Lime Legal's
Housing Law Week

General Editor: Jan Luba QC

22nd July 2015 Update


Resident landlords
The UK Government provides tax relief on income from the use of furnished accommodation in an individual’s only or main residence up to a limit. On 17 July 2015, the Income Tax (Limit for Rent-a-Room Relief) Order 2015 was laid before Parliament. It comes into force on 13 August 2015. Its effect is to increase the limit from £4250pa to £7500pa. For the Order, click here  For the explanatory memorandum, click here

Homes for care-leavers
Every year around 10,000 16- to 18-year-olds leave foster or residential care in England. A new report from the National Audit Office - Care leavers’ transition to adulthood – has found that while there is a clear legal framework and an inspection regime in place, the system is not working effectively to deliver good outcomes for all care leavers. It records that although what is ‘suitable’ accommodation is clearly defined, the Department for Education found that in 2013-14 some local authorities had judged a small number of care leavers to be in ‘suitable’ accommodation when this seemed unlikely given the setting. For the full report, click here

Right to Buy
On 20 July 2015, the Housing (Right to Buy) (Prescribed Forms) (Amendment)(England) Regulations 2015 were laid before Parliament. They contain a new RTB1 form updated to reflect the reduction of the qualifying period from five years to three, pursuant to the amendment made by section 28 of the Deregulation Act 2015. They come into force on 17 August 2015. For a copy of the regulations (which contain the full new RTB1), click here  For the official explanatory note, click here

Defective new-build housing
On 20 July 2015 there was a short adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the issues faced by homeowners who purchase new-build houses and flats that are defectively constructed. To read the debate, including the reply to it by the DCLG Minister, click here

Private Renting in Wales
The Welsh Government has launched a new website to “be the home of private landlord registration in Wales. It will also be where agents and landlords can apply for a letting and management licence. Private tenants will be able to verify that their landlord is registered and whether the person letting and managing their home is licensed. The website will also provide useful guidance and information for landlords, agents and tenants.” The site is called Rent Smart Wales. To access it, click here

Housing in England
On 16 July 2015, the UK Government published the English housing survey 2013 to 2014: household report. This annual report on households in England covers housing needs, housing moves, housing tenure and vulnerable & disadvantaged groups. For a copy of the report and its accompanying documents and tables, click here

Housing in London
On 15 July 2015, the House of Commons held a debate in Westminster Hall on housing supply in London. For the text of the debate, including the reply to it by the Minister for Housing, click here

Stock transfers of social housing
On 17 July 2015, the Housing and Regeneration Transfer Schemes (Tax Consequences) Regulations 2015 were laid before Parliament. They come into force on 7 August 2015. The regulations apply in the case of any transfer of property, rights or liabilities from a public body to the Homes & Communities Agency, or a company or body through which the Greater London Authority exercises functions in relation to housing or regeneration, where both are taxable public bodies, and operate so as to prevent certain tax consequences resulting from the transfer. For the regulations, click here For the explanatory memorandum, click here



Welfare Reform and Work Bill
This UK Government Bill was published on 9 July 2015 to make provision about (1) the benefit cap; (2) social security and tax credits; (3) loans for mortgage interest; and (4) social housing rents. It had its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 20 July 2015 and will now be considered in detail by a public bill committee. For the Bill, click here For the explanatory notes, click here To follow the progress of the Bill, click here. For the briefing prepared by the House of Commons Library, click here  For the Second Reading debate itself, click here Several briefings were prepared for the Second Reading debate by a range of organisations. For the CRISIS briefing click here, for the CAB briefing click here, for the Z2K briefing click here To see the amendments already put down for debate in committee, click here  

Housing Bill
This UK Government Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 28 May 2015 but has yet to be published. For the official outline of its content, click here The official briefing about the Queen’s Speech contains the details at pages 27-29. For that, click here For a commentary on the likely content of the Bill, click here  On 4 July 2015 the Chancellor and the Prime Minister released a joint statement indicating that their plans, “which will form part of the Housing Bill to be introduced this autumn, include steps to build discounted homes for first time buyers on all reasonable sized developments, unlock public land for hundreds of thousands of new homes and back small builders with planning changes” (emphasis added). For the statement, click here

Renting Homes (Wales) Bill
This is a Welsh Government Bill introduced in the Welsh Assembly. For a copy of the Bill, click here For the Explanatory Memorandum, click here To monitor the progress of the Bill, click here The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee has recently completed its examination of the Bill and has made 37 recommendations. For a copy of its report and for a summary of its conclusions and recommendations, click here and scroll to the foot of the webpage where it is listed under ‘Documents’. The Assembly debated the general provisions of the Bill on 7 July. For the record of the debate, click here For the amendments tabled for discussion at Stage 2, click here and scroll to the ‘Document’ section at the foot of the page. For the Government’s own amendments, published on 9 July 2015, and a statement of their purpose and effects, click here and scroll to the ‘Documents’ section at the foot of the webpage.

