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.

  • Right to rent immigration checks

    21 June 2021

    This and related pages have been updated to reflect the upcoming changes to the right to rent regime: The period during which the temporary coronavirus-related safety measures apply has been extended to 31 August 2021 (inclusive of). From 1 September 2021 landlords must check the original copies of documents or access the online portal for checking the prospective tenant’s right to rent. From 1 July 2021 EEA nationals and their family members can no longer rely on their passports or national ID cards to establish the right to rent and require a domestic UK immigration status. People with settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme have an unlimited right to rent. Those with pre-settled status qualify for time-limited right to rent. The draft code of practice for landlords that will apply to right to rent checks carried out on or after 1 July 2021 has been updated to reflect this change.

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  • Covid-19: Protection for tenants

    21 June 2021

    This and related pages have been updated to reflect the fact that the minimum notice period for notices served between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 2021 is four months. The changes to the minimum notice period requirements have been introduced by The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/564 which amend Schedule 29 to the Coronavirus Act 2020. Regulation 3 of The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) and Suspension (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/562 amends the prescribed notice forms for assured and assured shorthold tenants. This page has been updated to include the recent changes to the government guidance on possession action for tenants. The guidance currently advises that bailiffs should not proceed with eviction if they have been made aware that a tenant or someone living with them has coronavirus symptoms, has tested positive for Covid-19, has been told to self-isolate by the NHS or is waiting for the result of a coronavirus test. The stay on enforcement of warrants expired on 31 May 2021.

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  • Debt relief orders and possession

    18 June 2021

    On 29 June 2021 the financial eligibility limits for a debt relief order application will change. The Insolvency Proceedings (Monetary Limits) (Amendment) Order 2021 SI 2021/673 increases the debt limit, surplus income limit and asset limit. The debt limit is increased from £20,000 to £30,000. The surplus income limit is increased from £50 per month to £75 per month. The asset limit is increased from £1000 to £2000. These changes take effect for DRO applications made on or after 29 June 2021. The page has been updated with the new limits in the key information section.

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  • Breathing space debt moratorium and possession proceedings

    17 June 2021

    In Axnoller Events Ltd v Brake and another; Brake and others v Chedington Court Estate Ltd [2021] EWHC 1500 (Ch) the High Court held that for a debt to be included in a breathing space or mental health crisis moratorium it must be for a liquidated sum. An order for costs to be assessed at a future date did not meet the criteria to be included in a mental health crisis moratorium. [Previous what's new 2 June 2021 Practice Direction 70B sets out the procedure for applications and notifications to court under the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. It directs the court to adjourn proceedings to the next open date after a breathing space ends for a standard breathing space moratorium. For a mental health crisis moratorium the court must adjourn generally and conduct a review for directions after six months. ]

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  • Renting rights of property guardians

    17 June 2021

    In London Borough of Southwark v (1) Ludgate House Limited (2) Andrew Ricketts (Valuation Officer) [2020] EWCA Civ 1637, the Court of Appeal held that an office building had been correctly included in a non-domestic ratings list. The Upper Tribunal had erred in its interpretation of the contract and was wrong to conclude that the guardians were in rateable accommodation of their own rooms.

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  • Covid-19: Reactivation of possession proceedings

    17 June 2021

    For claims issued before 3 August 2020 where no reactivation notice was filed before 30 April 2021, the claim is automatically stayed. A claimant must use form N244 and pay the relevant fee to lift a stay. [Previous what's new 3 June 2021 This and related pages on Shelter Legal have been updated to include the latest information about the mediation service which is currently available at the review stage of possession proceedings. On 28 May 2021 the government published separate guidance on the Rental Mediation Service.]

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  • EU Settlement Scheme

    11 June 2021

    In R (The 3million Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1159 (Admin), the High Court refused permission for a judicial review of the digital-only status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme. The Court held that because the policy would be fully implemented from 1 July 2021, the evidence of its potential discriminatory impact on people who are elderly, disabled and on the Roma community was not available at the time the application was made.

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  • Local authority statutory nuisance duties

    9 June 2021

    In Allen v Ealing LBC [2021] EWHC 948 (Admin), the High Court held that a notice under section 82(6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 had been validly served by addressing it to the ‘London Borough of Ealing’. The notice was sent using recorded delivery and signed for by an employee of the local authority. The High Court held that the provisions in section 160 of the 1990 Act in relation to addressing the notice to the chief executive or town clerk of a local authority are permissible and not mandatory. It was sufficient for the notice to be delivered or posted to the registered or principal office of business of a body corporate without naming a specific addressee.

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  • Sanctions for letting an unlicensed HMO or breaching licence conditions

    9 June 2021

    This and related pages on Shelter Legal have been updated to reflect the Court of Appeal decision in In Sutton v Norwich CC [2021] EWCA Civ 20. The Court of Appeal has held that while local authorities should be careful to avoid double punishment when issuing civil penalties for offences committed under section 249A of the Housing Act 2004, the total amount of penalties against the company and its director can exceed the £30,000 threshold. The Court has held that there is no rule requiring the penalty to be determined first and then apportioned between the company and its director.

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  • Rent repayment orders

    9 June 2021

    This page has been updated with advice for Rent Repayment Order (RRO) applicants on recovery of their fees and a reminder that Tribunals rarely award legal costs. The page also reflects recent cases dealing with the Tribunal’s discretion as to the RRO amount. Full rent paid is the maximum that the Tribunal can award, but the Tribunal decides on the amount after considering circumstances such as the conduct of the landlord and the occupier. However, the Tribunal's discretion is limited, and the amount must be a maximum that the tribunal has the power to order in cases set forth by section 46 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. 12 months' rent is the maximum which a landlord could be ordered to repay irrespective of the number, timing or duration of the offences. PREVIOUS WHAT'S NEW 2 June 2021: In Irvine v Metcalfe and others [2021] UKUT 60 (LC) the Upper Tribunal dismissed the landlord’s appeal against a rent repayment order and held that the fact that a property had been let to a company which sublet it to individual tenants did not relieve the owner of being in control of an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO), as specified in section 72(1) of the Housing Act 2004. Managing an unlicensed HMO is one of the offences listed in section 40(3) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 that gives the First-tier Tribunal the power to make a rent repayment order (RRO). The Upper Tribunal’s decision follows the reasoning in Rakusen v Jepsen [2020] UKUT 298 (LC).

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