An overview of the current legal issues affecting the affordable housing sector.

A key article this month comes from the Social Housing Regulator identifying the key risks facing the social housing sector in 2021 and beyond and is well worth a read. The government have also published the draft regulations for the Building Safety Bill which is progressing through Parliament currently.

Finally, we have been holding lots of interesting events with many more in the pipeline. Don't miss our fantastic and very relevant event hosted by Housing and Regeneration Partner Shazia Bashir and Louise Wilson from Abundance. Shazia and Louise will be discussing the role that innovative green and social funding play in delivering affordable homes that also look after the planet.

If you have any concerns about any of the developments outlined in this update, or if you require any advice on the effect of the developments or on how to respond appropriately, please contact Sarah Hale.

Quick links: 

Events and webinars

Innovating funding to deliver affordable housing with Abundance Investment TLT Webinar | 24 November 2021

Join us for a live webinar in which Shazia Bashir, housing and regeneration partner will be talking to Louise Wilson from Abundance Investment about the role that innovative green and social funding can play in delivering affordable homes that also look after the planet.

SIPP & SSAS Winter Festival 2021 TLT Webinars | 15 – 19 November 2021

Our SIPP & SSAS practice is delighted to invite you to a series of live webinars focusing on the latest industry developments relevant to SIPP & SSAS providers

Bristol Technology Festival 2021: Tech for good TLT Webinar | 14 October 2021

As part of Bristol Tech Festival 2021 we hosted a panel on ‘Tech for good’. We explored the extensive industry expertise of the panellists to look at how technologies such as AI, machine learning, and augmented and virtual reality can be provided and deployed in a way that ensures best intentions at the outset don’t lead to problems down the line.

How are social values shaping our cities? TLT Webinar | 12 September 2021

The way in which our cities are shaped is being driven by changes in working practices and a focus on social values. In this webinar we look at how wellbeing in and out of the workplace and sustainability are shaping our future cities.

Property

Regulator Social Housing identifies key risks facing social housing sector in 2021 and beyond Regulator of Social Housing |19 October 2021

The Sector risk profile sets out the main risks facing the social housing sector and some of the actions registered providers should be taking to manage those risks.

Williams v Parmar & Ors (2021) UKUT 244 (LC) Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) | 6 October 2021

The Upper Tribunal discussed the correct approach to determining the amount of a rent repayment order imposed under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 in respect of an offence of managing an unlicensed house in multiple occupation.

Planning and environment

The Planning Inspectorate Strategic Plan 2021-25 Planning Inspectorate | 20 October 2021

The Strategic Plan centres on the new vision and outlines the objectives it will be delivering over the coming three financial years to make it a reality.

The Climate Crisis: a guide for local authorities on planning for climate change.  Royal Town Planning Institute and the Town and Country Planning Association) | 19 October 2021

The report aims to place the government's net-zero ambitions and building community resilience to severe weather at the heart of the planning system.

TLT & Gerald Eve sustainable places: How can we change our buildings to meet changing requirements? TLT podcasts | 12 October 2021

This episode looks at why occupiers are increasingly choosing green buildings, what future offices are likely to look like and what employees want from their shared working environments.

TLT & Gerald Eve Sustainable places: How can the planning system shape a zero-carbon future? TLT podcasts | 1 October 2021

We will be exploring how proposed reforms to environment and planning legislation will support sustainability measures, and the opportunities this presents for tenants, owners and investors.

TLT & Gerald Eve Sustainable places: What's driving sustainability and the shift to a zero-carbon future?  TLT podcasts | 30 September 2021

In the first episode of Gerald Eve and TLT Sustainable Places series we introduce the concept of sustainability, the changing world of work and the shifting needs and wants of employees, owners, investors and tenants.

Data, privacy and cybersecurity

Fairhurst v Woodard (Case No: G00MK161) County Court at Oxford | 12 October 2021

The County Court found that the use of security cameras and video doorbell had breached the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR by unlawfully processing personal data contained in images and audio files via the cameras.  The claimant also succeeded in her claim for harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Data sharing: a code of practice  ICO | 5 October 2021

A new version of the ICO’s statutory data sharing code of practice (produced under section 121 of the Data Protection Act 2018) came into force on 5 October 2021.  It is a practical guide for organisations about how to share personal data in compliance with data protection law and aims to give confidence to share data fairly and proportionately.

ICO response to DCMS consultation “Data: a new direction” Information Commissioner’s Office | 6 October 2021

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published its response to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's consultation on the future of data protection in the UK, "Data: a new direction".

Employment

Supreme Court rules on bypassing collective agreements TLT Insights | 27 October 2021

The Supreme Court has ruled that a pay offer to trade union members, outside of collective bargaining arrangements, was an ‘unlawful inducement’.

