Shapps consults on safeguards over private rented sector offers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 June 2012 00:00

The Housing Minister is to consult on safeguards for vulnerable families for when local authorities are allowed to end the main homelessness duty by arranging an offer of suitable accommodation in the private rented sector, without requiring the applicant’s agreement.

The change – enabled by the Localism Act 2011 – is intended to help councils tackle waiting lists and move people out of temporary accommodation.

Protections under the 2011 Act include a requirement that the assured shorthold tenancy must be for a minimum fixed term of 12 months. If the applicant becomes unintentionally homeless again within two years of accepting the private rented sector offer, the main homelessness duty will recur regardless of priority need.

The proposed draft Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2012 now sets out the circumstances in which accommodation used for the private rented sector offer to end the main homelessness duty is not to be regarded as suitable.

The safeguards private landlords will have to meet before councils can place homeless families in their accommodation include:

  • a current Gas Safety record;
  • the accommodation and any appliances or furnishings provided conforming to standards on fire and electrical safety;
  • precautions to be taken by landlords to prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning;
  • the need for a valid Energy Performance Certificate; and
  • a written tenancy agreement that the local authority considers adequate.

The Government is also consulting on ways to strengthen the location aspect of suitability of the accommodation, to ensure that, wherever possible, families are not subject to a long-distance move.

Shapps said: "With record numbers on housing waiting lists, we're absolutely determined to give councils the flexibility they need to fulfil their statutory duties to the homeless while managing their housing stock in a way that's fair to all residents.

"At the same time, the most vulnerable in our communities who find themselves homeless through no fault of their own deserve a safe and secure roof over their heads, close to their community wherever possible. These new safeguards will ensure vulnerable families have this reassurance whether they're placed in the private or social rented sector."

The consultation, which runs until 26 July 2012, can be viewed here.

_________________________________________________________________

CPD courses from just £17.50 (+VAT)

 

LGTV_logo_final_350_pxl

 

Try before you buy - your first course is free!

Click here to see the full list of courses on Local Government Law.tv

Unlimited access to all content for just £199 + VAT. Click here for more details.

_________________________________________________________________

 

Latest News

July 29, 2014

District pays £3.6m to settle claim brought by housing association

A district council has agreed to pay a housing association £3.6m to settle a dispute over properties transferred in 1996. Read more
July 22, 2014

Housebuilder launches Planning Court challenge to neighbourhood plan

A housebuilder has launched a judicial review challenge to a neighbourhood plan with the Planning Court. Read more
July 21, 2014

Law Commission urges full reform project on data sharing and public bodies

The Law Commission has this month recommended that a full law reform project should be carried out “in order to create a principled and clear legal structure for data sharing, which will meet the needs of society”. Read more
July 21, 2014

NW housing groups selects 15 law firms for legal services panels

Progress Housing Group has named 15 law firms to a legal services framework with an estimated value of £800,000 over four years. Read more
July 16, 2014

Housing organisation names seven law firms to panels worth £1.25m to £60m

Procurement for Housing, a national organisation for the social housing sector, has appointed seven law firms to panels potentially worth between £1.25m and £60m. Read more
July 08, 2014

Council chiefs demand radical reforms to housing finance

Councils have called on the Government to give them the powers to help solve the housing shortage. Read more
July 02, 2014

Council and police raid 25 properties in two weeks in rogue landlord crackdown

Four previously unknown criminal landlords, two cannabis factories and an illegal restaurant conversion were among discoveries made by Lewisham council officers in raids on rogue landlords. Read more

 

Features

House key iStock 000004543619XSmall 146x219
July 10, 2014

For better or for worse

The Court of Appeal has just handed down an important ruling on the scope of statutory homeless reviews. Kelvin Rutledge QC and Sian Davies analyse the judgment. Read more
Energy iStock 000010421988XSmall 146x219
July 03, 2014

What you need to know about district heat networks

Mark Routley looks at the opportunities and challenges for local authorities presented by district heat networks. Read more
July 03, 2014

Article 8, the Equality Act and summary hearings

How should Article 8 and Equality Act 2010 arguments be treated when raised at a summary hearing? Senga Howells reports on a recent case. Read more
June 26, 2014

Challenges to the ‘bedroom tax’ and DHPs

Jed Meers analyses the recent High Court ruling in Rutherford and the evolving role of Discretionary Housing Payments. Read more
June 26, 2014

Local authorities, notices to quit and undue influence

The Court of Appeal recently examined whether a notice to quit was procured by the undue influence of a housing officer employed by a council. Jonathan Manning and Amy Knight explain the judgment. Read more
June 20, 2014

Becoming homeless intentionally

When was the relevant time for a council to consider whether an applicant’s homelessness was intentional? Chistopher Baker reports on an important Court of Appeal ruling. Read more
June 19, 2014

Variation of planning obligations

Kamran Hyder examines s. 106BA of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the new process to modify or discharge affordable housing obligations. Read more

 

Older news and features

July 10, 2014

For better or for worse

April 10, 2014

Stating your grounds

Click here for full section archive

Now Previewing on LGL.tv: Social Housing Allocations: Law and Practice (Click on bottom right of screen for full size.)

Featured Jobs


CLICK HERE to search all current vacancies

Featured Courses & Events

50% off LGLtv subscriptions

Sign up for Courses and Events Updates

* indicates required

Services v2

Yellow pages iStock 000009762383XSmall cropTo access details of individual advertisers, please click on the relevant banner below.

To search all entries in the Local Government Lawyer Services Directory, please click here

 

 


 Shout_to_the_top_looking_left_iStock_000006002590XSmall_98x74 Latest Blog Posts

 

 


 

Ballot_iStock_000006080605XSmall_thumb

Snap Judgement

Will the SRA's decision to remove the 16 hour minimum training requirement...