Social Housing monthly law update

May 2020


TLT's monthly law update on all things affecting social housing. Quick links: 

Charities

Joint statement on our regulatory approach during the coronavirus pandemic

Care Quality Commission | 30 April 2020

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic our regulatory role and core purpose to keep people safe has been at the heart of all decisions we have made. Our regulatory role has not changed, and we continue to ensure that health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care.

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Charity Commission Regulatory and Risk Framework

The Charity Commission | 29 April 2020 (update)

Sets out our regulatory approach and how we assess risk when deciding how to deal with individual cases.

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Covid-19: guidance for charity trustees on managing financial difficulties caused by the pandemic

The Charity Commission | 23 April 2020

The Charity Commission has published guidance for charity trustees, especially of smaller charities, on managing financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Covid-19: guidance portal for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations

DCMS | 21 April 2020

The government has published a webpage directing voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to information and advice on how they can provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Covid-19: government announces £750 million support for charities

HM Treasury | 8 April 2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced £750 million of funding to support charities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Commercial

Covid-19: Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 made

Gov.uk | 23 April 2020

On 21 April 2020, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/447) (Amendment Regulations) were made to clarify and expand on the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/350) (Regulations) which impose restrictions on most businesses and organisations that deal with the general public and on individuals' rights of movement and assembly in England.

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Covid-19: The impact and implications for chargebacks and Section 75 claims

TLT Insight | 17 April 2020

The immediate impact of Covid-19 and the Government’s response to it is already having a profound effect on businesses ability to deliver goods and services. In some cases, this has seen flights cancelled and entire fleets grounded, businesses unable to fulfil and/or deliver orders for goods and ultimately, a number of businesses entering insolvency.

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Procurement Policy Note 02/20 on supplier relief FAQs updated

TLT Insight | 21 April 2020

The government has updated its Frequently Asked Questions relating to the scope and application of Procurement Policy Note 02/20 on supplier relief due to COVID-19 (PPN 02/20).

PPN 02/20 was first published on 20 March 2020 and throughout April further guidance, FAQs and model terms have been added.

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Corporate

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme

TLT Insight | 20 April 2020

The UK Government has established the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), to provide a liquidity lifeline for mid-sized corporates in the UK which are either too large to access the smaller Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) (through which loans of up to £5m are made available for companies with turnovers of up to £45m) or who have not been able to access the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Finance Facility (CCFF) which is open to only the largest corporates.

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Guide to the UK Government proposed reforms to the corporate insolvency regime

TLT Insight | 9 April 2020

In response to the profound market disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and to stave off a predicted “tsunami” of corporate insolvencies, the UK Government has announced its plans to enact a series of urgent law reforms, aimed at keeping as many of the affected businesses as possible intact and trading. 

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Data, Privacy and Cybersecurity

Covid-19: ICO publishes Opinion on Apple and Google's joint initiative on contact tracing technology

Information Commissioner’s Office | 17 April 2020

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published an Opinion (2020/01) on Apple and Google's joint initiative to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and public health authorities reduce the spread of COVID-19 (the Contact Tracing Framework).

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Employment

Covid-19: HMRC further updates guidance on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC | 30 April 2020

On 30 April 2020, HMRC published updated versions of its guidance documents Check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (employers' CJRS guidance), Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (employees' CJRS guidance) and Work out 80% of your employees' wages to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (80% guidance).

House of Lords outlines IR35 concerns in letter to Treasury

hrreview.co.uk | 22 April 2020

The House of Lords has written to the Treasury, with a list of concerns it has regarding the roll-out of IR35, which it hopes the Government will address before the roll-out of IR35 in 2021.

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The Job Retention Scheme (Furlough): qualification date change, holiday during furlough and Treasury Direction

TLT Insight | 20 April 2020

Following the announcement of the government’s Job Retention Scheme (‘the Scheme’) on 20 March 2020, the Scheme has now been extended to 30 June 2020, in order to take account of continuing social distancing measures. In addition, updates to the guidance regulating the Scheme now been published, including – amongst other changes – some clarification of the position on holiday and furlough.  The government has also issued a Treasury Direction setting out the legal basis for the Scheme.

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Covid-19: Regulator issues salary sacrifice guidance for large employers

The Pensions Regulator | 17 April 2020

On 17 April 2020 the Regulator published DC pension contributions: COVID-19 technical guidance for large employers.

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Covid-19 and Immigration

TLT Insight | 6 April 2020

The impact of COVID-19 (C19) on employers has become increasingly prevalent as the pandemic has developed, with the UK government taking unprecedented steps to limit job losses and support employers. The situation is especially challenging for organisations who are licenced to sponsor non-EEA migrant workers and could face a number of additional challenges as a result.  In this Insight, we consider the Home Office’s recently-issued guidance and what this means for organisations who employ migrant workers.

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Entrepreneurs' Relief: What's changing?

TLT Insight | 6 April 2020

For some time, the government has considered that Entrepreneurs’ Relief is expensive, ineffective and unfair.

