Happy new year, if at all possible. Some things to await – if not necessarily look forward to – in 2016 (mostly in England).
Possibly will see the Supreme Court judgment in Samin v Westminster CC on EU eligibility for housing. Heard in March 2015.
1 February 2016 – the ‘right to rent’ requirements to be rolled out nationally.
First likely point for private landlords to start to mess up the new Deregulation Act 2015 section 21 requirements for post 1 October 2015 ASTs.
Supreme Court to hear the appeals in MA & Ors on disability discrimination and the bedroom tax.
Supreme Court to hear McDonald v McDonald on the application of human rights defences to private/section 21 possession proceedings.
Reduced benefit cap of £23,000 pa in London/£20,000 pa outside London comes into effect.
Court of Appeal to hear Barrett v Robinson on contractual costs under leases.
Supreme Court to hear the appeal in Edwards v Kumarasamy on extent of interest in land required for landlord’s liability for defects to common parts.
Of unknown date, but looming
Immigration Bill – Extended ‘right to rent’ rules including eviction without proceedings & criminal liability for landlords in breach.
Housing and Planning Bill – As it stands (and there is a long way to go) includes compulsory fixed term secure tenancies, ‘pay to stay’ enabled for council tenants, councils to have to pay the value of ‘more expensive’ properties to Treasury. Various ‘rogue landlord’ provisions on council enforcement against private landlords.
Likely legislation/regulations to extend the definition of mandatory licensing for HMOs to properties below three storeys.
This is, of course, just what we know about now. It is going to be a full, difficult year. For everyone.
As ever, always have a housing lawyer with you at all times…