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Round up of housing law and news: January 2024

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Right to rent - increase in maximum amount of civil penalty from £3,000 to £20,000

This order increases the maximum penalty which may be imposed on landlords for entering into a residential tenancy agreement with a person disqualified from renting in the UK because of their immigration status. The change applies from 13 February 2024.

The Immigration Act 2014 (Residential Accommodation) (Maximum Penalty) Order 2024/81 (

Right to rent - new code of practice on determining amount of civil penalty

This order brings into force a new code of practice on determining the amount of a ‘right to rent’ civil penalty to be imposed on non-compliant landlords from 15 February 2024. The new code of practice specifies the factors to be considered when determining the amount of a civil penalty under sections 23 and 25 of the Immigration Act 2014 (the Act). The new code comes into force on 13 February 2024.

The Immigration (Restrictions on Employment and Residential Accommodation) (Codes of Practice) (Amendment) Order 2024/78 (

Right to rent new code of practice | Home Office

Local housing allowance rates to increase to 30th percentile for 2024/2025

This order amends relevant housing benefit and universal credit legislation from 31 January 2024. It affects how rent officers will determine local housing allowance rates for private rented sector properties from April 2024. DWP has published indicative rates for 2024/2025 based on the 30th percentile of market rents collected in the 12 months ending 30 September 2023 across Great Britain.

The Rent Officers (Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Functions) (Amendment) Order 2024/11 (

Indicative Local Housing Allowance rates for 2024 to 2025 | Department for Work and Pensions

Age assessment of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

New regulations specify scientific methods that can be used when assessing the age of asylum-seeking people who claim to be minors but do not have enough evidence to prove it. From 10 January 2024, decision makers will be able to rely on dental x-rays, hand and wrist radiographs, and MRI of the of the femur, tibia and clavicle to settle age disputes.

The Immigration (Age Assessments) Regulations 2024/19 (

Asylum support increased rates

From 15 January 2024, these regulations amend relevant legislation to increase the weekly cash payment made to asylum seeking people from £40.85 to £49.18, increase the additional weekly support for pregnant women and young children from £3.00 to £5.25, and for babies under 1 year old from £5.00 to £9.50. The regulations also extend the eligibility for additional weekly payments for young children to children aged 3 years old, and revoke the Asylum Support (Amendment) Regulations 2022/78 which set out the previous cash amounts payable.

The Asylum Support (Amendment) Regulations 2023/1372 (

Council tax reduction scheme uprated rates

New regulations amend relevant council tax legislation from 9 February 2024. They set new figures to use when calculating if persons of pension age are entitled to a reduction in council tax and the amount of that reduction. Council Tax information letter 1/2024 provides further details of the changes.

Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2024/29 (

Council Tax information letter 1/2024 | Department for levelling Up, Housing & Communities

Higher-risk buildings - standards and people safety

These regulations bring into force various provisions of the Building Safety Act 2022 from 16 January 2024. These includes rules about the registration of occupied higher-risk buildings, duties regarding the assessment and management of building safety risks, obligations to collate and report safety information to the Health and Safety Executive, requirements about residents’ engagement and in relation to enforcement.

The Building Safety Act 2022 (Commencement No. 6) Regulations 2024/40 (

Higher-risk buildings – collating and reporting safety information

New regulations come into force on 16 January 2024. They make provision about what information and documents must be collated and kept about higher-risk buildings. Higher-risk building is defined in section 65(1) of the Building Safety Act 2022 as a building that is at least 18 metres in height, or has at least seven storeys, and contains at least two residential units. The definition is supplemented by the Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023.

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Keeping and Provision of Information etc.) (England) Regulations 2024/41 (

The Higher-Risk Buildings (Descriptions and Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 2023/275 (

Social tenant rights and complaint mechanisms – government direction to Social Housing Regulator

The government has issued a direction to the Social Housing Regulator to set standards for social landlords to provide information to tenants about their rights. The Regulator is due to introduce a new suite of consumer standards that will come into effect in April 2024. It is anticipated that the provision of information requirements covered by this direction will form part of that suite of standards.

Direction on the Regulatory Standards (Provision of Information) 2024 – GOV.UK (

Case law

Tenant with ADHD and autism evicted for ASB excluded from housing register

In a judicial review against the local authority, the High Court held that the authority was entitled to exclude a tenant diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism from the housing register after being evicted from social housing due to complaints from neighbours for anti-social behaviour.

Willott, R (on the Application Of) v Eastbourne Borough Council [2024] EWHC 113 (Admin) (

Young person classed as 'former relevant child' after council asked family friend to accommodate them

A young person accommodated by a family friend after they were asked to leave the family home while they were 17 was a ‘former relevant child’ after turning 18 and fully entitled to social services’ support and accommodation under section 23C of the Children Act 1989.

