Choosing a new landlord
This booklet explains your part in the transfer of ownership of the Commission's
housing in Basildon.
Why do we need the transfer?
It has been known for some time that eventually, all housing built or owned by the New Towns would have to be transferred
to a different landlord.
This has been confirmed by recent legislation and you are aware that we have started the process
of transferring ownership of our housing stock in Basildon.
Date of transfer
We expect the date of transfer to be at the end of 1992.
This booklet deals with a wide range of the issues raised and explains as much as possible before you receive formal proposals. If,
after reading this booklet, you would like further information, there is a telephone helpline for you to call.
Basildon 288*** (number not shown as may have been reassigned to another subscriber)
There's more about help and extra information on the last page.
The ballot...your part in the transfer process
You will have the right to vote for your choice of new
landlord. Each household has only the one vote. * You will given enough information and time to discuss the choice
before you have to decide how you will vote.
Making the choice
Your choice is between the West Kent Housing Association and Basildon District Council. To help you decide, each will be
sending you at the time of the ballot a formal statement saying how they intend to manage your home, including repairs and
maintenance. From what they say, you should be able to make up your mind which of them you would prefer as your new
landlord. During the 12 months leading up to the ballot you will also receive information and be able to make enquiries from both
Your new landlord will be who you vote for, except if you live in a flat or sheltered housing, where
special arrangements have had to be made. Details of these arrangements are on page 4.
* If you are in a Shared
Ownership scheme or have a Joint Tenancy, see page 10.
Naturally, the ballot has to be strictly impartial, so the Commission for the New Towns has appointed the totally independent
Electoral Reform Society.
The official Ballot Papers will come by post, along with the formal statements from West Kent
Housing Association and Basildon District Council. Everything you need to know about voting will come in this package.
Voting will take place during March/April 1992.
If you do not vote, or if a property is empty at the time of the ballot, the Commission will have to allocate the property to one
of the proposed landlords.
As part of the transfer process, we have to make a survey of the properties. We will not be surveying every property, but
a substantial number of representative types of houses, blocks of flats and sheltered units will be surveyed as part of a large
If your home is selected for this important survey, we will give you warning in advance and we will appreciate
If you live in sheltered housing, you will have a vote in the ballot, as will everyone else on the basis of one home, one
vote. However, a sheltered housing scheme is best run by a single landlord for many reasons. Therefore, the new landlord in
your scheme will be the one who receives most votes. Each sheltered housing scheme will vote for its own new landlord.
If you live in a flat, you will be voting for the landlord you want
to manage and set rent for your individual flat. However, as you know, there are shared areas in blocks of flats. After transfer,
these shared, common areas and services will be looked after by the landlord who receives the majority of votes in the block.
You may have bought the leasehold of
your property on the open market from a private developer. In this case, you will be paying ground rent to the Commission
for the New Towns since they own the freehold. You will be able to take part in the ballot on the basis of one household, one
vote, but as with sheltered housing above, your new landlord will be the one with the majority of votes from your development.
Your right to buy houses and bungalows
If you are buying your house or bungalow, your Right to Buy is not affected by the transfer arrangements. However, there is
a date which affects the way things are organised. That date is 19th September 1990.
1 If you submitted your application to buy your home before 19th September 1990, it will not be transferred
to a new landlord. You will be given a vote, though, because if for any reason, the application is withdrawn, you will still want
your choice of landlord.
2 If you submitted your application to buy your home after 19th September 1990,
you will be given a vote and your home will be transferred, if the sale is not completed to the landlord you choose. Then unless the
application is withdrawn, you complete the purchase from the new landlord. All you'll do is start to buy your home from the
Commission and finish buying it from the new landlord with no change in terms.
Of course, if you complete the purchase
before the transfer date in 1992, or if you own the property already, it will not be included in the transfer arrangements.
Your right to buy flats or maisonettes
If you are buying your flat, your Right to Buy is not affected by the transfer arrangements and the date of your application
to buy has no effect. However, the date you actually complete the purchase of your leasehold affects the freehold of the
property, so your vote is still needed.
1 If the sale is completed before the transfer date in 1992, the freehold
passes back to the landlord who receives the majority of votes from your block.
2 If the sale is NOT completed
before the transfer date, then your flat will be transferred to the landlord of your choice. You start buying the flat from the
Commission and simply finish buying it from the new landlord.
In either case the right to withdraw your application is unaffected, too, so there's no need to carry on with the purchase if
you don't want to.
Special arrangements for rents-to-mortgages: Houses and Bungalows
If you are considering purchasing your home under the new Rents-to-Mortgages Scheme you will still be able to vote.
If you complete your purchase before the transfer date in 1992 your property will not be included in the transfer
If you decide not to complete a purchase under the Rents-to-Mortgages Scheme or have not yet completed
by the date of transfer, you will transfer to the landlord of your choice.
Special arrangements for rents-to-mortgages: Flat and Maisonettes
The procedures will remain the same as described for Houses and Bungalows but if you are in a flat or maisonette - irrespective
of whether you complete the purchase - you will still have a vote. the reasons and arrangements for this are explained above in
the section about your Right to Buy.
If you own your Flat or Maisonette
If you have already bought the leasehold of your flat or maisonette, you will still receive a vote in the ballot. This is because
the freehold of your flat and the responsibility for all the common, shared areas and services in the buildings, will go to the
landlord who receives the most votes from your block.
The amount of Housing Benefit you are entitled to is completely unaffected by your choice of landlord. However, the Commission
will no longer calculate or pay the benefit. This will become the responsibility of Basildon District Council. It may be that the way the
benefit is actually paid may be different, but the end result - help with the rent - will be the same.
If you already own a share of your home under the Shared Ownership Scheme, you are entitled to vote in the same way as tenants
of the Commission. Whoever you vote for then takes over the role of the Commission in your lease. The terms of the lease have
already been agreed and are unaffected.
There is an exception, which is if you are in a shared ownership home within a sheltered
housing scheme. Then, as with all sheltered schemes, your new landlord will be the one chosen by the majority of voters in your
There is only one vote per household, as with all other affected properties, even where the tenancy is held jointly.
Exclusions from the proposed transfer
There are some exclusions from the transfer arrangements and people living in these properties will not be voting for a
They are properties under control of the Commission For The New Towns, but not let in the normal way. They
include hostels, staff flats and properties due for redevelopment.
If you are a tenant in one of these excluded properties,
the Commission will get in touch with you separately at a later date with proposals for the future of your home.
The intention is that eventuality, there will be a completely independent advice service for all tenants.
In the meantime,
if you have any queries, please phone the Commission on our special Housing Help Line during office hours. Outside office
hours, there will be an answering machine for you to leave your name and telephone number.
Don't forget, this booklet
is simply to alert you to what is going to be happening shortly. You will be contacted by both the West Kent Housing Association
and Basildon District Council, who will each send you a statement on how they intend to manage the housing if it is transferred
You will be receiving a lot of information through your letterbox over the next 12 months, but it is important to
remember that you should give careful attention to the official statements that you receive with the ballot paper.
Read then carefully and discuss them with family and friends. It is your vote that counts. It's a ballot for a new landlord and
you should make sure you vote for the one you think will be the best for you!
CNT Housing Help Line
Commission For The New Towns
Church Walk House
Essex SS14 1XA