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Round up of legislation, case law, guidance and news: April 2022
Posted on 03/05/22 in Housing Matters
The monthly round-up from Housing Matters
Council tax and Homes for Ukraine
These regulations amend the Council Tax (Additional Provisions for Discount Disregards) Regulations 1992 to provide that people sponsored under the Homes for Ukraine scheme are disregarded when assessing whether someone is entitled to a single person discount.
The regulations also amend the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992 to ensure that a person accommodated in an exempt dwelling under the Homes for Ukraine scheme does not affect the exempt status.
Eligibility for homelessness assistance in Wales
These regulations insert a new category of people eligible for homelessness assistance and social housing in Wales.
People who left Ukraine because of the Russian invasion are eligible if they have been given leave in accordance with the Immigration Rules.
Civil Procedure Rules
These rules make amendments to the Civil Procedure Rules 1998, including amending Part 65: Proceedings relating to anti-social behaviour and harassment to include provision that the respondent is made aware of the opportunity to obtain legal representation and to apply for legal aid.
Nationality and Borders Bill
The Nationality and Borders Bill became law on 28 April 2022. The measures it contains will dramatically change the refugee protection system in the UK. Several humanitarian organisations have raised serious concerns about the effects on people seeking asylum and safety on our shores and almost 250 organisations from across civil society have signed a pledge against the measures.
Human rights claim out of time
Mr Rafiq alleged that a local authority had unlawfully made him street homeless for a week in the summer of 2017. The claimant sought monetary compensation and claimed that the local authority had violated his human rights and caused him physical and mental harm. The High Court struck out the claim on the basis that it was out of time.
Suitability of accommodation
The Court of Appeal held that the authority's failure to involve an LGBT liaison officer in its inquiries in addition to a PCSO when considering the suitability of an accommodation offer did not reflect a failure to have regard to a protected characteristic or a disregard of the Public Sector Equality Duty.
The Court of Appeal held that the price paid by a leaseholder to enfranchise their building should be calculated on the assumption that tenant improvements should be disregarded.
Guidance and news
Ukraine guides and research
The government has added Ukrainian and Russian translations to some of its guides and has published a breakdown of the number of visa applications under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Homes for Ukraine: matching and training service
Reset has launched a matching and training service for sponsors and refugees under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This is supported by the government with an initial grant of £300,000.
This House of Commons Library research briefing discusses the policies aimed at meeting the government’s target of ending rough sleeping by 2024.
Right to rent checks: landlord's guide updated
The Home Office has published an updated version of its right to rent guidance for landlords, lettings agents, and homeowners.
Building safety bill
This House of Commons library briefing covers amendments to the Building Safety Bill. The government has updated its factsheets.
Tackling domestic abuse
The Home Office has published a policy paper outlining the government’s approach to tackling domestic abuse.
Regulation of private renting
The Public Accounts Committee has published a report on the regulation of the private rented sector in England. The findings include that around 13% of privately rented properties contain Category 1 hazards.
Right to Buy guides
The government has updated its Right to Buy guides to reflect new discount levels from 6 April 2022.
Vagrancy Act consultation
The government has published the consultation on an effective replacement for the Vagrancy Act 1824 with responses required by 5 May 2022. It has also published a factsheet.
The government has published an evaluation of local authority interventions to improve standards in supported accommodation. The pilots were run to identify ways to improve quality and value for money.
The ban on charging ground rent on new leases in England and Wales comes into force on 30 June 2022.
New civil legal aid Keycard
The Legal Aid Agency has published Keycard 58 and updated the means assessment guidance to reflect changes to dependants' allowances, state benefits and tax rates in force from 11 April 2022. The Keycard is intended as a quick reference point for making financial determinations for civil legal aid including Legal Help.
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