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Social Housing monthly law update - October 2019

TLT's monthly law update on all things affecting social housing

To help you keep up with the law and comply with registered provider standards, this monthly law update covers the current legal issues affecting the social housing sector.

It includes the main legislative and case law developments and statutory guidance issued for Social Housing sector from the last two months, with links to the relevant sources to find out more.

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Charities

Bristol housing charity sanctioned for misconduct and mismanagement

The Charity Commission | 25 September 2019

Charity Commission concludes investigation into Bristol Sheltered Accommodation and Support. The regulator says the case highlights difficulties in holding providers of supported housing to account. Read more

Construction

Government response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on modern methods of construction

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government | 18 September 2019

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government command paper sets out its reply to the report "Modern methods of construction" (HC Paper No.1831, Session 2017/19). Read more

Data protection

SMOs must “prepare for all scenarios” to maintain data flows when UK leaves the EU

Information Commissioner's Office | 11 September 2019

The ICO has urged businesses to “prepare for all scenarios” as it publishes dedicated guidance to help small and medium sized organisations prepare for the possibility that the UK leaves the European Union with no deal. Read more

Employment

Covert recordings - EAT provides guidance

TLT legal insight | 19 September 2019

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently provided guidance on how employment tribunals should approach evidence which has been covertly obtained by employees recording meetings. Read more

Employment Law Focus: Burnout and workplace stress

TLT podcast | 4 September 2019

Chronic stress impacts employee wellbeing, productivity and company performance.

With the World Health Organisation now classifying burnout as a workplace disease, employers need to understand their legal and moral duties to prevent, identify and manage this issue. Listen to the full episode

Considering the impact of AI integration on employees

TLT opinion | 27 August 2019

Whether it is Amazon Robotics and their automated warehouse delivery robots, or companies such as Legal Sifter creating targeted document review systems, it is very evident that technology is impacting many employment sectors and encroaching on jobs performed by human employees. Read more

Clarification on post-termination restrictive covenants

TLT legal insight | 20 August 2019

In an important and helpful judgment, the Supreme Court has provided guidance, for the first time in 100 years, on the controversial question of whether unenforceable wording can be removed from a restrictive covenant, allowing the rest of the restriction to remain valid and enforceable. Read more

Health and safety

Sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 5 September 2019

Consultation proposal on options to reduce the trigger height for sprinkler provision in new high-rise blocks of flats in England, alongside other fire safety measures. This consultation closes on 28 November 2019. Read more

Housing

Will right to buy for housing association tenants worsen the housing crisis?

TLT legal insight | 7 October 2019                                                

The Housing Secretary has announced plans to give tenants of new housing association homes the right to purchase a share in the equity of their property. What impact could this have on the current housing crisis? Read more

Supreme Court finding that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful - Housing Bills before Parliament

Supreme Court | 24 September 2019

As a consequence of the Supreme Court finding on 24 September 2019 that the prorogation of Parliament on 9 September was unlawful and is void, Parliament remains in session.  Accordingly, those Housing Bills before Parliament on 9 September have not failed, as had been supposed. Read more

A new national model for shared ownership?

TLT legal insight | 23 September 2019

The government is reviewing a new national model for shared ownership to make it easier for people to buy more of their own home, including allowing them to buy in 1% increments.could be on the way. Read more

EU citizens in the UK: access to social housing and homelessness assistance in a no deal scenario: updated guidance

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 12 September 2019

Information for local housing authorities on the rights of EU citizens in the UK to access social housing, including supported housing, and homelessness assistance if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Read more

"Right to rent” judicial review appeal

Case Tracker | 4 September 2019

The appeal by the Secretary of State against the High Court’s judgment in R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 452 (Admin) is listed to be heard in the Court of Appeal on 14 and 15 January 2020. The High Court held that the government’s ‘right to rent’ policy was incompatible with the Human Rights Act. Read more

Specialist supported housing providers

Local Government Association | 2 September 2019

A joint briefing note for clinical commissioning groups (CCG) and local authority learning disability commissioners, prepared by NHS England, NHS Improvement, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care (ADASS), on the current position with respect to specialist supported housing providers in light of recently issued statements and findings relating to a number of such providers found to be non-compliant with Social Housing Regulatory Standards. Read more

Anti-social behaviour and housing – England

House of Commons Library | 23 August 2019

This briefing paper provides an overview of the remedies available to social landlords to deal with tenants who exhibit anti-social behaviour. The paper focuses on England but some of the same legislation applies in Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland operate under different legislative regimes. Read more

Reform of anti-social behaviour powers: statutory guidance for frontline professionals

The Home Office | 5 August 2019

Updated statutory guidance for frontline professionals (including those within providers of social housing) in relation to the anti-social behaviour section of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. The updated guidance emphasises the importance of ensuring that the powers granted by the Act are used appropriately to provide a proportionate response to the specific behaviour that is causing harm or nuisance without impacting adversely on behaviour that is neither unlawful nor anti-social. Read more

Planning and environment

Solar panels have a right to light

TLT legal insight | 9 September 2019

The recent High Court ruling in William Ellis McLennan vs Medway Council and Ken Kennedy [2019] EWHC 1738 (Admin) has set a new precedent for planning and climate change law. Read more

Proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government | 27 August 2019

This consultation seeks views on the principle of amending permitted development rights to support deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage.  This consultation closes on 4 November 2019. Read more

1 September – all change (again) for the Community Infrastructure Levy

TLT legal insight | 22 August 2019

On 1 September 2019 the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) will change (again). In this legal insight we remind you of the five top changes. Read more

Tax

Revenue and Customs Brief 8 (2019): review of the VAT exemption for cost sharing groups in the social housing sector

HM Revenue & Customs | 27 August 2019

This brief explains the conclusions of the VAT exemption application within the social housing sector. Read more

Tax exemption for EV workplace charging

TLT legal insight | 5 August 2019

With its targets for a carbon neutral future, the Government is increasingly showing support for the uptake of electric vehicles by introducing legislation that benefits drivers and passengers. Read more

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at October 2019. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms and conditions.

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