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Round up of legislation, case law, guidance and news: August 2021

Posted on 03/09/21 in Housing Matters

Round up of legislation, case law, guidance and news: August 2021

The monthly round-up from Housing Matters.


Errors in prescribed form of notice seeking possession of secure tenancies 

Between 1 June 2021 and 30 September 2021, notice periods for possession proceedings under the Rent Act 1977, Housing Act 1985, Housing Act 1988 and Housing Act 1996 are governed by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/564). Those regulations contained an error with regard to the prescribed form of notice under section 83 Housing Act 1985. With effect from 24 August 2021, these regulations correct the error and prescribe a revised notice form. Notices served between 1 June 2021 and 23 August 2021 might be invalid if not served on the correct form. 

Secure Tenancies (Notices) (Amendment) and Suspension (Coronavirus) (England) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/946

Right to rent immigration checks

EEA passports and ID cards have been removed from the list of acceptable documents that can be used to prove the tenant’s right to rent. The list of documents in the Schedule to the Immigration (Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) Order 2014 SI 2014/2874 was amended on 1 July 2021.

The Immigration (Restrictions on Employment and Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) and Licensing Act 2003 (Personal and Premises Licences) (Forms) Order 2021 SI 2021/689

Universal credit for self-employed people and minimum income floor

The minimum income floor (MIF) is an assumed level of earnings applied when calculating universal credit for self-employed people. Between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2021 regulations allowed the DWP discretion to suspend it. The DWP stated that they were not applying the minimum income floor during that time. From 1 August 2021 the MIF is being reintroduced. These regulations allow decision makers the discretion to temporarily not apply it in limited circumstances. 

Universal Credit (Coronavirus) (Restoration of the Minimum Income Floor) Regulations 2021 SI 2021/807


LA had no power to consider a late review request from a flexible tenant

The High Court held that section 107E(1) Housing Act 1985 did not give the local authority any discretion to accept a review request of its decision not to grant another flexible tenancy outside of the 21 days’ statutory time limit.

Kalonga, R (On the Application Of) v The London Borough of Croydon [2021] EWHC 2174 (Admin)

Help for children and families who are ineligible for homelessness assistance

The High Court has dismissed a local authority’s claim for judicial review to reimburse the cost of providing support to an asylum-seeking child under the Children Act 1989. The person seeking asylum had been assessed as an adult while in Croydon. The age assessment was revised when she moved to Birmingham. The Court held that the duties under the 1989 Act arose when Birmingham carried out its own age assessment and discovered that the applicant seeking asylum was a child.

R (Birmingham CC) v Croydon LBC [2021] EWHC 1990 (Admin)

Rent repayment order for unlicensed HMO

The Court of Appeal has held that a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) for an unlicensed HMO can only be made against the immediate landlord. This decision overturned previous findings of the Upper Tribunal that it could also be made against a superior landlord.

Rakusen v Jepsen & Ors, Safer Renting Intervenor [2021] EWCA Civ 1150

Guidance and news

Statutory guidance on the new definition of domestic abuse

The Home Office has published draft statutory guidance on the implementation of the definition of domestic abuse in sections 1 to 3 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. The consultation closes on 14 September 2021.

Domestic Abuse Act statutory guidance

EU Settlement Scheme: late applications

The Home Office has announced that EEA citizens and their family members who apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) after the 30 June 2021 deadline will have their rights protected. Landlords are advised to get in touch with the Landlord Checking Service if they have a prospective tenant who has confirmation of a late application to the EUSS. The landlord's guide to right to rent has been updated accordingly.

Temporary protection for more applicants to the Settlement Scheme

Right to rent checks can continue online

The temporary measures allowing for the right to rent checks to be carried out remotely have been extended until 5 April 2022.

Landlord's guide to right to rent checks

FCA remove illegal money lender charges

The FCA has obtained a High Court order against a loan shark to remove around 625 charges, notices and restrictions made against his borrowers’ properties. Mr Gopee acted as an illegal money lender, operating without a consumer credit licence.

FCA Press release

New government debt management vulnerability toolkit

The toolkit is designed to help public sector creditors such as DWP and local authorities support their vulnerable customers. It provides staff with tools to identify and assist people facing physical and mental challenges.

Debt Management Vulnerability Toolkit on GOV.UK

Housing support for people arriving from Afghanistan

MHCLG has launched a portal to collect and process offers of additional housing support for people arriving from Afghanistan, where those offers are for entire homes and from property owners, organisations or companies.

Afghanistan housing portal - offers of support

Expert panel to advise the government on social housing

MHCLG has created a new group of expert organisations from across the housing sector to advise on improvements to social housing sector.

New expert group created to advise on improvements to social housing sector - GOV.UK

Grenfell environment checks stage 2 findings

MHCLG has published findings from stage 2 of the environmental checks.

Grenfell environmental checks stage 2 findings: summary and Q&A from 8 July online meeting - GOV.UK

Dispute resolution in England and Wales: Call for evidence

The Ministry of Justice is seeking views on the dispute resolution service. All interested parties are invited to share their views. The closing date is 31 October 2021.

Dispute resolution in England and Wales: Call for Evidence - Ministry of Justice - Citizen Space