Residents are now unable to make applications to prohibit landlords from seeking to recover the cost of legal proceedings through the service charge on behalf of other residents, without consent.
There is a change of language from Target Rent to Formula Rents and confirmation:-
- that Formula Rents are to increase annually by the increase in CPI of the preceding September; and
- the end of convergence (unless a waiver is obtained).
The Regulator will only consider issuing a waiver if the inability to continue to converge means that a RP is unable to meet other standards, particularly in respect of financial viability.
These positions will, as we mentioned in our January 2014 Thoughtpiece, cause pressure on some RPs so it is worth reminding providers of where income can be increased. These are:-
- RPs can charge Formula Rents on re-letting
- Where major improvements have been undertaken RPs can have the 30% market value element of the Formula Rent reviewed with a view to charging that revised Formula Rent on re-letting.
Perhaps most significant for the sector in the long-term is the confirmation of “pay to stay”. Properties with tenants and their partners falling into the group known as “Higher Income Social Tenants” or “HISTs” fall out of the Rent Standard, leaving RPs to charge what they wish, but taking into account market forces, the provisions of their tenancy agreements and their governing instruments.
HISTs are tenants, their partners/spouses whose combined household income (no reductions) is more than £60,000 in the relevant tax period. Where several people live in a property the highest two incomes should be taken into account. The period is the full preceding tax year in the year before the Rent Standard. The HCA gives an example that the income received in the 2013/14 tax year would guide the rent payable for the 2015/16 tax year. However, if a HIST household is then subject to a certain and ongoing loss of income, RPs are expected to look again at the rent level. Identification of HISTs, working out what to charge and when that charge needs to be reduced, are certain to occupy RPs over the next few months.
For more information
Natalie Barbosa summarises some of the legal challenges facing fundraisers in the charity sector.
We hosted a breakfast roundtable with Insider Midlands magazine that had attendees from a range of organisations addressing housing needs in the Midlands. The discussion explored JVs in more detail.
The decision of the Court of Appeal in The Harpur Trust v Brazel & Unison has made clear that employers can no longer legally calculate part-time holiday based on 12.07% of hours worked over a year.
Social landlords are seeing a rising number of Equality Act defences to possession proceedings. A recent Court of Appeal decision helps shift the likelihood of such defences succeeding.
On 31 July, the consultation period ended on MHCLG’s proposals for reforming the building safety regulatory system set out in the 'Building a Safer Future' document. We have submitted our response.
For decades now, fewer and fewer services provided by local authorities have been delivered directly by them. However, over the last couple of years, there are signs that this tide is changing.
The Government commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in July 2018. The outcome was published in May 2019 which highlighted areas for improvement.
In 2017, the NCVO commissioned a review of the tax reliefs available to charities. The brainchild of this review was published on 17 July 2019 in the form of the Charity Tax Commission report.
In 2014, the Charity Commission released its first guidance for charities on reporting serious incidents. The Commission has recently updated this guidance.
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.