The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
A proposal to raise the County Court and PCOL court fees for any claim for possession of land by £75 each is out for consultation. The Government estimates this will generate an additional £17 million in income and is driven by the need to make the courts self financing.
This proposal would cover all types of possession claims such as those based on rent arrears, ASB/breach of tenancy cases as well as squatter/unlawful occupier claims.
More details on the proposals and how to reply are found on page 28 of the Enhanced Court Fees document. The six week consultation period started on 16 January and runs until 27 February 2015.
You can email replies to email@example.com.
There is also a proposal to increase the fee for general applications from £50 to £100 for without notice applications and from £155 to £255 for on notice contested applications. It appears the Government proposes not to increase the fee for applications to extend or vary an injunction to protect someone from harassment or violence (see para 112) which would be relevant to ASB cases.
Court fee increases for money only claims
Court fees for money only claims are definitely increasing following an earlier consultation (probably coming into force from April 2015). See para 65 of the above document for details. The Government has decided to introduce:
- an enhanced fee to issue money claims which will be 5% of the value of the claim;
- set a maximum fee of £10,000 for the issue of proceedings for claims with a value of £200,000 or more.
The money claim fees might reduce the number of claims for compensation brought against social landlords, however fee exemptions for persons in receipt of welfare benefits still apply.
Landlords are urged to note the potential impact on their budgeting and to reply to the consultation before the above deadline.
For more information
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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