New merger rules for social landlords in place

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Legislation now requires social landlords to ballot members on mergers 

6th November 2014 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Social landlords in Scotland will be required to ballot tenants when entering into a merger by the end of this month.

Landlords wanting to enter a "group structure" or "constitutional partnership" – two forms of merger – where the organisation keeps its name and chief executive, will be subject to the ballot procedure.

Currently when an association wants to become a subsidiary in a group structure arrangement, a landlord is only required to ballot the members of an association.

Tenants can become members of an association by paying a nominal fee such as £1.

Under the new legislation, which comes into force on 20 November 2014, landlords will be required to ballot their tenants before they become subsidiaries in group structures.

The Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Association lobbied hard to MSPs for the measure to be inserted into the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, which received royal assent in August.

The government agreed to insert the measure into the Act following concern about the trend of larger landlords taking over smaller, community-based housing associations.

Social landlords that have asked for permission from the Scottish Housing Regulator to enter into a group structure before 20 November will be exempt from the new requirements.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Housing Regulator said: ‘We have communicated this position directly to the registered social landlords which we know may be affected by this provision.”

6th January 2015 by Tommy Lusk

Unfortunately, it does not require The Housing Associations involved in such partnership proposals to ensure their tenants are well informed on the decision they are to be balloted on.It would take the will of The Housing Regulator to ensure this as The Committee's of Associations involved have made their decision and are only interested in marketing in favour of a favourable ballot outcome.As far as I know Caledonia HAs proposed partnership with Bellsmyre HA will be the first Tenat Ballot. As a tenant I find the communications from The Housing Associations and their "independent" tenant advisor TPAS is very unenlightening.So much so that I have set up a website to demonstrate the difference between what we are being fed and what it could be like. http://www.bellsmyrehousingassociation.info Unfortunately, The Regulator backs the Associations quality of information