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Succession and Mutual Exchange

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Hello all.

 

Firstly, I am seeking legal advice, but I hope someone can shed some layman's light on my situation.

 

It all seems very straight forward to me.

 

I have lived with my mother in a three bedroom house for 15 years. She sadly passed away on the 30th of June. I have since applied and qualified for succession of her Protected Assured tenancy - with right to buy.

 

I have no desire to stay at the property, as it's full of memories, and it is too far away from the train station anyway.

 

I was given all sorts of bad advice and services from the local housing association, who have actually reviewed their practices and policies, based on my complaints, and have even offered me £150 compensation as "full and final settlement of my official complaint", should I choose to accept it.

 

Part of the bad advice was to seek alternative accommodation, via mutual exchange.

 

After days of searching, I found a perfect property for me to exchange with. It's a first-floor flat, right in the middle of my town centre. The current occupiers of the flat are a young four-person family (mother, father, and two young children) - my current three bedroom house would be perfect for them.

 

We both filled in the relevant exchange forms for our respective housing associations, and all seemed good.

 

I then had a phone call from my housing association, informing me the exchange couldn't go ahead. Puzzled, I asked why, and was told the only person who could initiate the exchange was my dead mother, as she is still the tenant.

 

I have asked the situation to be reviewed on several occasions, but they still say the same thing. All legal technicalities aside, this is absolutely ridiculous.

 

I even asked if I could be temporarily named as the tenant, so I could initiate the exchange, but was told it was illegal. I asked for proof of this, and they sent me their own T&Cs - and that only states "In cases where the eligible successor is living in a home that is larger than they reasonably need … we MAY [emphasis added] require them to move to a more suitable property". This gives me the indication that it's not set in stone.

 

So as it stands, I have succeeded a Protected Assured tenancy; my dead mother is still the tenant of the property; and I'm left floating in limbo as I have a tenancy, but not to a physical property.

 

My housing association has offered to find me appropriate property, but from the 30th of July till now (2 months), I haven't been offered one property.

 

It's an incredibly frustrating situation to be in, as the mutual exchange would be perfect for both parties.

 

I really would appreciate some advice, or to hear from someone who has been in a similar situation.

 

Many thanks.

Edited by Guffed

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