Obtaining addresses of residents of your housing association when you are building your organisation

As everyone knows, Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Executive Teams and Boards want small, ineffective local resident associations that they can manipulate and control. ,

So a real, democratic,  resident’s organisation which is trying to bring together all residents – tenants, shared owners and leaseholders  – is not likely to get addresses from their housing association (HA).

They do not want us to talk to residents on the doorstep or leaflet them!

So what happens if your CEO and Executive Team flatly refused any information? This is how we did it at Genesis Residents as we organised against the CEO, the Executive Team and Board

Secure tenants (pre 1989). The Valuation Officer Agency. 

  1. Go to  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/valuation-office-agency
  1. The click on ‘The VOA Rent Officers’
  1. Scroll down the page and click on  ‘Find out how much rent you can be charged for a registered regulated tenancy property’
  1. Do not click on the ‘Start Now’ button but scroll down and click on ‘This is a beta version.’ Click on ‘If you’re having trouble with it, use the previous version instead.
  1. Fill in the boxes at the bottom left corner of the screen (but do not enter a full or partial post code). Only fill the registration area you want to find out about. Then fill in the first year that you can find registrations for (usually it is 2003). For tenancy type put ‘Housing Association.’
  1. The click on ‘find’ and you will get a list of every single re-registration of secure rent for that area and that year.
  1. Copy and paste the addresses of your housing association’s addresses onto a list. And there it is – the first address list of secure tenant residents of your housing association.
  1. Repeat this process for each area and each year. It takes a few hours to cover 2003 to 2017 for each area. 
  1. But be aware that this does not include assured tenants. Of course some of these homes will have been sold by the HA.  The list also will not include leaseholders and shared owners. 

First Tier Tribunal hearing – the housing association may have had to disclose addresses of properties in an area. 

Leaseholders tribunals are a useful course of addresses, When a tenants or a leaseholder legally challenges a service charge, they go to what is called the ‘First Tier Tribunal’ (1). 

Housing Associations will often be forced to disclose lists of addresses where they have cleaning or maintenance contracts. 

If you find out residents have challenged service charges, then ask them for the address lists. 

Scan Annual Reports and your housing associations website

Annual Reports and website are a good source of information about new estates or blocks – particularly for ‘affordable rent,’ shared owners and leaseholders of your housing association. 

Google searches are useful if you know when an estate or a block was built or have a name but no address. Often you will be able to find out the address and you can go and check with residents on the estate or block. 

Leafleting tube stations

Tube and station leafleting – we are not kidding. It works! Check where most of your residents are by looking at the annual report of your housing association (they often have maps showing which borough has the greatest concentration of residents).

Then find the largest tube or railway station in that area.

You need a big placard saying something like ‘Are you a resident of a XX housing association? Then come and pick up your leaflet.” 

We got lots of residents, local councillors, journalists and even Genesis staff (who really wanted to talk to us!) stopping and taking a leaflet. 

You also link up with other tenants and residents organisations who might very well be fighting against your own HA management who are more than likely demolishing estates, mugging communities and snatching homes in the area.

Very important point with leafleting at tubes/stations. If someone does take a leaflet, ask them if they are living in a block of flats or an estate and get the name, so you can leaflet there the next time . 

And finally! If you have more tips, please send them to us and we will publish them here!

(1) http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/application-to-the-first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber-2/

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