BBC News reported on the effect of the Retaliatory Eviction provisions in the Deregulation Act, some 16 months on. A large scale FOI request produced the result that only 19% of councils had recorded stopping even 1 retaliatory eviction through service of an Improvement Notice or Emergency Remedial Action Notice. This does not come as any surprise, given what we already knew about the paucity of inspections after complaints and then the even dramatically smaller number of notices served.
I did a stint on BBC2 Victoria Derbyshire on the story – that’s me on the sofa. Without a tie, and in an informal jacket. Because orders from the BBC. (The programme is here, see about 1 hour 15 mins in).
There was also the slightly surreal experience of recording advice on disrepair and possession in 5 second snippets for Radio 1 Newsbeat. And saying ‘Hi’ cheerfully, on instructions. This did not come naturally.
The story got a lot more attention – including the main news programmes, so there may be hope of the Deregulation Act provisions and/or funding of LA enforcement being subject to some closer scrutiny in the future.
Also, if you missed it, Channel 4 Dispatches had a dispiriting if not surprising programme in which council homeless units unlawfully turned away ‘secret shoppers’ fleeing DV, with depression and with learning difficulties. Haringey and Barnet, amongst other councils, blamed ‘training issues’. Of course they did. With the Homeless Reduction Bill going through Parliament, it remains sad to see councils still trying to avoid the point of the Supreme Court decision in Hotak/Johnson/Kanu. Funding of homeless provision was quite rightly raised, though.
Closer to home, a couple of bits about the blog.
I’m having problems with the software for the email updates. It has taken to stripping out dates in square brackets from case references. It has also taken to doing away with margins on at least one post if the update has two or more. This is mostly fine, but reading on a phone means text goes right up to the screen edge. These are both making me tear my hair out and the software provider is being less than helpful. I hope to have either resolved this or change software shortly.
And then we seem to have had a lot of job ads lately. We run them for free, basically as a service to readers – those advertising and those maybe looking for a job. But there have been a lot. And I’m not sure how great it is when they threaten to outnumber the actual housing law posts.
So, I’m wondering – do we keep running them, or not at all (no exceptions, either way, that would not be right)? Any strong views, either way? Let me know in the comments. An absence of strong views will mean the status quo continues.