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.

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.

View page red arrow

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.

View page red arrow

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.

View page red arrow

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.

View page red arrow

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 beliefs. 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.

View page red arrow

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.

View page red arrow

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.

View page red arrow

Use of section 21 notice

Changes made 28 June 2019

In Sebastiampillai v Parr (Central London County Court, 11 April 2019), the Circuit Judge held that where there had been a change of landlord mid-way through an assured shorthold tenancy and the new landlords failed to provide the tenant with fresh prescribed information when the deposit was transferred to their DPS account, the section 21 notice they served was invalid. The Judge held that the new landlords ‘received’ the tenant’s deposit within the meaning of section 213 of the Housing Act 2004 when the deposit was transferred to the account in their names.

View page red arrow

Restrictions on eligible rents: Social rented sector tenants

Changes made 26 June 2019

In Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Hockley & Anor [2019] EWCA Civ 1080, the Court of Appeal held that in order to determine a claimant's bedroom entitlement for the purpose of regulation B13 of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213 (the ‘bedroom tax’), the local authority must apply an objective test. Individual characteristics of the actual occupiers of a property are irrelevant. The authority must assess objectively whether a room can be used as a bedroom by any of the categories of persons listed in regulation B13, not how a particular household would use the rooms in a particular property.

View page red arrow

Alternatives to legal proceedings

Changes made 25 June 2019

In LGSO complaint number 18 005 370 against Oadby & Wigston BC, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSO) found that the Council had failed to accept a homeless application from a survivor of domestic violence and forced her to remain with her children in unsuitable bed and breakfast accommodation in an area where she continued to be at risk of violence. The LGSO found fault causing injustice and recommended that the Council apologise and pay her financial compensation as well as provide training to its staff to ensure they recognise when a homeless application should be accepted.

View page red arrow

Previous / 1 2 3 4 / Next

Back to top