Housing (Amendment) Bill
This is a Bill introduced in the Assembly on 30 June 2015 by the Northern Ireland Executive. It would make provision for the better sharing of information relating to empty homes or to anti-social behaviour and provide for the registration of certain loans as statutory charges. For a copy of the Bill, click here For the explanatory memorandum (listed under ‘All associated documents and links’), click here  For a letter of 2 July 2015 inviting submissions about the Bill by 4 September 2015, click here For a commentary on the Bill, click here To follow the progress of the Bill, click here

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill
This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Karen Buck MP. It would amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation. It had a First Reading on 24 June 2015 and its Second Reading is scheduled for 16 October 2015. For details on the progress of the Bill, click here For a commentary on its content, click here

Local Government Finance (Tenure Information) Bill
This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Dame Angela Watkinson MP. It would amend the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to make provision for collecting information about tenure and the details of private landlords. It had a First Reading on 24 June 2015 and its Second Reading is scheduled for 30 October 2015. For details on the progress of the Bill, click here

Crown Tenancies Bill
This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Mark Pawsey MP. It would provide that Crown tenancies may be assured tenancies for the purposes of the Housing Act 1988, subject to certain exceptions, and modify the assured tenancies regime in relation to certain Crown tenancies.  It had a First Reading on 24 June 2015 and its Second Reading is scheduled for 11 September 2015. For details on the progress of the Bill, click here



Mohamoud v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
21 July 2015
The defendant was a homeless woman with children. The council had provided her with interim accommodation when she applied as homeless. It later decided that she had become homeless intentionally. It served notice to quit and sought possession. A possession order was made. The defendant appealed on the grounds that before issuing the notice and bringing the claim the duty under Children Act 2004 section 11 required the council to have assessed and considered the best interests of the children. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Any such duty would have been “extraordinarily burdensome in terms of cost and resources and – in the overwhelming number of cases - simply futile”. The scheme of provision for the homeless protected the interests of children. The defendant had not sought any review of the decision that she had made the family homeless deliberately. For the judgment, click here  

R (on the application of A and SR) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
21 July 2015
These are further challenges to the legality of the ‘bedroom tax’. The claimant A is a victim of violence in a sanctuary scheme. The claimant SR is a severely disabled child. Both households receive DHPs to make good the shortfall in housing benefit. The Court of Appeal has granted them permission to appeal and ordered the appeals on for early hearing so that (if there is a further appeal) they can be heard with the lead challenge to the bedroom tax (MA v DWP) which is to be considered by the UK Supreme Court in March 2016. For the judgment, click here

R(Bokrosova) v Lambeth LBC
17 July 2015
The claimant sought judicial review of the Council’s decision to redevelop its Cressingham Gardens estate and to ‘abruptly close down’ consultation on options which were strongly supported by residents. The High Court granted permission for the claim to proceed. For further information, click here For media comment on the redevelopment plan, click here

Bolotiny v Russia
16 July 2015
The applicant was called upon to take part in the emergency operations at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster. As a result, he suffered from extensive exposure to radioactive emissions. Those facts entitled him to state-provided housing. In November 2004, a local court ordered the authorities to grant him a separate room which should meet sanitary and technical requirements and be well-equipped. The judgment was not complied with and enforcement failed. The European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 on account of the non-enforcement of the judgment. It awarded 6,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage.  For the judgment, click here

Morari and Spiridonov v Moldova
7 July 2015
The applicants were retired police officers. Legislation entitled them to social housing. When it was not provided, they took legal action resulting in court orders requiring the authorities to house them. The orders were not complied with. The European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 on account of the non-enforcement of the judgments. It awarded 3,600 euros each for non-pecuniary damage and over 10,000 euros to the applicant who had established the extra costs he had incurred in renting private accommodation.  For the judgment, click here

Bitto v Slovakia
7 July 2015
The applicants were private landlords. In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights upheld their complaints that there had been a breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 in that the Slovak authorities, when pursuing the rent control scheme, had failed to strike the requisite fair balance between the general interests of the community and the protection of the applicants’ right of property. The latest judgment is concerned with compensation. The Court held that in broad terms the landlords should be paid the difference between the controlled rents and market rents. It awarded 21 applicants over 2m euros. For the judgment, click here

Sign up here to ensure you receive your own copy of this invaluable free weekly update


A consultation paper from the Welsh Government  seek views on establishing a National Pathway for Homelessness Services for Children, Young People and Adults who are in care or  custody and will otherwise become homeless. The closing date for comments is 24 September 2015. For the consultation arrangements and the consultation paper, click here


Recent Developments in Housing Law Jan Luba QC & Nic Madge [2015] July issue Legal Action magazine. Available in print and on-line for Legal Action subscribers. To read the article, click here

After the election: immigration and the PRS James Souter and Anne-Marie Balfour [2015] 1528 Estates Gazette p77

Housing benefit for under-21s is a vital safety net Jacqui McCluskey [2015] Guardian Housing Network 16 July. To read the article, click here


Advanced Notice
9 October 2015
Lime Legal's Tenancy Agreements Conference 2015 in London

16 October 2015
Lime Legal's Allocations Conference 2015 in London
(Further details coming soon!)


South West London Law Centres

Housing Caseworker / Solicitor Vacancy
South West London Law Centres (SWLLC), one of the largest and most progressive Law Centres in the country, is seeking a Housing Solicitor/Caseworker to be based in our Kingston Branch.