BC, R (On the Application Of) v Surrey County Council (2023) EWHC 3209 (Admin) (

Vulnerable asylum-seeking person in unsuitable Home Office accommodation was entitled to assistance from the council

When assessing if the needs of an asylum-seeking person under the Care Act 2014 included more suitable accommodation, a local authority should ignore any provision of accommodation by the Home Department under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The refusal of the local authority to provide suitable accommodation regardless of its duty and knowledge of that person’s suffering amounted to a breach of articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Interim relief was granted.

TMX, R (On the Application Of) v London Borough of Croydon & Anor [2024] EWHC 129 (Admin) (

News and guidance

Homelessness and hospital discharge guidance

The government has issued new guidance for staff involved in planning to discharge patients at risk of or experiencing homelessness, or who have no recourse to public funds. It includes examples of best practice, including step by step guides and example pathways, which can be adapted to suit local practices, for discharging patients.

Discharging people at risk of or experiencing homelessness – GOV.UK (

EU Settlement Scheme - updated guidance on late applications

The government has updated the caseworker guidance on EU Settlement Scheme and introduced some flexibility for late applicants for decisions made from 16 January 2024. The changes might benefit people holding permanent residence, returning residents, and certain children of relevant EEA family permit parents.

Changes to treatment of some late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme in new guidance | Free Movement

Social rent limits from April 2024

On 4 January 2024, the government published details of the maximum rent increases that social landlords can apply in 2024/25. For most tenancies, the maximum increase is 7.7 per cent, giving a maximum weekly rent of £188.04 for a 1 bed property, rising to £243.13 for 6 or more beds. These limits apply from April 2024.

Rent Standard and guidance – GOV.UK (

Awaab’s Law – consultation on addressing emergency hazards within 24 hours

The government has launched a consultation proposing new legal requirements for social landlords to address quickly hazards including damp and mould. The consultation proposes new legal requirements for social landlords to investigate dangerous hazards within 14 days, start fixing within a further 7 days, and make emergency repairs within 24 hours. They will be expected to keep clear records to improve transparency for tenants, showing every attempt is made to comply with the new timescales. Failing landlords can be taken to court where they may be ordered to pay compensation to tenants. The consultation closes on 5 March 2024.

Awaab’s Law: Consultation on timescales for repairs in the social rented sector – GOV.UK (

Press release Emergency hazards to be repaired in 24 hours through Awaab's Law Open call for evidence – GOV.UK (

Household Support Fund - families struggling with energy bills should speak to their council for help

People struggling with the cost of energy bills this winter are being encouraged to speak to their council about the financial help available from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Household Support Fund. The Fund was first launched on 6 October 2021, and has been extended several times. This latest extension lasts until 31 March 2024.

Press release Vulnerable people encouraged to seek help with energy bills – GOV.UK (

Help for Households – GOV.UK (

Domestic abuse survivors moving on from temporary supported accommodation

New research by the Office for National Statistics has found that domestic abuse survivors experience barriers in moving on from temporary supported accommodation in England. The research found that survivors experienced barriers accessing and moving on because of a lack of available accommodation and suitable options, because of lack of information on accommodation types and available support, and due to having to navigate complex processes and not feeling involved in decisions affecting them.

Women who have survived domestic abuse and their experiences of temporary safe accommodation in England: January to June 2023 | ONS (

Data and trends

Private rents in December 2023

On 17 January 2024, the Office for National Statistics published its index tracking the prices paid for renting property from private landlords in the UK. It shows that, in the 12 months to December 2023:

  • private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 6.2 per cent

  • annual private rental prices increased by 6.1 per cent in England, 7.1 per cent in Wales and 6.3 per cent in Scotland

  • within England, London had the highest annual percentage change in private rental prices at 6.8 per cent, while the North East saw the lowest at 4.6 per cent

Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, UK: December 2023 | ONS (

Housing supply 2023 indicators

On 24 January 2024, the Office for National Statistics published statistics to provide an indication of the levels of and trends in new housing supply in England. They show that, between July and September 2023:

  • the number of dwellings where building work has started on site was 21,300, amounting to 68 per cent decrease compared to the previous quarter and 52 per cent decrease compared to the same quarter of the previous year

  • there were 39,990 dwellings completed, amounting to a 1 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter and 5 per cent decrease compared to the same quarter of the previous year

Housing supply: indicators of new supply, England: July to September 2023 - GOV.UK (

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