What's new on Shelter Legal

The pages on Shelter Legal are updated regularly to reflect changes in the law.

This page lists the most recent updates to Shelter Legal.

  • Housing benefit calculation rates 2022 to 2023

    25 March 2022

    Housing benefit calculation rates are the figures used by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to calculate applicable amounts, treatment of capital, disregards, and deductions relevant to a claimant for the calculation of their entitlement to housing benefit. This page sets out the rates applicable from April 2022, as specified in the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022 (SI 2022/292). DWP guidance on the 2022/23 up-rating is contained in HB Circular A11/2022.

    View amended article
  • Eligibility for universal credit

    25 March 2022

    The Social Security (Habitual Residence and Past Presence) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 provide that people who have left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion are exempt from the habitual residence test when making a claim for universal credit and other means tested benefits. This includes British citizens as well as people granted leave to remain under the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

    View amended article
  • Hearings in chambers or in open court

    22 March 2022

    This page has been amended with information about when a court case is listed as a private hearing.

    View amended article
  • Flexible tenancy notice of seeking possession

    14 March 2022

    In Croydon London Borough Council v Kalonga [2022] UKSC 7, the Supreme Court ruled that a landlord can recover possession during the fixed-term of a flexible tenancy by exercising a forfeiture clause or a contractual break clause.

    View amended article
  • Pre-action protocol for tenants and leaseholders taking action against disrepair

    8 March 2022

    The Housing Ombudsman has published guidance for landlords including advice on the Pre-action Protocol for Housing Condition Claims. This page has been updated to include a link to the guidance.

    View amended article
  • Section 21 validity checker

    8 March 2022

    This new interactive tool can help you check whether a section 21 notice is invalid. Answer a series of questions to get information on what makes a notice invalid, including links to relevant pages on Shelter Legal.

    View amended article
  • Rent repayment orders

    8 March 2022

    In Williams v Parmar & Ors UKUT 244 (LC), the Upper Tribunal considered the correct approach to determining the amount of a rent repayment order, and held that First-tier Tribunal should take into account the seriousness of the offence committed and any other factors that appear to be relevant. In Kaszowska v White [2022] UKUT 11 (LC) the Upper Tribunal held that a rent repayment order cannot be made against the director of a company landlord. Mr White was the director of a company which had been managing an unlicensed HMO, and the tenants sought a RRO against Mr White, rather than the company. The tribunal held that a RRO can only be made against the immediate landlord of the tenant and not against a third party. In AA v Rodriguez & Ors [2021] UKUT 269 (LC), the Upper Tribunal found that the First-tier Tribunal had not sufficiently considered evidence suggesting that the landlord was suffering from serious mental health conditions when making a rent repayment order.

    View amended article
  • Sanctions for letting an unlicensed HMO or breaching licence conditions

    7 March 2022

    Before imposing a financial penalty, a local authority must serve a notice of intent on a landlord within six months of having sufficient evidence that an offence has been committed. In Pinto v Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council [2022] UKUT 47 (LC), the Upper Tribunal held that 'sufficient evidence' refers to evidence to prove the commission of an offence beyond reasonable doubt. Where a landlord fails to comply with HMO licencing requirements, there is a general defence of 'reasonable excuse'. In Aytan & Ors v Moore & Ors [2022] UKUT 27 (LC), the Upper Tribunal held that a landlord relying on an agent to inform them of licencing requirements did not give rise to a reasonable excuse defence. In Gill & Anor v The Royal Borough Of Greenwich [2022] UKUT 26 (LC), the Upper Tribunal decided that a local authority can impose separate financial penalties on each of two or more joint landlords where they have breached HMO licencing requirements. The actions of each landlord should be separately assessed.

    View amended article
  • Repossession of leasehold property

    4 March 2022

    For forfeiture proceedings to be available to a freeholder a number of conditions must be satisfied. This includes that the amount of unpaid ground rent, service charges or administration charges is more than £350 in total, or has been outstanding for more than three years. This page has been updated in response to feedback.

    View amended article
  • How liability for rent affects housing benefit claims

    4 March 2022

    In Z.D. v LB of Hillingdon (HB) [2021] UKUT 305 (AAC), the Upper Tribunal held that a claimant who moved into property after the tenant went to prison could not be treated as liable to make rent payments for housing benefit purposes.

    View amended article