A Further Deposit From the Court of Appeal

Johnson & Ors v Old [2013] 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,
arising under

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Housing Act Changes

Yesterday (25 March) saw the publication on the OPSI website of the The Assured Tenancies (Amendment)(England) Order 2010 which amends Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1988. Despite the long name this order performs the simple task of amending the maximum rent level permitted under the Act from £25,000 to £100,000.

Since, 1990 there had been a provision in the Housing Act 1988 stating that tenancies where the annual rent exceeds £25,000 shall not fall under the Act. This has led to some confusion and a number of iniquitous situations such as Assured tenants having their rent increased to over the threshold and immediately losing their security of tenure. … Read the full post

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Right to buy and Housing Benefit rebates in the Lords

The House of Lords opinions in Hanoman (FC) (Respondent) v London Borough of Southwark (Appellants) [2009] UKHL 29 were handed down today. This was Southwark’s appeal of a Court of Appeal judgment we noted here.

Briefly, Mr Hanoman was a Southwark secure tenant. Southwark had failed to serve a counter notice to Mr Hanoman’s s.122 Notice of right to buy, served in 1999. In fact the counter notice wasn’t served until after a High Court hearing in 2004. S.153B Housing Act 1985 (as amended) kicks in where the tenant has served notice of delay, which Mr Hanoman had. The effect is that rent payable after the notice period in … Read the full post

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What is a locality?

R (on the application of Heffernan) (FC) (Appellant) v The Rent Service) (Respondents) [2008] UK 58 concerns the meaning of locality in para 4(6) of Part 1 Schedule 1 Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) Order 1997.

Locality serves to define the area by reference to which the Local Reference Rent was established and hence the level of Housing Benefit. As the definition of locality is effectively the same for the new system of Local Housing Allowances, the issue is still of importance.

The appeal was from a Court of Appeal judgment upholding a rent officers determination that a locality could be the whole of Sheffield, with outlying rural areas.

Para 4(6) … Read the full post

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HB as rent for RTB

Hanoman v London Borough of Southwark [2008] EWCA Civ 624

Where a local authority landlord has failed to respond to a tenant’s notice in time under the Right to Buy procedure, the tenant can serve an ‘operative notice of delay’ under s.153A(5) Housing Act 1985. The effect of this notice is that the landlord must deduct from the purchase price an amount based on the rent paid during the period of the delay (s.153B).

Does housing benefit, whether as payment, or as rebate on rent payable to local authority, count as rent for the purposes of s.153B?

Simple answer – yes. S.153B makes no prescription as to the source of rent … Read the full post

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