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.

Solutions involving the courts

Changes made 12 July 2019

In Grandison v Joseph [2019] EWHC 977 (Fam), the High Court found that where the husband had failed to comply with an order compelling him to use his best endeavours to release the wife from her obligations as a joint mortgagor by transferring the legal title to a number of jointly owned properties into his sole name, it had been within the court’s discretion to order that the properties should be placed on the market for sale. It was held that ordering for the properties to be sold was not a variation but an implementation of the original order.

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Section 21 notices

Changes made 11 July 2019

Under section 21(1B) of the Housing Act 1988, in addition to serving a valid section 21 notice before issuing possession proceedings, social landlords must give tenants of assured shorthold tenancies granted on or after 1 April 2012 and for a fixed term of at least two years a six-month notice of non-renewal. In Livewest Homes Ltd v Bamber [2019] EWCA Civ 1174, the Court of Appeal confirmed that there is no need for a notice of non-renewal where the tenancy agreement contains a break clause and the landlord relies on it to terminate the tenancy before the natural end of the fixed term, for example in the case of a starter tenancy terminated by the social landlord during the probationary period. The Court held that a notice of non-renewal is required only where the term of the tenancy expires by effluxion of time; not as a result of its premature termination under a break clause. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW: 1 June 2019] With effect from 1 June 2019, the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 SI 2019/915 amend form 6A. From this date landlords must use the new prescribed form for section 21 notices. The principal change reflects the restriction on the use of the section 21 procedure to evict an assured shorthold tenant where the landlord has not repaid a prohibited payment (or unlawfully retained holding deposit), as introduced by the Tenant Fees Act 2019.

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Civil/criminal courts and tribunals

Changes made 08 July 2019

In Point West GR Ltd v Bassi and Ors [2019] UKUT 137 (LC), the Upper Tribunal clarified that the First-tier Tribunal’s powers to review its own decisions under section 9 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 were limited to the points of law that could provide grounds for appeal to the Upper Tribunal under section 11 of the 2007 Act.

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Duty of public authority to refer

Changes made 08 July 2019

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities and stakeholders within the criminal justice system on how to develop prison release protocols. The ‘Prison release protocol guidance: research report’ complements the duty to refer guidance and provides practical suggestions in relation to reducing the risk of homelessness upon release from prison. A link to the guidance can be found under ‘Essential links’ on this page.

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Support for mortgage interest

Changes made 05 July 2019

The DWP has published ‘Easy read: Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI)’, a series of guides explaining what SMI is and how to apply for it. A link to the guides can be found under ‘Essential links’ on this page.

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Right to reside

Changes made 02 July 2019

The Home Office has published guidance on the rights of frontier workers and their family members who wish to live in the UK after its departure from the EU to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. Frontier workers are EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who work in the UK but live elsewhere. A link to the guidance can be found under ‘Essential links’ on this page. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW: 17 May 2019] Since 30 March 2019 (and earlier for people who took part in the trial phases of the scheme from 28 August 2018 to 29 March 2019), EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members wishing to continue to live in the UK after Brexit (ie 'EU exit day') have been able to apply for settlement in the UK under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules and obtain either settled status or pre-settled status. On 14 May 2019 the Home Office published a list of organisations funded to provide help and support to vulnerable and ‘at risk’ applicants, including those with a disability or a mental health condition, victims of human trafficking or domestic abuse, the elderly and those without a permanent address. [PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW: 7 May 2019] With effect from 7 May 2019, the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 SI 2019/861 amend the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/1294 to correct an unintended consequence of the coming into force of the EU Settlement Scheme for EEA nationals and their family members. Until 6 May, people whose 'only right to reside' in the UK was the initial right for three months or as a jobseeker, who also obtained pre-settlement status under the scheme, were eligible for housing and homelessness assistance due to the strict wording in the 2006 Regulations. With effect from 7 May 2019, the Regulations have been amended to clarify that pre-settled status in these circumstances no longer confers them eligibility.

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Changing the terms of the lease

Changes made 02 July 2019

In Triplerose Ltd v Stride [2019] UKUT 99 (LC), the Upper Tribunal held that the mere fact that one leaseholder was not required to contribute towards the cost of repair or renewal of the main structure of the building and to the cost of employing staff or agents did not make their lease unsatisfactory within the meaning of section 35 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. The Tribunal noted that the situation might have been different if the building required major repairs or structural works beyond the means of the lessee-owned company that managed the freehold, however in this case the building was in reasonable state of repair and any shortfall in the service charges was covered by the members of the freehold company.

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Allocation of PRPSH properties

Changes made 01 July 2019

In R (on the application of Z and Another) v (1) Hackney LBC (2) Agudas Israel Housing Association Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 1099, the Court of Appeal confirmed that the housing association’s policy of prioritising members of the Orthodox Jewish community when allocating its social housing stock was lawful. The preferential treatment pursued the legitimate aim of overcoming the disadvantages faced by them because of their religion and believes. Section 193(2)(b) of the Equality Act 2010 did not require a proportionality assessment in cases of positive action by charitable institutions aimed at compensating for disadvantages linked to protected characteristics.

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Sale and rent back schemes

Changes made 28 June 2019

In Sahota v Prior [2019] EWHC 1418 (Ch), the High Court confirmed that the buyers of a sale and rent back property, who had assured the former owners they could live there for the rest of their lives provided they paid rent when due, were estopped from claiming possession at the end of the five year fixed-term assured shorthold tenancy they had granted after the deal. This was because the former owners had relied on that assurance when deciding to enter into the sale and rent back transaction and acted to their detriment. The provider of this fraudulent sale and rent back scheme was Mr Gurpreet Singh Chadda of Birmingham trading under the names Red2Black and B&L Homes; the scheme was advertised in the Sun. In 2013 Mr Chadda was investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for his involvement in several sale and rent back agreements entered into between June 2009 and January 2010 and fined nearly a million pounds, as well as banned from carrying out any further FCA regulated activity.

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Capital and income

Changes made 28 June 2019

Since 3 April 2019 the Home Office has been operating a Windrush Compensation Scheme (WCS) aimed at providing redress to individuals who have suffered financial loss as a result of their inability to prove their right to live and work in the UK. In the HB Circular A8/19, the DWP has confirmed that compensation awarded under the WCS is to be disregarded indefinitely for the purpose of calculating entitlement to housing benefit. The Circular also provides local authorities with information on dealing with claims for loss of housing benefit under the WCS.

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