What’s new

The pages on Shelter Legal are updated regularly to reflect changes in the law. This page lists the most recent updates to Shelter Legal.

Making a claim for universal credit

Changes made 16 August 2019

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published a new guide for staff supporting prisoners and prison leavers with making and managing claims for Universal Credit (UC). The ‘Supporting prison leavers: a guide to Universal Credit’ offers information on how to prepare for making a claim for UC, how to submit it, what help with housing cost is available when in prison and how to access support from DWP and other organisations. The guide is part of a collection of resources available on the DWP’s ‘Universal credit and prison leavers’ web site, a link to which can be found under ‘Essential links’ on this page.

View page red arrow

Family of workers and self-employed

Changes made 15 August 2019

With effect from 15 August 2019, the Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 SI 2019/1155 amend the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 SI 2016/1052 to give effect, among other, to the decision of the European Court of Justice in SM (Algeria) v Entry Clearance Officer, UK Visa Section [2019] CJEU C-129/18 where the Court held that where a child was placed in the care of a EEA national under a ‘kafala agreement’ (which under Islamic law is akin to guardianship but does not give rise to a parent-child relationship), the child would qualify as an 'extended family member' of the EEA national, rather than a 'family member' as direct descendant. The amendments also clarify that the category of 'extended family members' can include relatives of an EEA national's spouse or civil partner. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW 15 August 2019]: Following users’ feedback, the section on primary carers of children in education of EEA workers (‘Baumbast’/’Ibrahim’ derivative right to reside) has been updated to clarify the conditions that have to be met in order for the primary carer to obtain a right to reside under reg 16(4) Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 SI 2016/1052.

View page red arrow

Tenant fees: overview

Changes made 14 August 2019

HM Courts & Tribunal Service has published ‘Guidance on applications and appeals under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (TFA3)’. The guidance offers advice on the processes (e.g. where a tenant wishes to recover a prohibited payment from a landlord/agent), the forms and the associated fees, including applications under the ‘Help with Fees’ scheme. A link to the guidance can be found under ‘Essential links’ on this page. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW 5 August 2019]: In response to users’ feedback, the information relating to the Tenant Fees Act 2019 has been amended to clarify what happens where a tenancy/licence is renewed on/after 1 June 2019 and the parties agree for the landlord/agent to re-use a deposit the occupier paid in respect of a pre-June 2019 agreement. Where a tenancy/licence is renewed for another fixed-term, this is treated as a new applicable agreement. If the deposit already held by the landlord/agent (i.e. paid in respect of a pre-June 2019 agreement) exceeds the five or six weeks’ rent cap and is to be ‘transferred’ to cover the new fixed-term started, the landlord/agent is under an obligation to repay any amount above the cap. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW 19 June 2019]: The Tenant Fees Act 2019 bans landlords and letting agents from requiring a tenant, licensee or other 'relevant person' to pay fees, other than 'permitted payments', in connection with specified private rented sector tenancies/licences. In response to users' feedback, this page of Shelter Legal has been amended to clarify that local housing authorities, the Greater London Authority or organisations acting on their behalf are excluded from the definition of relevant person under the Act and can make any payments in connection with any tenancy/licence when acting on behalf of tenants/licensees or guaranteeing their rent.

View page red arrow

A8 nationals

Changes made 12 August 2019

In AM v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (ESA) [2019] UKUT 215 (AAC), the Upper Tribunal confirmed that, following the outcome of SSWP v Gubeladze [2019] UKSC 31, a Lithuanian national who had worked in the UK between January 2009 and February 2010, before becoming unable to work due to temporary incapacity, had retained worker status for the purpose of claiming employment and support allowance (ESA) in March 2015. The Upper Tribunal expressed concern that the claim’s history provided by the Department for Work and Pensions to the First-tier Tribunal lacked accuracy. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW: 7 August 2019] The Department for Work and Pensions has issued Memo ADM 14/19 - Right to reside: UC, and Memo DMG 11/19 - Right to reside: IS, JSA, ESA & SPC to provide guidance to local authorities' decision makers on the effects of the Supreme Court decision in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Gubeladze [2019] UKSC 31. It advises that decision makers should no longer refuse A8 EEA workers the right to reside on the grounds of not having complied with the Worker Registration Scheme between 1 May 2009 and 30 April 2011. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW: 19 June 2019] The restrictions to the right to reside in the UK imposed on A8 nationals by the Worker Registration Scheme were originally due to expire on 30 April 2009, but were extended until 30 April 2011 under the Accession (Immigration and Worker Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 SI 2009/892. In Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Gubeladze [2019] UKSC 31, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the extension of the Scheme was unlawful under EU law and that the 2009 Regulations should be disapplied. Therefore, periods of unregistered employment of A8 nationals in the period from 1 May 2009 to 30 April 2011 can be taken into consideration when determining, for example, whether they have retained worker status and/or acquired a permanent right to reside in the UK. From 1 May 2009, A8 nationals have the same rights of residence as other EEA nationals.

