Have you been thinking about applying for one of our new build properties on Westwick Drive but have heard mixed messages about whether a new build is right for you?
Over the last six months, we have been made aware of conflicting messages about what you can and can’t do, but rest assured, we have the truth for you…
New applicants are eligible for a new build
City of Lincoln Council tenants are given preference for the new build properties. The vacancies following these transfers will open up the existing housing stock for new applicants.
New builds are owned by a housing association
Some of our new builds were built on behalf of a housing association, but the council purchased the properties when they were complete and are now fully owned by the council.
New build tenants do not have the Right to Buy
New build tenants still have the Right to Buy, however, they must be a secure tenant (having a total of three years qualifying tenancy) to be eligible. There is also a “cost floor rule” that’s applied to the new build properties, meaning that the council does not have to sell the property for less than was spent on building, buying or repairing it. For more information, please visit www.righttobuy.gov.uk.
New builds are small
All new build properties are built to the nationally recognised standard for space for the number of people occupying the property.
New builds have high rents
All new builds are set to what is known nationally as “affordable rent”, which is around 20% less than market value rent.
You can’t transfer from a one bed flat to a one bed house
If you are a council tenant in a one bedroom flat, you will be considered for a transfer to a one bedroom house.
New build repairs are hard to report
Within the first year, the property is in a “defect period” which means defective items will be attended by the builder and not the council’s Housing Repairs Service. New build repairs should still be reported to Customer Services and if the property is within the defect period, the contractor will phone you back with an appointment, rather than the call agent offering you an appointment straight over the phone.
Some repairs such as cracks in plaster are what’s known as “end of defect repairs” and will not be seen to until the end of the warranty period.
The “Local Lettings Agreement” means that you won’t have the same rights as a secure tenant
A Local Lettings Agreement sets out additional criteria to the Lettings Policy that needs to be met in order to be eligible for the property when bidding. It has nothing to do with the type of tenure or rights as a tenant.
We have set out in our Local Lettings Agreement that the council will allocate properties to existing council tenants after passing a property inspection and that rent accounts need to be clear with no recent history of anti-social behaviour.
Tenants don’t have to hand the keys back for the old property straight away
The council does not require the keys for the old property on the transfer date, but will require them to be handed in on the Monday following the sign-up to the new build.