Last edited 29 Jun 2016

Housing tenure


[edit] Introduction

The term ‘housing tenure’ refers to the legal status under which people have the right to occupy accommodation.

Forms of tenure in the UK are:

[edit] Owner occupation

The person, or home owner, owns the property in which they live. This allows them to modify or adapt the land or property as they wish, subject to appropriate regulations and permissions. Since people do not always have the capital required to purchase a property outright, owner occupation is often secured on the basis of a mortgage re-paid over a set period of time. The property acts as security for this loan.

Owners may be:

  • Freeholders, owning the ‘title absolute’ of the property, that is, ownership of the land and any immovable structures attached to it, outright in perpetuity.
  • Long leaseholders, abe to use the property for a specified period subject to conditions set out in a lease with the freeholder.
  • Commonholders, with collective ownership of the freehold of property.

[edit] Council housing

Also known as social housing, these are properties that are built and owned by local authorities who rent them to people on low incomes or with other vulnerabilities at affordable rates.

Social rented housing may also be owned by private registered providers or other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements.

[edit] Private renting

Private rented properties are owned by a private landlord and rented out to tenants. Landlords are largely responsible for the maintenance and safety of the property rather than the tenants.

[edit] Housing association

Housing associations are independent, not-for-profit organisations that provide social housing for those in need. They are also known as ‘registered social landlords’ or ‘private registered providers of social housing’. They provide houses for rent and sometimes offer shared-ownership schemes where it is possible to purchase a share (between 25% to 75%) of a property. A mortgage is required for the share that is purchased, and rent is paid on the remainder.

[edit] Land trust

This is where either a private, non-profit organization works to conserve land, or where there is an agreement that the trustee will hold ownership of a property for a beneficiary.

[edit] Property guardianship

A property guardian is someone who lives in a building that would otherwise be left empty and in return for taking care of the building pays a very low level of rent. This type of tenure has been promoted as a new and affordable means of living in expensive urban areas such as London. Guardians are expected to live in the property on a full-time basis, ensuring it is secure and well-maintained.

[edit] Squatting

Squatting is knowingly entering a residential building as a trespasser and living there, or intending to live there. Since September 1st 2012 squatting in residential premises is a criminal offence, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 6 months or a fine of up to £5,000.

[edit] Affordable rented housing

Let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent.

[edit] Intermediate housing

Homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels. These can include shared equity, other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing).

[edit] Monotenure

The term ‘monotenure’ is used to describe the land tenure of a development or area, where one form is particularly prevalent over the others. Such areas are often targeted by local authorities and developers for diversifying the mix of tenures and thereby created a more mixed community.

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references