welfare state: The privatisation of public housing. Routledge. (pp. 142-158)
Gibb, K., 2016. Housing Finance in the UK: an Introduction. Macmillan International Higher Education. (pp. 142-158)
Hilber, C.A., 2015. UK Housing and Planning Policies: the evidence from economic research. (pp. 142-158)
Hollow, M., 2016. The age of affluence revisited: Council estates and consumer society in Britain, 1950–1970. Journal of Consumer Culture, 16(1), pp.279-296.
Jacobs, K. and Manzi, T., 2017. ‘The party’s over’: critical junctures, crises and the politics of housing policy. Housing studies, 32(1), pp.17-34.
Kavanagh, A., 2015. What’s so weak about “weak-form review”? The case of the UK Human Rights Act 1998. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 13(4), pp.1008-1039.
Kemp, P.A., 2015. Private renting after the global financial crisis. Housing Studies, 30(4), pp.601-620.
Loveland, I., 2016. Secure Tenancies and Second Successions. Journal of Housing Law, 19(2), pp.25-32.
Lund, B., 2017. Understanding housing policy. Policy Press. (pp. 142-158)
Manzi, T. and Darcy, M., 2017. Organisational research: conflict and power within UK and Australian social housing organisations. In Social constructionism in housing research. Routledge. (pp. 142-158)
McKee, K., Muir, J. and Moore, T., 2017. Housing policy in the UK: The importance of spatial nuance. Housing Studies, 32(1), pp.60-72.
Moffatt, S., Lawson, S., Patterson, R., Holding, E., Dennison, A., Sowden, S. and Brown, J., 2015. A qualitative study of the impact of the UK ‘bedroom tax’. Journal of Public Health, 38(2), pp.197-205.
Moody, J., 2015. Changes to old tenancies. Land Journal, p.24.
Stephens, M. and McCrone, G., 2017. Housing policy in Britain and Europe. Routledge. (pp. 142-158)
Taylor, M., 2015. Who owns our land? Land Journal, p.10.s
Watt, P. and Minton, A., 2016. London’s housing crisis and its activisms: Introduction. City, 20(2), pp.204-221.

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