Consequently, many expected the Chancellor to announce the abolition of the relief in the Spring Budget on 11 March 2020. Instead, the Chancellor announced an immediate reduction in the lifetime limit (from £10 million to £1 million) but with anti-forestalling measures applying to certain disposals. The government estimates that these changes will save around £6 billion over the next five years.

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Health and Safety

HSE assembles specialist unit to support UK’s coronavirus response

Health and Safety Executive | 23 April 2020

Britain’s workplace regulator has assembled a team of specialists to assist the Government’s national effort to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health care workers fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Housing

Impact of coronavirus on valuations

National Housing Federation | 29 April 2020

JLL and Savills have published a statement on the valuation of social housing properties during the coronavirus crisis.

The joint statement outlines the practicalities of undertaking valuations during this period, JLL and Savills' analysis of the housing market, and their view on EUV-SH and MV-T valuations.

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Housing law news & policy issues

Lime legal blog | 29 April 2020

Right to rent policy lawful
On 21 April 2020 the Court of Appeal held in Secretary of State for the Home Department v The Joint Council for The Welfare of Immigrants [2020] EWCA Civ 542 that the Government’s ‘right to rent’ policy is lawful.

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Government confirms allocations of £1.6 billion funding boost for councils

MHCLG | 28 April 2020

Individual councils in England have funding allocations confirmed following Local Government Secretary’s announcement of £1.6 billion in additional funding.

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How can housing associations chart a course out of this crisis?

National Housing Federation | 27 April 2020

At the NHF, we’re developing a significant new project with our members that will understand and shape the next few months, and years, as the country emerges from this crisis.

There will be no rapid return to ‘normal’ from this crisis. The physical restrictions needed to control the spread of coronavirus will be with us for months if not years. And the knock-on effect across society and the economy will last far longer. This crisis began just as the decade did, and will profoundly shape the 2020s. 

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Our meeting with the Shadow Housing Minister and other political updates

The National Housing Federation | 24 April 2020

An update on our recent influencing work, including meeting with Labour’s new Shadow Housing Minister and speaking at the House of Lords debate on social care.

We are progressing with our political engagement to ensure that national stakeholders see the vital work housing associations are doing to ensure the safety of their residents throughout the coronavirus crisis.

With parliament back from recess, we have been engaging with ministers and MPs on a range of urgent issues related to the sector’s current priorities, from the need for PPE to the additional help supported housing providers require.

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RSH statements on coronavirus (Covid-19)

Regulator of Social Housing | 17 April 2020 (update)

Update 17 April 2020 – Coronavirus Operational Response Survey and further guidance plus the link below gives access to further updates which are being posted on a regular basis.

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Homes England Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates

Homes England | 15 April 2020 (update)

This page has the latest information about Homes England’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Homes England ramps up development pipeline to support the housing market

Homes England | 14 April 2020

Homes England, the government’s housing agency, has revealed that it acquired 19 sites in the last financial year worth £180 million, with the land having the capacity for 5,000 new homes across the country.

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Housing Infrastructure Fund

Homes England | 7 April 2020 (update)

Information about the Housing Infrastructure Fund - now closed for bids.

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Homes England End of Year Statement

Homes England | 3 April 2020

A statement from Homes England Chief Executive Nick Walkley on the end of the financial year 2019/2020.

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Insolvency

Covid-19: government announces additional emergency measures to protect commercial tenants from winding-up proceedings and enforcement action

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 23 April 2020 (updated 25 April 2020)

On 23 April 2020, the government announced further emergency measures to protect commercial tenants from aggressive enforcement action. These will restrict landlords' ability to issue statutory demands and winding-up petitions and exercise commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR).

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Landlord and tenant

New guidance for social landlords on essential moves

MHCLG | 27 April 2020

  • New guidance asks social landlords to support the most vulnerable to move home – such as those fleeing domestic abuse
  • Key role of social housing sector recognised in helping to free up hospital beds during pandemic

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Covid-19: Key practical considerations for landlords and tenants

TLT Insight | 16 April 2020

We have been busy advising clients on a range of commercial landlord and tenant issues prompted by the current pandemic. This insight distils a few thoughts, questions and even some answers in one place.

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New guidance for landlords on complaint handling and coronavirus

Housing Ombudsman Service | 8 April 2020

Guidance sets out best practice on engaging with the Ombudsman along with guidance on dealing with complaints raised by residents during this time

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Planning and environment

European Social Fund: funding agreements

MHCLG | 30 April 2020 (update)

The European Structural and Investment Funds Growth programme is funding for projects that create jobs and supports local growth.

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Regulatory

Covid-19 regulatory position statements

Environment Agency | 6 April 2020

The Environment Agency (EA) published several temporary regulatory position statements (RPSs) in March and April 2020 clarifying its environmental permitting (EP) enforcement approach during the COVID-19 restrictions.

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This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at May 2020. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.


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