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News and updates

Expert commentary and legal updates covering housing, homelessness, debt, and benefits.

Articles by topic

Housing, debt, and related articles by practitioners, for practitioners.

Homelessness and allocations

January 2024

Housing law by numbers

Jodie Adams, a new Shelter adviser, shares her guide to the key legal jargon used in homelessness advice, from section 184 to section 202.

October 2023

Delays in homeless applications

How advisers can challenge local authority delays in homelessness applications, including case studies of Ombudsman decisions which consider delays.

September 2023

How to check an allocations policy

How to check whether someone is eligible to join the housing register and what priority they might receive.

June 2023

How to help rough sleepers in hot weather

Charlie Howard sets out how professionals can support rough sleepers in hot weather, including new heat-health alerts.

May 2023

The armed forces covenant: impact on housing

Madeleine Hunter explains what the armed forces covenant is and how it affects the housing rights of veterans.

February 2023

Intentionally homeless after eviction for rent arrears

Recent judgments about a local authority assessment of a homeless applicant's ability to pay rent on their former home.

January 2023

How to make a homeless referral

How and when to make a referral to a local authority or to help someone make a homeless application.

When a tenant is legally homeless after a section 21 notice

How local authorities should assess if someone is legally homeless after they receive a section 21 notice from their landlord.

December 2022

Emergency accommodation for rough sleepers in winter

Emergency accommodation options available to rough sleepers, who are at a significantly higher risk of harm and death when the temperature drops.

October 2022

Local authority duties to prevent and relieve homelessness

Local authorities have duties to prevent and relieve homelessness for all homeless applicants who are eligible based on their immigration status. 

July 2022

Preventing homelessness in a cost of living crisis

Charlie Berry sets out how local authorities can use financial assistance to prevent households reaching crisis point.

January 2022

Repeat homeless applications

What a local authority must do when a person reapplies as homeless following a previous decision. 

July 2021

Homeless rights of family members of EEA nationals

When a family member of an EEA national might be eligible for homelessness help based on their status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

June 2021

Homeless applications by EEA Nationals

When someone from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland can get homelessness help from a local authority.

Possession and eviction

August 2023

Timing of a breathing space moratorium

Shelter’s Specialist Debt Advice Service answer your questions about the timing of a breathing space moratorium.

March 2023

Breathing space and possession proceedings

Shelter's Specialist Debt Advice Service answers tricky questions about how breathing space can prevent eviction for rent arrears.

Illegal eviction and claims against the police

In Jansons v Latvia, the police’s failure to intervene in an illegal eviction was found to be a breach of the person’s Human Rights.

May 2022

Enforcement of court judgments older than six years

Permission to enforce a court order outside the six-year time limit should not be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances.

January 2022

Mediation for housing possession cases

Professor Lisa Whitehouse draws on the views of those on the frontline of eviction cases to assess the appropriateness of mediation.

November 2021

What to look for when checking a notice

Shelter's Helpline Plus advisers outline the basic principles of checking whether a landlord's notice is valid.

What next for housing possession?

Mark Bowden shares lessons learned from the pandemic and considers the challenges that lie ahead.

October 2021

A year of court duty advice in the pandemic

Mark Bowden shares experiences from Shelter's court duty advisers acting for tenants and borrowers in possession proceedings.

September 2021

When landlords cannot use section 21 notices

John Gallagher sets out the conditions that landlords must comply with to serve a valid section 21 notice.

June 2021

Section 21: getting the dates right

John Gallagher examines the rules governing section 21 notices, focusing on basic notice requirements.


June 2024

Living in service family accommodation Q&A

Answers to questions about service family accommodation, including the future accommodation model, disrepair rights and universal credit.

February 2024

Landlord troubles, tenant woes

How landlords' rising mortgage costs are colliding with the cost of living crisis affecting tenants.

September 2023

Agricultural workers housing rights

A potted history of the rise and fall of agricultural workers housing rights and what advisers should look out for today.

February 2023

How local authorities can deal with rogue landlords

Ben Reeve-Lewis explains how rogue landlords take advantage of the social housing shortage, and what local authorities can do about it.

May 2022

Who can succeed to a social housing tenancy?

An explanation of who can inherit a secure or assured tenancy after the original tenant dies.

Housing conditions

April 2024

The changing role of the Housing Ombudsman

The Housing Ombudsman’s complaints handling code is now a statutory requirement for social landlords, and it has new powers to address systemic issues in social housing.

August 2023

Social housing regulation - what, why and when

The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 paves the way for significant changes and improvements to the social rented sector.

Regulation of supported housing: next steps

The Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 sets out to introduce changes to how supported exempt accommodation is regulated.

February 2023

Awaab's law: upcoming changes to the law on damp and mould

Recent developments on damp and mould in rented housing, following the death of Awaab Ishak in his parents’ housing association home.

Debt and money

June 2024

Company director disqualification

Luke Oliver explores the strict requirements for company directors who apply for a debt relief order, and the consequences for failing to follow them.

January 2024

Council tax liability orders: the price of non-payment

Jake Winters looks at when a local authority can add costs to a liability order, and how a client can challenge unreasonable costs.

December 2023

IVA termination: the road to debt relief

Syedur Rahman and Kate Cook take an in depth look at reasons for IVA termination, how the termination process works, and the options for debtors whose IVA has failed.

November 2023

Pensions and enforcement of judgment debts

Aadal Shafiq examines recent caselaw, revealing a growing trend to prioritise creditors' rights in debt recovery from pension funds.

