A housing management solicitor.
I provide non-contentious advice to registered providers of social housing including reviewing and implementing of all types of occupancy agreements, service charges and section 20 consultation, and various management and service level agreements between parties.
- I have provided extensive advice following the Jones v Southwark water charges case to registered providers, reviewing water agreements currently in place to ascertain if similar liability to Southwark, and negotiating changes to water agreements when required.
- I have advised registered providers on annual rent and service charge review letters, ensuring compliance with legal and contractual requirements, most recently tackling the issues raised by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 and the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
- I have provided advice to registered providers on the ‘Right to Rent’ requirements for registered providers.
- I have provided advice in relation to ‘Universal Credit’ and service charges.
In all the action to remove defective cladding, leaseholders have been the elephant in the room. Whilst social landlords might have adopted a wait and see approach private landlords do not have that luxury.
A new Tribunal decision was published in December 2017 that found that a local authority must assess whether a bedroom can physically fit the number of expected children to sleep in it as a bedroom.
The LHA rates are set by individual local authorities working out a median figure of the lower 30% of market rents within their boundaries meaning that the LHA rate varies between local authorities.
In R (on the application of DA) and Others v SSWP  EWHC 1446 (Admin), a challenge was raised by a number of claimants who were (or would be) affected by the benefit cap.
Under Universal Credit, the default position for claimants is that they will receive their benefit payment award monthly in arrears plus one lump sum payment.
The Social Housing Rents (Exceptions & Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 The Social Housing Rents (Exceptions & Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2016 have been amended by the introduction of the Social Housing Rents (Exceptions & Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations of 2017 (The Regulations).
All of the appeals related to the interpretation of the Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Size Criteria) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 regulation B13, which clarifies the circumstances where a claimant is entitled to a bedroom.
Local authorities in England must await further regulations that will “make provision about the levels of rent that they must charge a high income tenant of social housing”.
However, the provisions surrounding social housing rents are in force and further regulations have been drafted in the Social Housing Rents (Exceptions and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”).
From 6th April 2016 a new prescribed form must be used. So do make sure to use it next year (noting for many Registered Provider (RP) clients the only use will be where fixed service charges are used and these mean the “total” rent increases).
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.