Expert commentary and legal updates covering housing, homelessness, debt, and benefits.
News and updates
November housing round up
Rough sleepers in cold weather
Pensions and debt enforcement
Agricultural workers rights
Tenant or lodger?
Homeless application delays
Mental health and debt
Timing of a breathing space
Allocation of social housing
Articles by topic
Housing, debt, and related articles by practitioners, for practitioners.
Homelessness and allocations
How advisers can challenge local authority delays in homelessness applications, including case studies of Ombudsman decisions which consider delays.
How to check whether someone is eligible to join the housing register and what priority they might receive.
Charlie Howard sets out how professionals can support rough sleepers in hot weather, including new heat-health alerts.
Madeleine Hunter explains what the armed forces covenant is and how it affects the housing rights of veterans.
Recent judgments about a local authority assessment of a homeless applicant's ability to pay rent on their former home.
How and when to make a referral to a local authority or to help someone make a homeless application.
How local authorities should assess if someone is legally homeless after they receive a section 21 notice from their landlord.
Emergency accommodation options available to rough sleepers, who are at a significantly higher risk of harm and death when the temperature drops.
Local authorities have duties to prevent and relieve homelessness for all homeless applicants who are eligible based on their immigration status.
Charlie Berry sets out how local authorities can use financial assistance to prevent households reaching crisis point.
What a local authority must do when a person reapplies as homeless following a previous decision.
When a family member of an EEA national might be eligible for homelessness help based on their status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
When someone from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland can get homelessness help from a local authority.
Possession and eviction
Shelter’s Specialist Debt Advice Service answer your questions about the timing of a breathing space moratorium.
Shelter's Specialist Debt Advice Service answers tricky questions about how breathing space can prevent eviction for rent arrears.
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.
Permission to enforce a court order outside the six-year time limit should not be granted unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Professor Lisa Whitehouse draws on the views of those on the frontline of eviction cases to assess the appropriateness of mediation.
Shelter's Helpline Plus advisers outline the basic principles of checking whether a landlord's notice is valid.
Mark Bowden shares lessons learned from the pandemic and considers the challenges that lie ahead.
Mark Bowden shares experiences from Shelter's court duty advisers acting for tenants and borrowers in possession proceedings.
John Gallagher sets out the conditions that landlords must comply with to serve a valid section 21 notice.
John Gallagher examines the rules governing section 21 notices, focusing on basic notice requirements.
A potted history of the rise and fall of agricultural workers housing rights and what advisers should look out for today.
Ben Reeve-Lewis explains how rogue landlords take advantage of the social housing shortage, and what local authorities can do about it.
An explanation of who can inherit a secure or assured tenancy after the original tenant dies.
The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 paves the way for significant changes and improvements to the social rented sector.
The Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 sets out to introduce changes to how supported exempt accommodation is regulated.
Recent developments on damp and mould in rented housing, following the death of Awaab Ishak in his parents’ housing association home.
Debt and money
Aadal Shafiq examines recent caselaw, revealing a growing trend to prioritise creditors' rights in debt recovery from pension funds.
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.
Alexa Walker explains how to advise a guarantor who has been asked to pay a tenant’s rent debt.
Housing Matters talks to experts about the problems borrowers can face at the end of their mortgage term.
How universal credit can help following a relationship breakdown or when a joint tenant leaves the home.
Brian Matthews discusses how problems with arranging benefit deductions can impact their housing situation.
Sarah Ventress explains how the rules for deductions have changed since the legacy benefit system.
Court action and complaints
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
Council tax in HMOs, case law on local authority statutory duties and lack of resources, and the increase in LHA rates from April 2024.
Emergency homelessness legislation for people fleeing the Israel-Hamas conflict, a new how to rent guide, and data on statutory homelessness in England.
Regulations on social housing standards, case law on medical priority and the housing register, and damp and mould guidance for landlords.
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.
Legislation on social housing and supported housing, case law on intentional homelessness, a Housing Ombudsman special investigation.
Draft regulations for asylum seeker accommodation, case law on out-of-area placements, DWP third party deductions for utility debts.
The Renters (Reform) Bill, homelessness eligibility for people evacuated from Sudan, Heat-health alerts.
Case law on surrender of a joint tenancy, training for social housing residents, data on deaths of people experiencing homelessness.
Eligibility for Support for Mortgage Interest, case law on rent repayment orders, data on rural homelessness.
Welsh homelessness guidance, case law on section 13 rent increase notices, new damp and mould legislation, data on rough sleeping.
Eligibility for housing assistance for victims of trafficking or modern slavery, fire safety for high-rise buildings, case law on allocations.
Case law on a notice naming the wrong tenant, news about social housing reform, children in temporary accommodation over Christmas.
Major changes to renting in Wales, the introduction of the Armed Forces Covenant duty, news about damp and mould in social housing.
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.
LHA shared accommodation rate exceptions, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in social housing, changes to Civil Procedure Rules.
Case law on failure to stop an eviction, new landlord and mortgage possession statistics, a consultation on social rent setting.
The Building Safety Act 2022, a court ruling on out-of-area accommodation offers, London's Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.
Housing assistance for people fleeing Ukraine, court decision on no recourse to public funds, tenant’s liability for sub-tenant eviction.
Read advice we have given on local authority homelessness applications, rent arrears, tenancy rights, and more.
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
A local authority refused a homeless application from a person fleeing domestic abuse.
A social worker contacted the advice line about a street homeless 20 year old care leaver.
An advice agency contacted our advice line when a trafficking victim was asked to leave their UK Visas and Immigration accommodation.
A local authority refused to accept a repeat homeless application.
A local authority had found an 18-year-old with learning difficulties not in priority need after a homeless application.
Possession and eviction
An advice worker contacted the advice line about their client who was threatened with eviction after time abroad caring for a sick relative.
Our expert adviser helped Citizens Advice get a local authority possession claim withdrawn.