This is a question to the blog clinic from Glyn whose mother is a protected tenant.
My 90yr old mother is suffering from heart failure and as her only son, I would like to be able to take care of her with my wife.
Her home – my birth home, was privately rented since 1956, in 1977 my father died of a heart attack. Soon after that the adjoining building was taken over by Church’s Housing trust in 1980. They moved us into that adjoining building in order to do renovations.
We ended up staying in that building (flat) because my mother could not take the trauma of another move. I have been away since 1990.
Can I take succession when she dies: if so, how may she best support my return and must I live there for the last year of her life? Thank you.
Almost certainly your Mother will be a protected tenant, either a joint original tenant with your father or as a successor to your Father after his death as his spouse. If she is a successor tenant then as she is a spouse she will have taken a protected tenancy too.
As a child both of the current tenant and the original tenant (your Father), upon your Mother’s death, you will be entitled to a tenancy by succession provided you have been living in the property for at least two years before her death.
However, you will not be entitled to another Rent Act protected tenancy. Family members take an assured tenancy.
The main difference is that you will not be entitled to a ‘fair rent’ and so your landlord will almost certainly want to increase the rent to a market rent. As fair rents tend to be very low, this could be a substantial increase.
The other significant difference is that ‘serious rent arrears’ is a mandatory ground for possession for assured tenancies but not for protected tenancies.
However, in view of your Mother’s age, your main problem will be the prospect of her death before the two-year deadline, which will prevent you from succeeding to the tenancy at all.
If anyone wants to check all this the rules are set out in Schedule 1 of the act.