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).
Warrant applications – beware!
There have been some recent challenges to warrants of possession, on the basis that the “Balance due at date of request” section was not filled in or stated to be £0.00. The court service ultimately accepted that warrants issued on this basis would be invalid/a nullity. This is because CPR 83.26(7) provides that where a warrant of possession is issued in respect of an SPO providing for payments by instalments, the N325 must specify the remaining amount due.
So any N325 where there is a rent arrears element must state the arrears remaining due. PCOL has already been updated so that this figure is required, but watch out where issuing a hard-copy warrant application, or in those cases that contain both anti-social behaviour/other breach of tenancy plus rent arrears elements.
Warrant requests are being returned from the court, but if court staff don’t spot the outsanding amount is missing and then a warrant is issued without certifying the amount due, then there would be a strong argument open to the tenant that the resulting warrant (and so perhaps resulting contested and expensive proceedings over breach of SPO) should be struck out.
Court fee increases
Two court fee changes slipped through on 22nd July 2016 as follows:
- Warrant of possession now £121 (up from £110)
- Injunction application issue fee now £308 (up from £280)
For more information
For more information or advice on these matters please contact Helen Tucker.
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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