Advising on a mental health crisis moratorium

Chris Sykes and Sarah Mills of Shelter’s Specialist Debt Advice Service answer your questions on when a person can enter a mental health crisis moratorium and how to apply.

October 2022

Advising rent guarantors

Alexa Walker explains how to advise a guarantor who has been asked to pay a tenant’s rent debt.

March 2022

Homeowners' rights at the end of their mortgage term

Housing Matters talks to experts about the problems borrowers can face at the end of their mortgage term.


October 2022

Universal credit after a joint tenant or partner leaves

How universal credit can help following a relationship breakdown or when a joint tenant leaves the home. 

August 2022

How universal credit rules stop hostel residents from moving on

Brian Matthews discusses how problems with arranging benefit deductions can impact their housing situation.

Deductions from universal credit for hostel service charges

Sarah Ventress explains how the rules for deductions have changed since the legacy benefit system.

Court action and complaints

October 2023

Checking eligibility for legal aid

Nicola McEwen, Professional Support Lawyer at Shelter, outlines the tests applicable to clients in need of civil legal aid for a housing issue, and how to check if they are eligible.

Monthly round-ups of housing law, news and cases


June 2024 round up

Changes to the DRO debt limits, updates to the Homeless Code of Guidance, and rough sleepers in London.

May 2024 round up

Suitability rules for new arrivals to the UK, mediation for small claims and a report into armed forces accommodation standards.

April 2024 round up

New enforcement powers for the Regulator of Social Housing, case law on allocations, the third reading of the Renters (Reform) Bill and data on refugee homelessness.

March 2024 round up

Extension to reduced suitability rules for new arrivals to the UK, new complaint rules for social landlords, case law on deposit protection and data on domestic abuse support.

February 2024 round up

The progression of leasehold reforms, case law on joint tenancies, the new Migrant victims of domestic abuse concession and data on section 21 evictions and rough sleepers.

January 2024 round up

Right to rent changes, social rent limits from April 2024, case law about young person classed as 'former relevant child' after council asked family friend to accommodate them, and more.


December 2023 round up

Call for evidence on the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill, case law on banning orders and spent convictions, and London councils report growing number of homeless refugees.

November 2023 round up

Council tax in HMOs, case law on local authority statutory duties and lack of resources, and the increase in LHA rates from April 2024.

October 2023 round up

Emergency homelessness legislation for people fleeing the Israel-Hamas conflict, a new how to rent guide, and data on statutory homelessness in England.

September 2023 round up

Regulations on social housing standards, case law on medical priority and the housing register, and damp and mould guidance for landlords.

August 2023 round up

The Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023, case law on out of area offers to discharge the main housing duty and the new Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service.

July 2023 round up

Legislation on social housing and supported housing, case law on intentional homelessness, a Housing Ombudsman special investigation.

June 2023 round up

Draft regulations for asylum seeker accommodation, case law on out-of-area placements, DWP third party deductions for utility debts.

May 2023 round up

The Renters (Reform) Bill, homelessness eligibility for people evacuated from Sudan, Heat-health alerts.

April 2023 round up

Case law on surrender of a joint tenancy, training for social housing residents, data on deaths of people experiencing homelessness.

March 2023 round up

Eligibility for Support for Mortgage Interest, case law on rent repayment orders, data on rural homelessness.

February 2023 round up

Welsh homelessness guidance, case law on section 13 rent increase notices, new damp and mould legislation, data on rough sleeping.

January 2023 round up

Eligibility for housing assistance for victims of trafficking or modern slavery, fire safety for high-rise buildings, case law on allocations.


December 2022 round up

Case law on a notice naming the wrong tenant, news about social housing reform, children in temporary accommodation over Christmas.

November 2022 round up

Major changes to renting in Wales, the introduction of the Armed Forces Covenant duty, news about damp and mould in social housing.

October 2022 round up

Priority need for people who are ‘street homeless’ in Wales, case law about overcrowding rules for an HMO, renting in the cost of living crisis.

September 2022 round up

LHA shared accommodation rate exceptions, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in social housing, changes to Civil Procedure Rules.

August 2022 round up

Case law on failure to stop an eviction, new landlord and mortgage possession statistics, a consultation on social rent setting.

July 2022 round up

The Building Safety Act 2022, a court ruling on out-of-area accommodation offers, London's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.

June 2022 round up

Housing assistance for people fleeing Ukraine, court decision on no recourse to public funds, tenant’s liability for sub-tenant eviction.

Case studies

Read advice we have given on local authority homelessness applications, rent arrears, tenancy rights, and more.

Case studies

Our Expert Advice Service gives specialist webchat and telephone advice for housing and homelessness problems, free to professionals who qualify for the service.

Homelessness and allocations

Local connection and domestic abuse

A local authority refused a homeless application from a person fleeing domestic abuse.

Emergency accommodation for street homeless care leaver

A social worker contacted the advice line about a street homeless 20 year old care leaver.

Emergency accommodation for trafficking victim

An advice agency contacted our advice line when a trafficking victim was asked to leave their UK Visas and Immigration accommodation.

Repeat homelessness application u-turn

A local authority refused to accept a repeat homeless application.

Priority need application for homeless young person

A local authority had found an 18-year-old with learning difficulties not in priority need after a homeless application.

Possession and eviction

Successful possession claim defence

An advice worker contacted the advice line about their client who was threatened with eviction after time abroad caring for a sick relative.

Possession claim on succession tenancy withdrawn

Our expert adviser helped Citizens Advice get a local authority possession claim withdrawn.

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