Sometimes landlords identify properties that they no longer want or that don’t fit their strategy; so, they seek to sell it off. Usually they fall into one of these considerations...Read more

Property Disposal (Agenda Edition 2)

(subjects for Tenants Groups to discuss with their landlord)

View the Launch Video

Published: 28th October 2020

Background about the Agenda

Some tenant groups have asked us for topical agenda items/subject briefings for their tenant group to discuss with their landlord.  TPAS Cymru have created a briefing series that we call ‘The Agenda’ which provides tenant groups with an overview of a subject and suggestions questions you might want to ask in your engagement with your landlord.  This briefing will be focused on the following:

Property disposals

Sometimes landlords identify properties that they no longer want or that don’t fit their strategy; so, they seek to sell it off. Usually they fall into one of these considerations:

  1. hard to let,
  2. unable to upgrade to the Welsh Housing Quality standard or too costly to maintain
  3. they are properties that are not ‘core territory’ for that landlord to service and maintain

After 2019, Welsh social landlords no longer needed Welsh Government’s permission to sell any off of their housing. To be honest, we haven’t heard of any real issues to date in Wales, but a few Welsh social landlords have mentioned to TPAS Cymru that they plan to dispose of individual homes that don’t fit their future plans. There isn’t much point being the landlord of properties where nobody wants to live, or they can’t be economically upgraded to the standard they wish to provide.

It is however a much bigger issue in England, with some landlords swapping/selling significant blocks of housing. For example, recently one landlord sold 154 homes to another landlord with tenants living in them. Another Landlord was criticised for selling a number of sheltered housing blocks to a financial investment firm.  This bigger issue in England (and Scotland) concerns us.

From my experience, what happens in England seems to come to Wales eventually. Also, the de-carbonisation agenda (making homes much more energy efficient), could potentially mean some landlords look to dispose of ‘tricky to fix’ properties. Therefore, TPAS Cymru would urge tenants to seek to co-produce and clarify your landlord’s policy & guidelines now. This should ensure any future disposals are done ethically and inline with the sectors social purpose. 

Questions for Tenant groups to ask:

  1. What is your landlord’s policy for property sales? Do they have a policy?
  2. If so, have tenants been consulted on it?  
  3. Did Board discuss and sign off the policy?
  4. If there is a policy, does it contain details about:
    1. What criteria do they use for identifying potential disposals?
    2. Is it clear and transparent about the rationale for the sale?
    3. What consultation/communication/notice will take place with residents and local stakeholders?
    4. Would they sell a property with a tenant living in it?
    5. Do they first agree to seek to sell the property to another housing association, local authority or a local community, voluntary or charitable organisation?
    6. Where this is not possible, it will explore alternative options including community asset transfer or conversion to a community asset.
    7. Do they agree that a last resort will be to sell on the open market, attaching conditions to ensure the property and its occupants are a positive presence in the area?
  5. What happens to any funds raised?
  6. What is the process for revising the policy and what is the tenant engagement process for making revisions?

We hope this Agenda has been of interest.

Do let us know what you think of The Agenda series and if you have done anything different as a result of this or any of the briefings we have produced. 


Tenant Voice sponsor

The Agenda is part of program of a work looking to amplifying the voice of tenants.  We are very grateful for Pobl Group who sponsor our tenant voice work.


We would also like the thank Welsh Government for part funding TPAS Cymru as an organisation and to Wales & West Housing for the year-round lead sponsorship.