The newness of the Right to Transfer (RTT) means that all involved are feeling their way through to a certain extent. This means that some of the well understood processes for large scale voluntary transfers are having to be rethought. One example of this is the formal submission of a transfer proposal to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
To date LSVTs have all (nominally) had the support of the local authority concerned. It was therefore logical that the council make the application to the regulator. With RTT the local authority is not in favour of the transfer and may be actively hostile. It was therefore anomalous that the application pro forma in Annex A to the March 2015 Transfer Manual only allowed for applications with the support of the local authority.
Whilst councils involved in a RTT situation would be likely to comply with their statutory obligation to co-operate with the tenant group exercising the RTT, it was still odd that the elected members would have to pass a resolution giving support to a proposal that they did not believe in. From the tenants point of view it was also a potential stumbling block which would allow their council to obfuscate or delay the process.
This situation has been resolved by a common sense approach from the HCA who have come up with a RTT version of the Annex A pro forma where the application comes from the tenant group. This is eminently sensible and puts control where it should be – with the tenants. The requirements and need to make a strong case for transfer are still there, but it is for the tenant group to make the case. This is great news for Bushbury Hill EMB due to the tight timescale we’re working to, but will also make things clearer for other tenant groups in future.