Menopause and disability discrimination TLT Insights | 19th October 2021

On 18 October 2021 we marked World Menopause Day. It is, therefore, timely that, this month, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has provided one of the few binding rulings on this topic. It has considered whether employees experiencing severe menopause symptoms can be protected from disability discrimination.

The rise of the disability agenda TLT podcasts | 11 October 2021

In this episode of Employment Law Focus, we look at the rise of the disability agenda at work and the trickiest areas for employers to get right and how to get the best out of health professionals.

TLT & Gerald Eve Sustainable places: What are occupiers and employees looking for in their buildings? TLT Podcasts | 7 October 2021

Esther Smith and Amy Bryant look at why occupiers are increasingly choosing green buildings, what future offices are likely to look like and what employees want from their shared working environments.

What's my motivation? TLT Insights | 28 September 2021

Can Employment Tribunals look beyond the motivation of a dismissing manager and consider the ‘real’ reason for a dismissal? Only on rare occasions, said the Employment Appeal Tribunal, in a reassuring decision for employers.

Energy

Decarbonising housing associations’ homes to cost £36bn | Savills | 19 October 2021

The National Housing Federation (NHF), which represents housing associations in England, has today revealed that the costs of decarbonising its existing housing stock will cost at least £36bn.

Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 19 October 2021

This consultation sets out proposals to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating systems in homes off the gas grid, as committed to in the 2017 Clean Growth Strategy.

Heat and buildings strategy | Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy | 19 October 2021

This strategy sets out how the UK will decarbonise homes, and commercial, industrial and public sector buildings, as part of setting a path to net zero by 2050.

TLT & Gerald Eve Sustainable Places: Can green finance save the world? TLT podcasts | 14 October 2021

Is green finance the solution to the problem of sustainability, particularly for commercial property owners and investors? This podcast episode introduces green finance and how it is driving both retrofit and new developments.

8 ideas to transform green finance TLT insights | 21 September 2021

Our recent webinar saw experts from TLT, Cornwall Insight, the Green Finance Institute (GFI), Blackfinch and SMBC discuss the UK's green finance market.

Securing the UK's role as a green financial hub TLT Publications | 14 September 2021

Ahead of COP26, Cornwall Insight and TLT spoke to industry leaders about the UK’s progress with building a green finance market and what’s needed to make green finance mainstream.

Governance

Housing Ombudsman launches consultation on three year plan Housing Ombudsman | 14 October 2021

We have launched the consultation on our Corporate Plan for 2022-25 setting out ambitious plans for the next three years. Set within the context of an unprecedented increase in the volume of casework and major change in the social housing sector, the plan reinforces the changing role and importance of complaint handling. 

Health and safety

Health of one in five renters harmed by their home Shelter | 13 October 2021

The health of one in five renters (22%) in England – or 1.9 million households - is being harmed by poor housing, stark new research from Shelter shows.

Quarterly thematic update on progress against the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 recommendations | Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 30 September 2021

On the date of publication, this document outlines the government’s current position on implementation of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 recommendations.

HSE publishes information on safety case requirements for high rise residential buildings under the Building Safety Bill Health and Safety Executive | 24 September 2021

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published details of the safety case requirements which form part of the measures to be introduced by the Building Safety Bill.

Human rights

Local Government Ombudsman: noise complaints uncovered during investigation | Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman | 7 October 2021

An Ombudsman investigation into a woman’s noise complaint has revealed a backlog of hundreds of complaints at Calderdale council. The woman complained to the council during the COVID-19 pandemic about noise nuisance and waste build-up on a neighbouring property

Delivery of support to victims of domestic abuse in domestic abuse safe accommodation services Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities | 1 October 2021

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) have published statutory guidance underpinning the new duties on local authorities relating to the provision of accommodation-based support to domestic abuse victims and their children.

Kerslake Comission report on ending rough sleeping | Kerslake Commission | 23 September 2021

The Kerslake Commission on Ending Rough Sleeping published its final report. The report states that that without urgent action the benefits and lessons learned from the joint working during the pandemic will be wasted, and the number of people having to sleep on the streets will rise again

Regulatory

Government publishes Building Safety Bill draft regulations Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities  | 14 October 2021

These draft regulations provide Parliament with more detail of intentions for secondary legislation.

Understanding the possession action process: A guide for private landlords in England and Wales Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities | 13 October

This guide is for people who are letting a house, flat or any part thereof in England and Wales to tenants in the private rented sector while living in another property. This guide is focused on landlords letting to tenants on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy or an Assured Tenancy.

Ambitious plans to drive levelling up agenda, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, 19 September 2021

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will become the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as the government delivers on its central mission to level up every part of the UK.

Tax

Housing associations to be made exempt from Residential Property Developer Tax HM Treasury | 8 October 2021

Following National Housing Federations conversations with HMT, the draft legislation now includes an exemption for all non-profit groups, including for profit-subsidiaries and joint ventures.

 

Date published

17 November 2021

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