Secure council tenants questions and answers
What is a ‘decant’?
A decant is the legal term used to explain the process where residents are required to move out of a property either when building work will affect their property or where major repair works are required. Decants can be either permanent or temporary.
What is a decant policy?
A housing decant policy sets out the council’s responsibilities to its residents when they have to move because of regeneration. There are two policies - one for council tenants and one for council leaseholders and freeholders. This is because tenants and leaseholders are affected in different ways.
When was the Decant Policy agreed ?
The Decant policy were agreed at the council’s Housing Sub-Committee in September 2017.
What is a ‘permanent decant’?
This is when a tenant is moved out of their old property straight into to another home where they will live permanently. Cambridge Road Estate tenants will mostly be permanently decanted into one of the newly built homes on the estate.
What is a ‘temporary decant’?
This is when a tenant is moved out of their old property temporarily until a more permanent home is available. Some tenants may be temporarily decanted whilst a suitable home which meets their needs is being built.
What is a ‘masterplan’?
The masterplan is the overall design plan for the estate’s street lay-outs and broad outlines for design of buildings. Master-planning is the process to create this overall design plan.
What else does the ‘masterplan’ do?
Different parts of the estate will be rebuilt at different times, so the masterplan includes a ‘phasing strategy’ for the regeneration, because it is not possible to simply rebuild the entire estate all at once.
Who is a ‘secure council tenant’?
A secure tenant refers to a tenant who was issued a ‘secure tenancy’ and therefore occupies the property on the basis set out in sections 79 - 81 of the Housing Act 1985. Most Kingston Council tenants who have lived in their property for more than a year (and who are not in temporary accommodation or a bed and breakfast) are secure tenants.
How will the regeneration work affect me?
There will be some disruption to residents as rebuilding an entire estate means everyone will have to move at some point. However, we will do our best to reduce this disruption by trying to make the process as smooth as possible.
How will you minimise the disruption of the building work?
Building homes, facilities, pathways and new roads causes disruption. We will make sure builders and developers keep works as tidy as they can be, with noise and dust kept down and roads and space used considerately.
Will I be rehoused?
The council will ensure that all of its secure tenants are rehoused. Council officers will visit every property to collect information about tenants living on the Cambridge Road Estate to make sure the new homes meet your needs. We need your help to ensure we have the right information to ensure we have the best chance of giving you the right home.
Can you tell me when I will be moved?
It is too early to tell you the exact date that you will need to move, as we have not yet developed a masterplan.
If I am rehoused, will the rent increase?
The rent you pay for living in a new property on the redeveloped estate will depend on a number of factors and the council cannot say, at this early stage, what the rent will be. There is a formula for calculating rents set out by central Government, which takes into account things like: the market value of the new property; the number of bedrooms in the property, and average earnings of manual workers in the county or borough compared to national average earnings. Rents for new homes will vary and depend on the new property. However, running costs, like fuel bills, may be lower.
Will I have to move more than once?
We aim to move as many households as possible straight into their newly built permanent home. However, at this stage it is too early to say who will need to move temporarily before moving into their new permanent home as it depends on a number of crucial factors, such as planning and individual household circumstances.
Will my new home have the same number of bedrooms if I am currently under-occupying my property?
The council will rehouse tenants in line with its Housing Allocations Scheme according to their needs and will only let tenants under-occupy in certain exceptional circumstances. For example, if you require a full-time carer you may be offered a property with an additional bedroom. Any requests will be assessed by the council’s medical advisor in line with the guidance set out in the Housing Allocations Scheme.
If I have adult children will the council rehouse them separately?
This will be decided on a case-by-case basis, considering each household’s circumstances as part of their rehousing plan. Even where adult children are housed separately, it is not likely all the adult children would be housed on the estate separately.
Do I have a right to return to the Cambridge Road Estate?
Secure tenants do not have a statutory (legal) right to return the Cambridge Road Estate, but the council aims to ensure that all secure tenants can return to the Cambridge Road Estate in a new home. In some cases however, the needs of a family may be so specific that this is not possible, for example if a family is particularly large or has very specific medical needs.
Do I have a right to move out of the Cambridge Road Estate?
Secure tenants do not have a statutory (legal) right to move out of the Cambridge Road Estate. However, if you express a wish to be permanently decanted outside of the estate, the council will try to help you find a property elsewhere in the borough.
If you want to move outside of the Royal Borough of Kingston, the council will support you with this too. There are a number of schemes the council can use to help you find a new home in other areas of London and the UK.
You should remember that the council and housing associations only have a limited supply of housing and the council will not be able to guarantee that you can find a new home in the exact location you would like to live in.
Will I get compensation?
Secure tenants who meet the required criteria will be entitled to a statutory home loss payment of £6,300 and could be paid a disturbance payment which covers the costs associated with moving.
I have installed a new kitchen and bathroom into my home at my own expense - will I be compensated for this?
You may be paid compensation for improvements made to your home, where approval was sought and given, with allowances made for depreciation in line with legal requirements.
How do I get advice about being rehoused?
For further information and advice regarding the regeneration you can speak to a member of our regeneration team or your Resident Services Officer.
In due course you will be offered a housing needs visit so that we capture details of your housing needs and ensure you are aware of your options and get the support you need throughout the regeneration process.