A busy Thursday for housing law, not yet law, housing benefits and housing misc.
Item one. A Scottish Upper Tribunal is to hear a room size appeal on 18 September. This is one of the first Fife decisions. It is not the lead case in the English Upper Tribunal and may well be the first Upper tribunal decision on room size.
Item two. A new Wirral FTT bedroom decision, A wheelchair user and Consultant Planning Inspector who had always used the second bedroom as a home office, with the landlord’s knowledge from the start, had the FTT declared that the ‘second bedroom’ was not a bedroom.
Item three. Some serious research results from Sheffield Hallam University on the impact of LHA changes since 2010 – caps, reductions in percentile etc.. What look like headlines. Rents didn’t go down. Tenants cut back on essentials to meet shortfall and landlord stopped doing repairs and renovations. Also Central London empties to the outer boroughs in (temporary) search of affordability.
Item four. Following our post on Barnet’s proposed allocation changes, picked up by the local paper, there is now a petition, launched by a Barnet Councillor, on retaining risk of violence as a priority banding category.
Item five. And the winner of non-sequitur of the week! The DCLG announces that the government is going to support Sarah Teather MP’s private member’s bill on retaliatory eviction (on which we will have a proper post very shortly, honest, because this is an important thing). This will likely involve a ban on service of a section 21 for a specified period after a reported and confirmed instance of lack of repair (e.g. Council issued hazard warning or improvement notice).
The RLA promptly issued a press release shrieking ‘Ministers make it easier for nightmare tenants‘ adding ‘Ministers are handing nightmare tenants who bring misery to the lives of their neighbours and landlords alike, another weapon to prevent their removal’. Oddly enough, the RLA press release doesn’t actually address the ‘landlord not doing repairs despite it being confirmed by the council that repairs are needed’ bit of the bill at all.