The estate in 2009 consists of about 320 homes. There are 60 houses, over 200 flats with two (or a few with three) bedrooms and 45 one-bedroomed flats or bedsits.
All new tenancies granted on the estate by NB Real Estate for Trinity House are assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs). However, there are several other types of tenancy and ownership on the estate. All are described briefly below. TNRA can give residents help and advice in dealing with various aspects of tenancies.
These tenancies were created by the Housing Act 1988. There are about 160 properties on the estate let on ASTs. This number will increase as other tenancies are given up and new lettings are made.
ASTs on the estate are usually issued for a term of one or two years. They do not have security of tenure, ie, the tenant can be required to leave at the end of the term of the tenancy. NB have told TNRA that, if a tenant wants to stay, s/he would only be asked to leave for a reason, eg, if the tenant had been in rent arrears or if the property needed refurbishing. The rents are market rents, negotiated between the tenant and NB at the beginning of the tenancy and on renewal if the tenant stays for another term.
The landlords are responsible for all internal fixtures and fittings, eg, boilers, central heating, electrical wiring. Usually properties are renovated or redecorated and carpeted before being let.
These tenancies were also created by the Housing Act 1988. On the estate they mostly took the form of 9-year contractual leases. None of these have been issued since about 1995 and approximately 15 assured tenants still remain, holding over under the terms of their original leases as statutory periodic assured tenants.
Assured tenants pay market rents but they, not the landords, are usually responsible for internal repairs. The rents reflect this and so are lower than the rents for comparable ASTs. Under the Housing Act s13 the rent can be increased every year by agreement between landlord and tenant or by the landlord serving a statutory notice on the tenant. The tenant has the right to appeal to a Rent Assessment Committee against the landlord’s proposed rent.
Until 1989, under the Rent Act 1977, almost all tenants had either 8-year contractual leases with responsibility for internal repairs or periodic weekly, monthly or quarterly tenancies under which the landlord was responsible for repairs. About 60 of these ‘protected tenancies’ remain.
Protected tenants have security of tenure and the right to a ‘fair rent’, which is lower than a market rent. Rents for these tenancies can be increased every two years either by agreement between landlord and tenant or by either party applying to the Rent Officer to register a fair rent. There is a right of appeal from the Rent Officer’s decision to a Rent Assessment Committee.
Since 1985, some properties on the estate have been redeveloped and sold on long leases (eg, for 85 years). Trinity House retains the freehold of these blocks which are at:
4–6, 9–11, 45–47 and 59–63 Trinity Church Square
26 and 28 Cole Street and Horsemongers Mews, Cole Street
part of Shaftesbury House, Trinity Street
The blocks in Trinity Church Square and Shaftesbury House are managed by Douglas & Gordon, who report to NB Real Estate. See here for latest management news.
Some of the long leasehold properties are let by their leaseholders on ASTs. These lets are available through local estate agents, not NB Real Estate.
A few houses in Trinity Church Square and Trinity Street have been sold freehold. However, Trinity House continue to assure us that they wish to retain ownership of the estate as a whole.