Charade, non right to buy and tenant rip off by Riverside

Riverside Housing Association are one of the 5 housing associations complicit in the charade that is the right to buy pilot scheme.  They are now ripping off their tenants in this as the following letter received today by Riverside tenants reveals.

Please see important update at end as just seen sight of accompanying leaflet and oh dear Riverside you really have well and truly misled your tenants here!

riverside 1 rtbpilot


The letter from Riverside’s Chief Executive Carol Matthews says first come first served yet fails to inform the tenant that only 1000 of its 16,000 or so properties in the pilot area is the maximum.  That is about a 6% maximum chance and this is overtly avoided in the blurb.

Yet the letter says to all tenants they need to pay a non-returnable £250 fee and do this before they do anything else and even before seeking legal or mortgage advice!

The letter also fails to say who is eligible or not and that Riverside can choose NOT to sell the tenant their home either or even an alternative Riverside home which are all scandalous omissions by Carol Matthews and Riverside.

The Government propaganda on this non-right to buy pilot and makes no mention of a £250 fee and similarly encourages HA tenants to apply for this non-right and also rips off the tenant.

The RTB pilot criterion of 10 years social residency (the existing RTB is just 3 years) also includes previous social tenancies so Joe Bloggs could have been a social tenant of another housing association for 7 years and then with Riverside for 3 and still qualify.  Riverside is unlikely to know this detail of tenants previous social housing tenure so it is likely they have sent this out to more tenants than who would qualify – Kerching as another non-returnable £250 fee lands in their coffers!!

Riverside claims to have a social mission and ethos like all housing associations claim yet it is acting like Arthur Daley and is, however unwittingly, ripping off its tenants who it has the audacity to call customers and is also doing the Conservative government’s dirty work in this charade.

Surprising really given Riverside has such a large supported housing division when it took over ECHG as the risk to reputation is THE biggest risk in much of supported housing – and Riverside has just blown its reputation to smithereens with this disgraceful letter.

Misinforming tenants, asking for money, overtly omitting pertinent factual information and other errors of omission and commission … Do they deserve to have it blown to smithereens?  Yes indeed!

Below is Riverside’s spiel – Now where does ripping off its tenants – oh sorry “customers”over the (non) right to buy fit reader?

Answers on a back of a fag packet to:

Conservative Central Office, 4 Matthew Parker Street, London SW1H 9HQ

Our strategy is broken down into three objectives

Connected Customers: Improving our customers’ experience by modernising our services and delivering consistency

Resilient lives: Providing a comprehensive range of services to support those customers who need extra help to thrive in their homes

Better Places:  Improving neighbourhoods by investing in our existing homes, building and acquiring new ones and selling stock to focus our geographical footprint.

We will achieve these objectives by following two routes

Great Team: Ensuring our colleagues and board members are well led, fully engaged, supported and rewarded to deliver our strategy. Involving our customers in scrutinising and influencing what we do.

Effective business:  Securing the resources to deliver our objectives, managing them effectively in order to generate the capacity to make choices and do more.

UPDATE 19.50pm

Just seen the accompanying Riverside leaflet and this is just so misleading.

riverside 6a


There are 3 questions and then it is says if you answer YES to all three then you are eligible (and so rush off to pay Riverside £250!)

However Question 1 reads as follows:

Have you been a tenant of a public sector landlord such as a council or housing association for ten years or more?

Riverside claim this will qualify the tenant for the limited right to buy yet this is simply untrue and misleading and factually incorrect.

Imagine you were a tenant of housing association A from 2000 to 2007 which is 7 years, from 2007 to 2010 a private tenant and then a Riverside tenant from 2010 to date which is a further 5 years making 12 years in all.  You have 10+ years as what Riverside claim to be an eligible tenant yet the ten years has seen a break with the private tenancy and the Riverside tenant from 2010 in the above would think they qualify yet will NOT qualify as the ten years has not been continuous.

No doubt Riverside will claim this is an oversight and they have not deliberately misled their tenants, but they still have misled their tenants and badly misled them too with this leaflet they themselves have designed and proofed and then sent out!

I could be mistaken there and the leaflet text could have been designed by Riverside’s chums in the CLG given the complicity of this charade.  However, Riverside will still have put their name to this and will still have misled their tenants, who they have the audacity to call customers.

Dear Customer,

Send us £250 quid for a chance of getting something bigger of up to £78,000 or so.  If you don’t get it and even if you have been misled by us in this process we will still keep your £250.



Carol Matthews

Riverside Group Chief Executive


8 thoughts on “Charade, non right to buy and tenant rip off by Riverside

  1. I got that letter too, I love how Riverside in the leaflet with that letter fail to mention how they fleeced Sharon out of £250 in Sharon’s story. Also I like question 3 on the Your checklist “Do you have the £250 application fee?” an nice euphemism for pay us or fuck off.

    1. No sale can go through until the legislation is passed anyhow which it has not. Further, the Government also have to find the money to pay back Riverside for the discount allowed and as yet they haven’t found this either!

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