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Round up of housing law and news: June 2024

A long bookcase containing a variety of books and texts


Debt relief order debt limits

On 28 June 2024, the Insolvency Proceedings (Monetary Limits) (Amendment) Order 2024 amended the Insolvency Proceedings (Monetary Limits) Order 1986 to increase the debt limit for a DRO from £30,000 to £50,000.

The Insolvency (England and Wales) (Amendment) Rules 2024 amended Rule 9.9(2)(ii) Insolvency Rules 2016 to increase the limit on the value of an exempt motor vehicle from £2,000 to £4,000.

Insolvency Proceedings (Monetary Limits) (Amendment) Order 2024

The Insolvency (England and Wales) (Amendment) Rules 2024

Case law

Upper Tribunal sets aside First-tier Tribunal rent decision

A landlord served a section 13 rent increase notice on an assured shorthold tenancy. The new rent was due to start from 31 March 2023, with dates for repair work starting from April. When calculating the market rent in August 2023, the FTT disregarded the need for the repair work as the tenants had not allowed access.

The Upper Tribunal held that anything that happened after 31 March should not affect the market rent calculation. Any unreasonable refusal of access was irrelevant and should not have been taken into consideration.

Alexander & Anor v Middleton [2024] UKUT 182 (LC)

Delay in returning rent was not waiver of forfeiture

When a landlord accepts rent after a tenant has committed a breach of covenant, this can amount to a waiver of the landlord's right to forfeit the lease.

In this case, the landlord instructed the agents not to accept rent but there were delays in returning payments. The High Court held that an unreasonable delay in returning rent could waive the right to forfeit, but the delays were administrative errors by the landlord's agent and did not amount to a waiver.

Tropical Zoo Ltd v Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Hounslow [2024] EWHC 1240 (Ch)

Landlord not entitled to install new heating system for leaseholders

The defendants were long leasehold owners of flats in a block. The High Court declined to make declarations that their landlord was entitled to install a new heating system for the flats.

The court held the new system was a change in the way the leases operated and would introduce additional repairing costs for the leaseholders.

Triplark Ltd v Whale & Ors [2024] EWHC 1440 (Ch)

Location of accommodation for human trafficking victim

The High Court granted an injunction requiring the Secretary of State to provide a victim of human trafficking with accommodation in London.

The claimant had been trafficked to the UK. The Secretary of State initially offered accommodation in Bradford, under the National Referral Mechanism. The claimant refused the offer as she had close emotional and medical support ties to London.

R. (on the application of AB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2024] 6 WLUK 233

News and guidance

Homelessness Code of Guidance

Paragraphs 7.14 and 7.18 of the Homelessness Code of Guidance have been amended following the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) and Persons Subject to Immigration Control (Housing Authority Accommodation and Homelessness) (Amendment) Regulations 2024.

From 7 June 2024, certain people who can enter the UK under immigration rules as a victims of transnational marriage abandonment, and people who have their no recourse to public funds condition lifted by the Home Office, can now be eligible for homelessness assistance.

Homelessness Code of Guidance for local authorities

Open letter to party leaders

Homelessness organisations have written to party leaders, urging them to take action on homelessness and rough sleeping in the next Government.

The open letter was coordinated by Homeless Link and signed by organisations including Shelter, Crisis and St Mungo's.

Over 50 homelessness organisations sign letter to party leaders

Data and trends

Almost 80,000 households benefit capped

The Department for Work and Pensions released statistics showing that, at February 2024:

  • 78,000 households had their benefits capped

  • the weekly average cap was £51, up from £50 in November 2023

  • 1.2% of working age households claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit had their benefits capped

The benefit cap is a limit on the amount of benefits that most working age people can get.

Department for Work and Pensions: Benefit cap: number of households capped to February 2024

11,993 rough sleepers in London

CHAIN and the Greater London Authority released figures reporting homelessness in London.

The report shows that, in London during 2023-24:

  • 11,993 people were seen rough sleeping by outreach workers, the highest recorded by CHAIN and a 19% increase compared to 2022-23

  • 7,974 people were seen sleeping rough for the first time

  • 17% of new rough sleepers were on the streets after leaving asylum support accommodation

London Datastore: Rough sleeping in London (CHAIN reports)

Homeless Link: Highest ever recorded rough sleeping numbers in London

The monthly round up of legislation, cases, news and data from Housing Matters