Future of housing services - FAQs
I’m a social housing tenant. Will this affect my Right to Buy? (added January 2024)
If you are a council tenant, then any rights you have to exercise your right to buy will continue to remain the same as they are now.
I am a social housing tenant. What will happen to my tenancy agreement?
Your tenancy agreement is already a legal document between you and the Council. It is therefore not affected by these changes.
I am a social housing tenant. What will happen to my rent?
Your rent is already determined by the Council as part of our annual budget setting in February each year. Any changes to your rent follows government guidelines. It is therefore not affected by these changes.
I am a social housing tenant, and my tenancy is with Cheltenham Borough Homes rather than with the Council. How will these changes affect me?
CBH is a private Registered Provider and owns 95 homes for rent in its own right. Nothing will change for you during the transitionary period; however, upon transfer to the Council, you will become a tenant of the Council. This means:
- you will automatically become a secure tenant of the Council and gain additional rights under the Housing Act 1985;
- you will continue to benefit from the same regulatory protections as a tenant of a registered provider as the Council is also a registered provider (for example, limits of the amount of rent increase); and
- you will no longer have the rights you currently have under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 in respect of any service charges you pay: this is because tenants of local authorities are exempt from those provisions.
I am a leaseholder. What will happen to my leasehold agreement?
Your leasehold agreement is already a legal document between you and the Council. It is not affected by these changes. Our rights and responsibilities, as well as your rights and responsibilities, will remain the same as they are now.
I am a leaseholder. What will happen to my service charges?
Your service charges will be calculated in exactly the same way as they are now.
I own a shared ownership property with the Council. How will these changes affect me?
There will be no changes. Your leasehold agreement is already with the Council. Any changes to your rent will continue to be calculated annually in the same way as it is now.
I own a shared ownership property with Cheltenham Borough Homes, rather than with the Council. How will these changes affect me?
CBH is a Registered Provider and has 14 shared ownership homes in its own right. Nothing will change for you during the transitionary period; however upon transfer to the Council, you will become a leaseholder of the Council. The lease terms will continue: the Council will just take over the obligations of CBH. You will still have rights to staircase in accordance with the lease terms.
I am a private rented tenant with Cheltenham Borough Homes under its Vivid Living brand. How will these changes affect me?
Under the Vivid Living tenancies (13 market rent tenancies), CBH is your landlord. Nothing will change for you during the transitional period. The Council intends to maintain a separate legal entity, which will become responsible for managing your home. Further details will be provided to you during the transitional period.
How will I report a repair, a neighbourhood issue, or make a complaint?
How you report a repair, raise concerns about a neighbourhood issue or make a complaint will not change. Please continue to report any issues in the same way as you do now – i.e. directly to CBH. Whilst at the end of the transitionary period CBH will no longer exist as a legal entity, we do want to retain its brand name. This means that you will continue to see the CBH logos on vans, webpages, etc. As we move through and beyond the transitionary period, you will have the opportunity to help shape how our housing services are provided in the future, and we will keep you informed of any changes.
CBH provide a range of services beyond rent collection and repairs, such as helping people into training, work and/or volunteering opportunities. Will these continue?
These services are important to you, and benefit communities at large. If in the future there are any potential changes, we will make sure that you have an opportunity to be involved in shaping what these future services look like. Equally, we will keep you informed of any changes.
I enjoy taking part in community activities organised by CBH. Will these continue?
Strong, vibrant communities are extremely important. How we deliver services will always continue to evolve as we learn how to do things better. If there are changes in the future, you will have an opportunity to help inform any changes. Again, we will keep you up to date on any changes.
Will we still have a Tenant Scrutiny and Improvement Panel to help review existing housing services and shape future delivery?
We will continue to ensure that you have the opportunity to scrutinise existing housing services and to help shape the future delivery of these services. What a future Panel is called may change, and once CBH no longer exists as a legal entity, the Panel will report into the Council, rather than CBH’s Board. The exact details are still to be considered, and we will ensure that you and existing Panel members have the opportunity to be fully engaged in helping to shape what a future panel is called, and what it looks like.