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Recognised Tenants' Associations and What They Can Do

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 26 Apr 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Tenant Resident Association Recognised

Neighbourhood disputes and issues between neighbours have become more and more prevalent over recent years and there are always stories about bad neighbours and ‘neighbours from hell’ making the headlines.

If you live in an area that has a high proportion of rented properties, there will usually be a residents' and/or tenants' association that you can investigate if you need assistance.

Who can Set up a Tenants' Association?

Most residents'/tenants' associations are set up by the residents themselves, and many of these are officially recognised by the appropriate councils or housing associations, so this means that they work together to deal with any issues that might arise on particular developments or areas.

Councils and housing associations will all have their own strategies in place which are designed to support these recognised tenants' organisations, and they are normally keen to encourage their tenants to join in and be a part of any decision-making processes.

How are Residents' Associations Funded?

You will need to be able to raise the money to run your association, to pay for expenses like meeting refreshments and room hire, any publicity, and other expenses. You could fund this by charging a membership fee, a meeting fee or by creating fundraising activities. In some cases, you can obtain funding for a recognised association from the council, the housing association or even the National Lottery's Big Lottery Fund.

What Rights Does a Tenants' Association Have?

The advantages of being a part of a tenants' organisation is that it gives you a heads up on any plans or decisions that might affect your neighbourhood. These have rights to consultation cover subjects such as:

  • Housing conditions
  • Provision of housing services
  • Proposed changes to neighbourhood/housing management policies
  • Stock transfer

How Do I Register a Residents'/Tenants' Association?

All councils and housing associations are obliged to keep a register of any residents’ and tenants' associations. If you have formed an association with your neighbours, you can apply to join this register, providing that some members of the association are council or housing association tenants. To do this, get in touch with your local council housing department or contact the relevant housing association office.

To register you must have:

  • An agreed constitution
  • Appointed officers, a chairperson and treasurer
  • Regular meetings (which must include an annual general meeting)
  • Agreed accounts
  • Open membership for tenants and leaseholders.

The procedures that you will have to follow differ between councils and associations, but you should be able to get this information from your local council or housing association.

What if We are Leaseholders?

Any residents' association set up solely to represent leaseholders must write to the freeholder of the properties for recognition. If the freeholder does not respond or refuses to recognise your association, you can apply to Rent Assessment Panel for recognition.

As with a housing association or council recognised tenants’ association, a recognised leaseholders’ association has rights to consultation about their service charges, choice of managing agents, and any other decisions that may affect them as residents.

Mobile Homes, Parks and House Boats

Yes, there are avenues open for all of the above to form and register their own residents' associations. It makes a lot of sense to join or create an association for residents if you live on a mobile home park or house boat because generally your rights tend to be weaker than those of building tenants or homeowners.

Protected park home residents are able to form what’s called a qualifying residents' association. If you have one of these already, join it because it means that the park owner is bound to consult the association on some important decisions relating to the way the park is managed and run.

To qualify for recognition, the association needs to include at least half of the park home residents and exclude the park owner and any of the park staff.

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I live on an ex-country club park. There are 102 wooden chalets here which are now sold FREEHOLD and are occupied by the owners (average age of 75!) Unfortunately, the gardens, pathways and roads on the estate were sold off to a third party with which we have to sign covenants and pay a one-off £600 to this person for the "privilege" of being registered as resident. We also pay a bi-annual fee to this person supposedly for the maintenance of the grounds, pathways, and common areas. This "landlord" has been extremely difficult over the years and refuses to communicate with our elected residents association regarding monies owed to each individual chalet owner and improvements to the roads and pathways which have become very potholed. Instead this "landlord" will only speak to us via a "yes man" that lives on the park. Therefore any proposed and necessary work to be carried out is always vetoed in favour of a sub-standard contractor which obviously, is the cheaper option. (False economy - if the job is not done properly first time, it will undoubtedly have to be done again in the near future!) Anyway, could anyone please advise 1) What can be done to make the common parts owner acknowledge our residents association and to deal directly with us? and 2) Would he actually have to be registered as a company in order to receive (and withhold!) our bi-annual fees? Most grateful if anyone can shed light on this - admittedly complicated - situation. Many thanks
warrior - 26-Apr-14 @ 7:50 PM
We moved into a house nearly 3 years ago & we put in a woodburning stove, we have just left 3 wks ago & trying too get pour deposit back, but the landlord has told us we must replace the fire bricks, Who is responsible for this
Kaza - 16-Nov-13 @ 9:56 PM
2 years of HELL , and my HA didnt just infact make me and my carer -as im living with chronic illness and am constantly in hospital , they made and still remain adamant it is me that is INFACT THE PERETRATOR of all the problems at our address. And it is me living with a terminal diagnosis that has beed given a INTENT TO RE POSSESS, ITS ME THATS RECEIVED A cruel letter of PREVENTION OF HARRASMENT LETTER @ that is full of false allegations and it is me that still recieves letters of futher very damaging false claims that are not true , nor could be prooven. I have been the vicitim of a HOMOPHOBIC HATE CRIMEby one neighbour and the effect of this took its toll on me I nearly took my life by accident due to the new ANXIETY ISSUES that require many medical interventions to help me while my body goes into a complete FIT of ANXIETY. Months ago after a ASB complaint to my HA , they sat with my complaint for over 5 weeks did nothing i complained and then in my research i found the HOUSING MANAGER had infact lied regarding my issues being dealt with , i pointed the TRUTH OUT in no terms to her that I had infact found her to of lied to me, in her cover up my compliant to have her dismissed has been IGNORED- NOT DEALT WITH and she told me to my face i was a most UNPLEASANT PERSON during a shocking home suprise visit 2 days after being out of hospital. Without warning this HOUSING OFFICER came into my home to question me regarding more false allegations, i threw her out of my home, i had been with a temprature of over 100 degrees, the whole weekend from this point went from worse to nearly tragic as with my new found panic and severe anxiety attacks and being on my own without my carer at this time, my life nearly ended , thanks to a local person who found me 2 miles away in a shocking state of over dossing on pain killers i was taken to the hospital where i was treated for 6 days. There are now 2 staff there that literally have INTENT to harm me. because i knew about her deception and now i truly believe that my HA - ASB team are working to harm me every way possible. Thank you TERESA MAY for taking all my RIGHTS away from getting protection from the LAW in having LEGAL AIDon ym side. I live with hoplelessness and am helpless to even move out of the property while i remain with a INTENT TO RE POSSESS which is lasting for 12 months (next march im told) what can i do- who can i come to for help, i have tried everything. all i want is OUT out of this HOME OF HELL. OUT OF MY HOUSING ASSOCIATION AND AWAY FROM THE LOCAL POLICE FORCE WHO DONT DO ANYTHING BUT INFACT MAKE THINGS WORSE FOR ME . IM DYING and they are killing me. and THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO to make things right to have the LAW on my side to PROTECT me , and its now a situatution I WISH I had never gone to anyof them to get help for the 2 hate crimes, the homophobic hate crime , THE INTERFERANCE AND THE UTTER CONTROL OUR LONG TERM NEIGHBOURS HAVE HAD UPON OUR HOME LIFE here. I ha
pjm1961 - 2-Jun-13 @ 1:11 PM
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