Just to note that the 10 joined bedroom tax Judicial Review claims (for initial details see our note) are listed for full hearing on Wednesday to Friday next week (15-17 May). The claims involve a range of challenges to the regulations involving disabled adults, disabled children and children unable to share rooms for other reasons.
More details as soon as we get them.… Read the full post
In which two [now confirmed as four] Housing Associations behave very badly in anticipation of the benefit cap.
Haringey is one of the pilot boroughs for the benefit cap, limiting the total amount of benefit, including housing benefit/LHA (and astonishingly Child Benefit) that any household can receive to £500 per week. The prospective effects of the benefit cap on housing provision and the homeless have become apparent in the astonishing actions of two [now three] Housing Associations.
First up, and in Haringey, Genesis. The Guardian reported on ‘eviction letters’ being send to Genesis tenants because of the benefit cap. Although it isn’t clear from the report, I’ve established that these … Read the full post
The Regulatory Committee of the HCA has published Protecting Social Housing Assets in a More Diverse Sector, which is styled as a discussion paper, but which also contains some thought-provoking questions about how regulation can and should work in a much diversified, increasingly risky and entrepreneurial social housing domain. We are working in an environment which is almost unrecognisable from what it was in the 1990s and perhaps even just a few years ago. This creates regulatory dilemmas about how best to protect assets in the most proportionate manner (a familiar dilemma, and one which does not seem to have been particularly affected by the financial crash, one might … Read the full post
The detail of this may have passed you by at the time, it certainly did me, but amongst the wind and posturing of David Cameron’s ‘big speech’ in March on stopping immigrants from getting things from healthcare to driving licences was quite a significant snippet on the private rental sector.
You have probably already registered the proposals for what Cameron calls ‘state sector’ housing – presumably meaning social housing – which is to introduce statutory allocation guidance:
New migrants should not expect to be given a home on arrival. And yet at present almost one in ten new social lettings go to foreign nationals. So, I am going to introduce
… Read the full post
At the very beginning of social housing, with the Peabody Estates in the 1860s, prospective tenants faced imposed requirements that we would now consider to be extraneous to the tenancy: Mandatory smallpox vaccinations; curfews; and cleaning rotas before 10 am for communal areas, sinks and WCs. But even the Victorian paternalists didn’t lower themselves to the patronising, small minded and teeth-grindingly passive-aggressive approach apparently in vogue for 21st century social landlords
Since the Localism Act, there has been a clear tendency for some local authorities to set conditions on access to social housing and retaining it which go into the realm of prescribing behaviour. Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth and Barnet, for example, have or are … Read the full post
The Legal Aid Agency has released a set of ‘frequently asked questions’ on scope and funding after 1 April just gone. A copy is here. The housing section is at 74-109
There are few surprises, but worthy of note is the position on disrepair:
81. Are damages regarding housing disrepair in scope? Can I claim for work regarding damages as part of the disrepair case?
You must refer to Schedule 1 of LASPO to identify whether a case is in scope and consider specific exclusions outlined in Part 2, Schedule 1. In relation to housing disrepair, Paragraph 35 Part 1, Schedule 1 only describes services in relation to the
… Read the full post
It comes as something of a surprise to many people that there is no formal regulation of lettings agents or any form of structured consumer redress of protection scheme. Apparently, this is something that also bothers our elected representatives, or some of them…a little bit.
Some of the aforementioned elected representatives were seeking to use the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill which is currently in Parliamentary ping pong as a vehicle to do this. I would try to explain what this Bill is actually intended to do but in all honesty it is such a hodge-podge of items the list would extend well beyond your reasonable tolerance. Naturally, this sort … Read the full post