Introducing the Right to Transfer

The Right to Transfer (RTT) for council tenants is brand new, never been used and as such is unknown territory.  This blog will chart its progress from theory to practice and hopefully be useful and informative to those with an interest in tenant empowerment generally.

Why do we need a Right to Transfer?

Imagine that you are part of a tenant group; perhaps you’ve been involved in running the estate as a volunteer.  You know the local issues inside out, the people personally, the stock intimately, the investment it needs, and your neighbours’ aspirations for their homes.  Perhaps you’ve spent a lot of time and money investigating all the options and concluded that tenant-led stock transfer is the best option for your community and this has been backed repeatedly by your fellow tenants.

In these circumstances, how would you feel if your local authority flatly refused to countenance the possibility and to not even give tenants a vote on the matter?

This is the problem that the Right to Transfer is meant to solve.  It empowers tenants to pursue their hopes and dreams, in spite of local authority indifference or intransigence.

How does it work?

For those that don’t know, RTT allows council tenants to initiate a stock transfer to another landlord (who must be a Registered Provider).

RTT is possible thanks to section 296 of the Housing & Regeneration Act 2008 which gives the Secretary of State (or Welsh Ministers) the power to make regulations which require local authorities to co-operate with tenant groups who wish to pursue tenant led stock transfer.

When does it start?

For England the Right to Transfer Regulations and accompanying Statutory Guidance have been published and are due to be laid before Parliament in October 2013.

Why it has taken 5 years for this important new community right to be enacted is another story (fodder for another blog post) but all indications are that we are nearly there.  Assuming this happens without further delay, this will fire the starting pistol for those tenant groups who have been waiting, in some cases for nearly 10 years.


4 thoughts on “Introducing the Right to Transfer

  1. Derick Tulloch

    Interesting. This is very like a revamped version of Tenants’ Choice, but on a more communal basis. I did an academic study of the implementation of Tenants Choice (Stirling University Occasional Paper, Tenants Choice: Ten Years On) and found that it was undermined by the Agencies that were purportedly tasked with making it work. History repeats itself it seems.

    1. Bill Heywood Post author

      Derick, I’m really interested in the parallels with Tenants Choice and would love to read your paper. I do intend to write a post with a compare and contrast but my depth of ignorance about Tenants Choice is pretty deep. As it ran only from 88-96 it all happened before I started my career in housing, and was a pretty niche pursuit even then, so there isn’t a huge amount to go on.
      As you say, the community aspect of the Right to Transfer is key. It comes from the frustration with lack of local authority support for tenant self determination, whereas it appears that Tenants Choice was intended to be far more individualist.
      Cheers, Bill

      1. Derick Tulloch

        Bill I took me two years to research and much fascinating (well to me!) stuff came out. The fear of Tenants Choice had a lot to do with the early LSVT’s for one thing, and in increased emphasis for TP for another. Very different outcomes in Scotland and England&Wales because of the fundamental difference in property laws.
        You could get it from the British Library
        Would send you a copy but have no idea where it is electronically – probably on an old CD somewhere!

  2. Pingback: Ordinary folk; extraordinary meeting | Right to Transfer

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