View page red arrow

Eligibility for universal credit

Changes made 09 August 2019

The Department for Work and Pensions has updated its guidance on the entitlement to benefits and pensions for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens if the UK leaves the EU without a deal to improve the explanations of different rights and add a link to sign up for email updates. A link to the ‘Benefits and pensions for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK if there's a no-deal Brexit’ can be found under ‘Essential links’ on this page. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW 18 July 2019]: In MW v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (UC) [2019] UKUT 184 (AAC), the Upper Tribunal held that where the claimant had acquired a permanent right to reside under EU law as an extended family member of an EEA national, she was to be treated as satisfying the basic condition for entitlement to universal credit under section 4(1)(c) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (presence in Great Britain) and was not prevented from being treated as habitually resident under regulation 9(2) of the Universal Credit Regulations 2013 SI 2013/376. The claimant was therefore eligible to claim universal credit, despite the fact that the type of permanent right to reside she had acquired was not specifically listed in regulation 9(4) of the Regulations. PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW 24 May 2019]: From 15 May 2019 new benefits claimants who are mixed-age couples (where only one member of the couple has reached state pension age) must claim help with their housing costs through universal credit (UC). The Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 31 and Savings and Transitional Provisions (Amendment)) Order 2019 SI 2019/935 introduces two exceptions for mixed-age couples, where either the older member of the couple is in receipt of severe disability premium (SDP), or the younger member is ineligible for UC on specified grounds, such as not satisfying the habitual residence test. Detailed information and case studies are available in the DWP Guidance A9/2019, published on 21 May 2019. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW: 15 May 2019] With effect from 15 May 2019, article 5 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 31 and Savings and Transitional Provisions and Commencement No. 21 and 23 and Transitional and Transitory Provisions (Amendment)) Order 2019 SI 2019/37 removes the entitlement to housing benefit of 'mixed age couples', one of whom is over and the other under the qualifying age for pension credit. From that date, such couples will no longer have the option of claiming pension credit and housing benefit and will have to claim universal credit. The Department for Work and Pensions have written to all current housing benefit and pension credit claimants to advise them of the effects of this should their circumstances change.

View page red arrow

Complaints about social care

Changes made 08 August 2019

The British Institute of Human Rights has published an on-line tool for members of the public who are experiencing challenges relating to the provision of care and treatment, their advocates, families and carers. The tool provides information on what the human rights are and how they can help resolve care-related problems, including difficulties around the provision of community care. The tool is for information purposes only and should not be used as legal advice or guidance. A link to the ‘Know your human rights’ on-line tool can be found under ‘Essential links’ on this page.

View page red arrow

When can an appeal be used?

Changes made 07 August 2019

In Adesotu v Lewisham LBC [2019] EWCA Civ 1405, the Court of Appeal held that where a homeless applicant appealed a homelessness review decision in the county court under section 204(1) of the Housing Act 1996 on the grounds of alleged unlawful discrimination pursuant to sections 15,19 and 149 Equality Act 2010, the grounds were outside of the county court’s jurisdiction. It was held that the scope of section 204 was limited to the points of law arising from the review decision and that, despite similarities between section 204 of the 1996 Act and a claim for judicial review, section 113(3)(a) of the Equality Act 2010 did not apply to homelessness appeals in the county court. The Court also noted that where the applicant had notified the authority that she was ‘a patient of depression’ and had informed them of a previous suicide attempt, this could not have been said to put the authority on notice that the applicant was disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010. Whether the applicant was disabled depended on the findings of fact, therefore it was held to be out of scope for homelessness appeals under section 204(1) of the Housing Act 1996 and a discrimination claim would have to be brought as a civil case.

View page red arrow

Right to rent immigration checks

Changes made 05 August 2019

On 2 August 2019, the Home Office updated its guidance 'A short guide on right to rent' to include information on how to conduct checks on visitor nationals from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States (the B5JSSK nationals) who are visiting the UK for up to six months and have entered the UK via an eGate. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW: 29 May 2019] On 13 May 2019 the Home Office published guidance on the right to rent checks for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens after Brexit, with information for landlords and letting agents on how to carry out checks on those nationals and their family members before and after the UK leaves the EU. This confirms that until 1 January 2021 there will be no change. Landlords and letting agents should continue to conduct right to rent checks in the usual way, generally by checking and making a copy of passport or identity card. This regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal. The guidance confirms that landlords and agents will not need to check if new EU, EEA and Swiss tenants arrived before or after the UK left the EU, or if they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain. New guidance on how to carry out right to rent checks from 1 January 2021 will be issued in due course.

View page red arrow

Local connection

Changes made 05 August 2019

In response to users’ feedback, the information relating to the local connection provision in section 199(6) of the Housing Act 1996 has been clarified to specify that a local connection acquired by a former asylum seeker as a result of being accommodated under section 95 of the of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (asylum support) by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) lasts indefinitely and that it does not prevent the applicant from establishing a local connection elsewhere, for example as a result of securing employment in a different area.

View page red arrow

Wales: eligibility for help

Changes made 02 August 2019

With effect from 19 July 2019, the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (Wales) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2019 SI 2019/1149 amend the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (Wales) Regulations 2014 SI 2014/2603 to add two further classes of persons subject to immigration control who are eligible for homelessness assistance under Welsh legislation. These are: Class H - unaccompanied refugee children who have been relocated to the UK and granted limited leave to remain under para 352ZH of the immigration rules, and Class I - persons granted Calais leave to remain under para 352J of the immigration rules. In addition, the 2014 Regulations are amended to clarify that having been granted pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (i.e. limited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the immigration rules) does not in itself confer eligibility for housing assistance to EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who are otherwise ineligible. From the same date, the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 SI 2019/1041 make the same amendments in respect of eligibility for an allocation of social housing.

View page red arrow

Previous / 1 2 3 4 / Next

Back to top