There is considerable demand for housing work. There are currently 12 solicitors in the housing team and one trainee. We run a wide range of housing cases covered by Legal Aid including a significant amount of representation work as part of the housing court duty schemes. We are considering looking further at a range of fixed fees and conditional fee agreements for areas that have now gone out of scope of Legal Aid. We are also interested in candidates that can combine their housing experience with any of community care, public law or welfare rights.

We are looking to recruit to cover an existing post for a solicitor is who is retiring and are willing to consider applicants at the start of their career as well as those with significant experience. 

Salary: Up to £33,510 p.a. according to experience (NJC Scale 35)
Reports to: Team Leader
Term: Permanent
Based at: One of our offices in Morden, Kingston, Wandsworth or East Croydon but will be initially based in our Kingston office.

Closing date:
noon on 10 August 2015 at 12pm with interviews soon after that.
The post is available for an immediate start. If you would like to discuss the post further, please email
Applications should be made at


Paralegal Vacancy

SSP Law is a specialist Property and Housing firm with a long-standing legal aid housing contract and an expanding property department based in North Finchley. 

We have a fantastic opportunity for someone who would like to start a training contract in the near future. Experience in Property or Housing work essential as is ability to be self-supporting.

Salary dependent on experience.

Applications: In the first place please send your CV by 31st July 2015 to  and come join our friendly and dedicated team in our new offices!


RCJ Advice

Fixed Term Preventive Housing Solicitor/ Paralegal

Salary: £33,000 - £35.000 p.a. pro rata depending on experience and qualifications
Hours: 35 per week
Contract Type: Fixed term up to end of March 2016

Fixed term post initially to join housing team and work closely with FIT money team to prevent homelessness though working with both landlords and tenants to negotiate effective solutions. This includes providing specialist housing advice through our legal aid contract and to work on legal help and certificated cases.

To be successful in this role you will need:

  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience of housing law casework including experience of working under a LAA contract
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work effectively in small team including self-supporting administration and across sites
    Commitment and understanding to diversity and equal opportunities

Request an application pack from
Please complete the application form and return it by the closing date, Tuesday 4th August no later than 10am.

Interviews will be held on 10th August in the Royal Courts of Justice.
RCJ Advice & Citizens Advice Islington is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from all applicants who meet the person specification irrespective of sex, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, age, or disability.


Housing/Community Care Solicitor

Springfield Advice and Law Centre

Remuneration: £28,000 - £34,150 (incl. ILW) + 5% pension

Based in Springfield University Hospital, Tooting, Springfield Law Centre provides free legal advice and representation mainly to mental-health-service-user-clients.

An excellent opportunity for a qualified solicitor to play an instrumental role in contributing to the work we do. You will assist in ensuring that the Law Centre complies with LAA and LEXCEL requirements.

The role will allow you to put your skills to worthwhile use, acting as a solicitor and advocate for vulnerable clients. If you have experience in Housing & Community Care Law, you won’t find a better chance to make a real impact.

For an application form & pack please e-mail: 
or call 0208 767 6884.

Closing date: 5pm, Monday 27th July 2015.
Springfield Advice & Law Centre is an equal opportunities employer & welcomes applications from all sections of the community.


Housing Project Worker (part time) YMCA EAST SURREY

Job Purpose:
To assist in the day to day running of the NextStep project for those in housing need, providing support, advice, and long-term solutions through private rented sector and resettlement.
Hours of Work:
We are looking for someone to work part time, either 16 or 20 hours per week which is the equivalent of 2 or 2.5 days per week.  (Occasional evening and weekend work may be necessary to fulfil the needs of the role but time off in lieu will be given.) Preferred hours of work will be discussed at interview with shortlisted candidates.

Salary: £23,156.28 per annum (pro rata)

Benefits: The post holder will be entitled to free use of the YMCA fitness centre and half price childcare for dependents. There is free parking available at Hillbrook House.
Closing Date for returned application forms is Monday 14th September 2015 at 9am.
Interviews are planned for Friday 18th September 2015.

To apply for this position click here

Take advantage of the opportunity to advertise your job vacancies here FREE
Call us on 01249 701555 or email details of the vacancy to

Lime Legal's Housing Law Week
All rights reserved

If you have any comments, support queries, suggestions or ideas for articles or would like to subscribe to this newsletter please email or call us on 01249 701555.