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 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
Johnson & Ors v Old  EWCA Civ 415
The Court of Appeal has been turning its mind to another of the odd questions that has sprung from the fertile litigious bosom of tenancy deposit protection. In this case the argument was over the question of rent payable in advance.
The Law and The Problem
In s212(8), Housing Act 2004 there is a definition of a deposit as follows:
“tenancy deposit”, in relation to a shorthold tenancy, means any money intended to be held (by the landlord or otherwise) as security for—
(a)the performance of any obligations of the tenant, or
(b)the discharge of any liability of his,
… Read the full post
An appeal against conviction on an illegal eviction case. We didn’t report it at the time, but in R v Jay Allen & Razwan Mohammed, in Sheffield County Court, September 2012, Jay Allen was convicted of illegal eviction under section 1(3A) Protection from Eviction Act 1977. A newspaper report is here.
In short, the tenant, who was in rent arrears, was threatened. The altercation was partly recorded by the tenant. An extract runs:
JA – “Right, get your stuff. I want you to leave, go.”
T – “You can’t just kick me out on the street.”
JA – “I am. I am doing.”
T – “It’s against the law that
… Read the full post
According to this article, the Residential Landlords Association are up in arms about the European Court of Human Rights being about to rule on article 8 defences in a case affecting private land owners. Richard Jones, the RLA policy director (and a solicitor who some might think should really know better) is quoted as saying:
“If Europe decides that respect for the home provisions within the Human Rights Convention apply to private landlords this will lead to a mass exodus of landlords, causing untold misery for those in desperate need of a place to live.”
There are a few problems with that statement, but perhaps the most immediate one … Read the full post
So, I gave a talk on the deposit scheme post Localism Act on Tuesday morning, then surface to immediately find word of a new wheeze being tried by landlords. Just how quickly can one become outdated?
The Housing Act 2004 as amended by the Localism Act 2011 and in force from 6 April 2012 appears to say that if a deposit has not been protected within 30 days (or by 7 May 2012 for deposits taken before 6 April 2012), then no section 21 notice may be served unless the deposit (with agreed deductions) has been returned to the tenant or dealt with in s.214 proceedings by court order.
The … Read the full post