Housing associations construct and manage homes on a non-profit basis. Most of the housing associations available all across the globe are charity based. Some of the housing associations have a specific role such as one for providing homes for individuals with special support needs or those from specified ethnic backgrounds. One may apply directly or even indirectly to a housing association. However, one first begins from the council’s housing registration. All properties have the same advertisement on them just like the council homes. There are various and different ways of acquiring property. One of those discussed in this paper is lettings. This paper will analyze the different occupancy levels, tenancies and various lettings approaches.
In the year 2006, the UK annual average was 61% in terms of bedroom occupancy. This percentage is two points more than in the previous years of 2005 and 2004. When making a comparison in the same year, the percentages also rose in other countries like the Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England. However, some countries including the UK had a stagnation of percentages at some point. In the UK, the figures stagnated in 2002, and 2003, and dropped again 2005 (British Hospitality Association 56). However, the differences are becoming less significant with bedroom occupancy levels. This is because they are increasing at a snail’s trend of eleven percentage points in a five year period, which is from 2002 to 2006.
Figure 1. Bedroom occupancy percentages in the UK in the year 2006
Bed Space Occupancy
The difference between bed space and bedroom occupancy may be found through the explanation of single occupancy of double rooms or in few cases, empty beds in the family rooms. A double room that has the occupancy of a single person has a full percentage of occupancy but fifty percent bed space occupancy. Bed space occupancy patterns were similar broadly to those in the bedroom occupancy. The annual UK average bed space occupancy was 48% in the year 2006 (British Hospital Association 49). This is three points higher than the previous three years in general. The average annual bed space occupancy increased over the 2002 to 2006 period in many countries generally.
Figure 2. The bed space occupancy percentage increase in the UK in the year 2006
Types of Tenure
Tenure defines the rights and legal status associated with various forms of occupancy and housing ownership. This is a hint of the two complexities that exist when deeming housing tenure. The first is there is an absence of a broad argument on the different tenures in number that exist in the UK. The most basic significance lies between renting and owning. An owner purchases an existing or brand new property, while a renter makes payment towards the owner for the property occupational right. The second complexity derived from the tenure definition is the diversity in existence within given tenures. A household that possesses its house outright would be categorized as an owner occupant alongside another household that is in negative equity. This means that it owes more to the mortgage lender than the property value. In simpler terms, tenure is the right to tenancy, which is the occupation of a rented household. There are several types of tenancies offered in the UK.
This is the tenancy offered to a new tenant hat has never been a Housing Association or Council tenant before (Burn and Cartwright 426). It also applies for those who have had a break in their former Housing Association or Council tenancy. The introductory tenancy runs for about twelve months with a few exceptions. For instance, this is exceptional if the board makes a court order to end the tenancy before maturation maybe due to anti social behavior or rent arrears. Introductory tenants have different rights from other tenants. They cannot assign a property, apply for a transfer or undertake a mutual exchange. They also cannot sub-let part or all of their property, and neither can they take in lodgers. In addition, they have no right to buy their own home.
Flexible Fixed Term Tenancies
At the end of this tenancy, one receives a flexible fixed term tenancy of five years unless one lives in a bungalow or sheltered property. This is because their properties are meant for older people or those with physical disabilities. During the introductory tenancy expiry of those living in bungalows, they will be granted a standard secure tenancy unrestricted to a fixed term. Other typical living tenants receive the flexible fixed term tenancy. Before the fixed tenancy expires, the assessment takes place out of the houses circumstances (Majella; et al. 67). This assessment determines if one will get another tenancy or not.
This is the one given to those that were once social tenants and facing transfer home or those that once held an introductory tenancy for a twelve months period. A secure tenant can live in their home for a lifetime as long as they comply with the tenancy agreement. They can only be ended by court orders that perpetuates to a court hearing to get the reason behind the breach. These tenants have rights that others do not have, as the right to exchange one's home with another housing association tenant. The only available condition is that one has to get consent from the housing association of their future landlord.
