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Moving because of major repairs or redevelopment

If major repairs are needed to a tenants home then the council will always try to arrange the work so you and your family can remain in your home whilst the work is carried out.

If it is possible to work round people remaining in the property this may mean some rooms cannot be used over a period of time while the work is carried out. If this happens the council will pay compensation for loss of use.

If it is not possible for you to stay in your home whilst work is carried out the council will be able to arrange short term temporary accommodation. Often tenants, in this situation, prefer to make their own arrangements with family or friends.

It may be necessary for the tenant to move out of the property for a longer period and the tenant rehoused on a temporary basis.

Financial assistance with moving and compensation for the loss of your home

To qualify for compensation the room must be out of use for more than five days. The payment will be assessed by looking at the gross rent for your property, the number of habitable rooms in the property (all rooms excluding kitchens and bathrooms), the number of rooms affected and the length of time you have been unable to use them.

If you are being rehoused on a permanent basis you may have a legal right to financial assistance with the cost of moving (disturbance allowance) or/and payment to compensate you for moving from your home (home loss payment).

The council will offer financial assistance on a discretionary basis to individual tenants who are moving temporarily and may not legally qualify for a disturbance allowance.

It may also be possible to offer other more direct assistance depending on the individual tenants circumstances.

The rules about home loss and disturbance allowances are quite complex. A simple summary is given below but your tenancy management officer will discuss your entitlement with you in more detail. You can also seek independent legal advice from the following organisations

Home loss

To qualify for a home loss payment you must be the secure tenant of the property and lived there for more than a year at the date you have to move.

Your move must be as a direct consequence of:

  • compulsory purchase
  • improvement or redevelopment by a local authority or housing association
  • demolition under any other compulsory power
  • a court order for eviction from secure (council and some housing association) tenancies, granted to allow demolition or work.
  • your move must be permanent

The maximum home loss payment is currently £4,700. Any home loss payment will not be paid until you have returned the keys to your former tenancy.

Disturbance allowance

The legal entitlement to a disturbance allowance is broadly the same as for a home loss payment.

It is paid to the tenant to contribute to the reasonable expenses of moving. This means it is to assist with not just the cost of the 'removal' but also the expenses that may have been incurred as a consequence of the move. There is no 'set' amount which can be claimed but you should be careful to check what expenses the council will accept as reasonable before committing to any large items of expenditure. Typical things which can be included are:

  • disconnection/reconnection of cookers, washing machines and other appliances
  • redirection of post
  • transfer/reconnection of telephone
  • lifting and resizing/refitting of carpet
  • refitting of curtain rails
  • resizing/refitting curtains or blinds
  • the cost of the removal

The council needs to see receipts for the costs involved. Remember that the payment is to help with the reasonable expenses of moving. You are not  automatically entitled to new carpets, curtains and other fittings but would be expected to adapt the things you already have where possible. Please check with the tenancy management officer whether an item of expenditure will be covered as part of the disturbance allowance before deciding on any large items of expenditure.

Redevelopment

If major improvements are planned for an area or estate sometimes as part of the improvements some properties may be demolished, other properties may be substantially modified for example three small properties may be remodelled to produce two larger properties. In this situation you would need to move, on a permanent basis, as you would loose your current home and would not be able to return to the same property when the redevelopment was completed.

If a tenant does not wish to move and no agreement can be reached the council are able to serve notice on the tenant and to go to court to ask for possession of the property to enable the proposed work to go ahead. A court will only agree if it is satisfied that it is reasonable and that suitable alternative accommodation is available for the tenant and their family.

The rehousing process

If you have to move to allow repairs or a redevelopment to take place then you will be a high priority for rehousing.

Your tenancy management officer will give you advice, information to assist you complete the rehousing forms and help to find a suitable property through the Locata choice based lettings scheme.

If you decide to accept a property then you need to sign a new tenancy and to formally end your current tenancy. Your tenancy management team will advise you of the arrangements you need to make but remember you will need to:

  • arrange the disconnection and reconnection of appliances (you should contact a Corgi registered gas engineer to arrange for the disconnection of your gas supply. Similarly, a qualified electrician should disconnect any electrical appliances, such as ovens or hobs).
  • arrange for final readings to be taken of gas and electricity meters.

You will probably need to give at least 48 hours notice to your gas and electricity company.

Housing benefit and council tax

If you receive housing benefit or council tax benefit, you must tell the benefits service your new address as soon as possible, to make sure you continue to receive your benefits. Remember, housing benefit is payable on your principal address, so you must move into your new property as soon as possible.

Handing in keys

You will need to agree with your tenancy management team a date to hand in keys to your old property. It is important you hand your keys in as soon as possible after you leave.

Keep copies of receipts showing the money you spent on the move if you are going to claim assistance with the cost of the move.

More information?

If you want more information about payments for loss of use then you should contact your housing officer.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 09 Oct 2015 at 16:00