Social housing - Appeals process issue

How does Resolver work?

Free forever

Resolver is free. Just raise a case and leave feedback after. Simple! We’ve helped millions of people find a resolution. Get started now and let’s get this sorted.

Know your rights

There’s no jargon in our rights guides. Instead, they’re full of the info you need to get things sorted. We’ll always be on hand with guidance and support to help you get the results you’re looking for.

Get your voice heard

You can be certain that you’re talking to the right person at the right time. We automatically connect you to contacts at thousands of household names, ombudsmen and regulators to find a resolution.

If your landlord says that they will not sell the home to you, they have to explain their decision; however, there is no appeals process. If they refuse to sell your home to you they can offer you another home, but you do not have to accept this alternative.

If your landlord agrees to sell, their offer will tell you:

  • The price they think you should pay for the property, and how the price was determined;
  • Your discount and how it was worked out;
  • A description of the property and any land included in the price;
  • Estimates of any service charges (for a flat or maisonette) for the first years;
  • Any known problems with the property’s structure, such as subsidence.

Selling your home within the first five years

If you sell your home within five years of buying it, you’ll have to pay back some or all of the discount that you received.

If you sell within the first year, you’ll need to pay back all of the discount. In addition, the amount that you pay back will depend on the value of your home when you sell it. So, if you received a 20% discount, you’ll have to pay back 20% of the selling price.

If you sell after the first year, the total amount that you pay back reduces. You pay back:

  • 80% of the discount in the second year;
  • 60% of the discount in the third year;
  • 40% of the discount in the fourth year;
  • and 20% of the discount in the fifth year.
You should know
  • All social housing landlords have a formal complaints process. Resolver will get you in touch with your landlord to help you raise your issue.
  • If you cannot resolve the issue, you may be able to go to the Housing Ombudsman.
  • If there is a danger to your home or the estate, you can raise the issue with your local council’s Environmental Health department.
  • There are two key tenancy types: starter and assured tenancies. Your rights depend on the type of tenancy that you are in.

If you have a complaint you should use Resolver to officially raise the issue with your landlord.

Tenancy types

There are several different types of housing association tenancy agreements, and you need to work out what type of agreement you have. Find your agreement and read it carefully: you can find out more about tenancy types at:

Starter tenancy

This is a trial tenancy; it is similar to an assured short tenancy and gives you the same rights. You have fewer rights from eviction, and after an initial period your contract should become an assured tenancy, unless the Housing Association tries to evict you.

If you have spent any time as a starter tenant with another housing association, you might be able to carry this over.

Joint tenancy

If you have a joint tenancy, and the trial period ends for one of you, the trial period is then over.

Assured tenancy

After 12 months you will probably become an assured tenant. An assured tenancy gives you better rights, for example the ability to sub-let part of your home (with the housing association’s prior consent).

You are likely to be an introductory tenant if you have been with the housing association for less than 12 months. During this first year, you cannot buy your home, exchange your home or apply for a transfer.


Key reasons that a landlord could try to evict you from your home are if you have not paid your rent, or are causing a disturbance to the local environment. They will apply to a court to get an eviction notice.

Other potential causes for evictions are if you have not kept the property in good condition, your application was not truthful, or if you or a member of your household has been involved in anti-social behaviour.

If your landlord wants to evict you, they will need to go to court to obtain a court order for possession of your property. You will have had to receive two months’ notice before going to court. Reasons for eviction include:

  • Not paying the rent;
  • Causing a nuisance;
  • Undertaking illegal activities;
  • Living in another property or subletting without consent.

Rent increases

Your tenancy agreement should state the process for rent increases, and you must be given at least four weeks’ notice of any such increase. If you think your rent has been increased unfairly, you can go to a Residential Property Tribunal.

Speak with a specialist, such as Shelter, beforehand to ensure that it is reasonable for you to appeal.

Starter tenancy

Your rent cannot be increased during a starter tenancy unless you have agreed to it, such as when you signed the agreement.

Assured tenancy

Most assured housing association tenants pay what is called a social rent or an affordable rent, which is usually set by the landlord annually. It should be lower than you would pay a private landlord for the same kind of property.

Check your tenancy agreement, as there are rules on how much your rent can be increased by. Your landlord normally gives you written notice first, at least four weeks in advance.

The amount of rent that you pay should not go up more than once a year, unless by mutual agreement. You should always be given at least four weeks' written notice. You might also have to pay a service charge for the maintenance of communal areas.

Repairs & maintenance

Your landlord should give you information about the repairs that you are responsible for; these usually include internal decoration and putting right any damage that you cause. The landlord is usually responsible for most of the other repairs to your home, such as work on the roof, guttering, windows, doors and brickwork.

Inside the property, they should also ensure that the plumbing, gas and electricity are working safely, including periodic checks (annually for gas). If your home requires repairs, or there is an emergency, report your issue to the landlord; you can do this via Resolver.

If the landlord plans to do any significant work, it should also consult you before the work begins. If you have to move out while the work is done, the landlord might have to rehouse you (temporarily or permanently).

Can I have a lodger?

You may have a right to take in a lodger. However you cannot sub-let your home unless you have written permission from your landlord. Citizen's Advice have a useful guide to your rights to take in a lodger:

Right to improve

Secure tenants can carry out improvements to the property as long as they receive the landlord’s permission first. Introductory tenants are not allowed to carry out any improvements.

Your landlord should only refuse permission for the improvements if he or she is worried that the work will make the property less safe, reduce the value of the property or make it difficult to let in the future. You will become responsible for future repairs and maintenance of any new improvements you make to the house; so, for example, if you install a new shower and it leaks, it’s your responsibility to fix it.

Right to acquire

Right to Acquire allows most housing association tenants to buy their home at a discount. You can find out more at:

Housing Ombudsman

If a complaint cannot be resolved by your landlord, or eight weeks have passed after the time that the you completed the formal complaints process, you can take your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

The Housing Ombudsman is the final stage of the escalation process: it can only deal with your case once it has been through your landlord’s complaints process.

If you have started legal or court action, the ombudsman will be unlikely to take your case forward. The ombudsman will then gather information from the landlord and you about your case. Your Resolver case file will contain all of your relevant communications and supporting documents, which will help the ombudsman assess your case.

Your landlord must act on the decision of the Housing Ombudsman.

Find the best rights for you

We have 5,115 pages of rights advice for you covering 10,878 companies and organisations across 16 public & private sectors. Feel free to browse companies for this specific issue - they're all listed below - but the quickest way to find the best rights for you is by using our unique Rights Finder to access our extensive database of advice.

Start by telling us the name of the company or organisation you have an issue with.

Who do you have an issue with?

Raise it for free via Resolver