These tenancies are given at times when a homeless house gets its placement in temporary accommodation owned by the Association or Council by Homelessness legislation virtue. Once one finds permanent housing a Secure or Introductory tenancy is given. The landlord does not have to present the evidence of a statutory ground to terminate and receive possession of this tenancy. The landlord’s duty is to serve the tenant with a valid notice to quit. Afterwards, a possession claim may be brought. The tenancy will then end subsequently on the date specified date by the possession court order. Non-secure tenancies have exceptional rights like the right to buy, exchange, succession and to sublet.
Housing associations offer these which are equivalent to the introductory tenancies given by the council. A new housing tenant receives the starter tenancy that also lasts for twelve months. The period provides the tenant time to prove that they are responsible enough to receive an assured tenancy. This tenancy’s tenure security is comparable to the assured shorthold tenancy that is given mostly in privately rented sectors. This tenancy may be ended through the serving of a seeking possession notice (Sproston 73). Additionally, a seeking court order is also in need to remove an individual from a property. These tenants do not have some rights for example, the right to mutually exchange or transfer from their home, partial sublet, assign the tenancy, make improvements or even purchase a household.
Fixed Term Tenancy
The housing association or council offers this tenancy for a given short period after which they review it. During the expiry of the specified period, the tenancy may be ended, another type granted or the tenancy may be renewed. This tenancy type can only be ended by the association or council following its conditions breaching by the tenants. Here there is need for a court order just like the assured and secure tenancies. Fixed term tenants have similar rights as the secure tenants including the right of carrying out mutual exchange (Crane 365).
The housing association offers this tenancy which is similar to the secure tenancy offered by the housing council. The core difference is that they do not have the right to purchase instead they have the right to acquire. Assured tenants have the rights to repair their homes and swap homes with another association or council but with permission.
Approaches to Letting
Letting property or houses is taking possession or hold of the item, in return for the payment of a rent fee to a landlord to be granted the use or occupancy of the property at a rent fee. There are different approaches to the letting of households or properties.
A tenant may want to re-advertise their property since the present tenants are moving in a short time period. They may decide to use a more scientific approach in the whole process. The aim of finding different approaches is to get tenants to re-occupy the property in a short time with less effort use. The tenant’s plan is to create the maximum interest amount from the advertisement they will post. On the other hand, they like conducting the least viewings necessary in order to secure an offer in the least time possible. They then proceed to seek and delve for information about property seekers to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge (Kaye and Howlett 127).
Through the research, they find out that most tenant enquiries occur during the weekday evenings. In addition, majority of the tenants prefer looking for houses on Saturday afternoons. Through this, the landlords can plan on how they will get tenants easily since they are aware of the times they are available. This ideally means that landlords should try to be a bit flexible in their work since viewers find weekends to be more preferable. When a tenant makes such research, it enables them make the re-letting process shorter and less hectic.
These design scheme lettings introduce a choice element for individuals that are applying for housing association and council homes and those existing tenants that want a transfer. Choice based lettings allow individuals to bid for properties that become available only on the points based system. Not all councils in the United Kingdom offer this letting's scheme. In addition, rules and regulations vary from one region to another. Where these lettings schemes operate the first step is advertising properties locally. The publication of the details of trending properties occurs in leaflets, online or newsletters from community centers, housing offices and local libraries (House of Commons 90).
The next step in the lettings process is the bidding stage where people bid for certain property according to their preference. This can be done online by post, text or phone. Different councils hold different rules on the number of properties they can bid in a go. The last step deals with the decision of priority (House of Commons 88). The council’s housing association or the housing department that is running the scheme sorts the bids in priority order. The individual with the highest priority usually gets the first property refusal. If that individual turns down the offer, the next person in the list gets a chance to view the property and so on. In some regions, many applicants may be invited to see the property at a go.
Tenancies are the most common types of allocations used in the United Kingdom. They are easier, and their legal requirements are less tedious compared to other types of allocations. On the other hand, the lettings are a priority for the majority of UK residents. This is because it has several approaches whereby the tenant has a variety to choose from. Furthermore, many approaches are in creation as technology advances. The different house allocation methods generate the easiness of renting a household or purchasing property.
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