1st June 2016
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Private renting (1)
On 27 May 2016 the Office for National Statistics published the first monthly experimental price index of prices paid for renting property from private landlords (the index was formerly published on a quarterly basis). Private rental prices paid by tenants in Great Britain rose by 2.6% in the 12 months to April 2016, unchanged when compared with the year to March 2016. Private rental prices grew by 2.8% in England, 0.2% in Wales and 0.5% in Scotland in the 12 months to April 2016. Rental prices increased in all the English regions over the year to April 2016, with rental prices increasing the most in London (3.7%). To access the index, click here

Private renting (2)
On 27 May 2016 Cambridge City Housing Company – a new company set up and wholly owned by Cambridge City Council to deliver submarket rental homes to ‘intermediate’ tenants –handed over its first rental property to tenants. A further 22 new flats and houses will be let on private sector tenancies over the next few months. The council set up the not-for-profit company in January 2016 in response to research that showed the local private rented sector was becoming increasingly unaffordable to Cambridge households on average incomes. For the council’s announcement, click here  

Private renting – housing fitness
On 24 May 2016 the House of Commons Library published a research briefing looking at current legislation regulating property standards in the private rented sector, and at current debates over whether there should be a legal minimum maintenance standard for rented homes. To read the briefing, click here

Private renting – London

On 25 May 2016 the DCLG announced that two multi-million pound deals will see over 1,000 new homes built in London specifically for private rent as part of the Build to Rent scheme. For the announcement, click here For more information about the Build to Rent scheme, click here

Housing and Planning Act 2016
ARLA reports discussions between the Housing Standards Group and the DCLG about the implementation of the statute. For a summary of the meeting, click here  

Housing and Planning Act 2016 – rogue landlords
Councils will be able to apply civil penalties of up to £30,000 and strengthened rent repayment orders to rogue landlords from next April under plans announced by the Department of Communities and Local Government, according to Environmental Health News. For the report, click here

Social housing rents
The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 contains provisions which introduce a new rent regime for registered providers of social housing in England. The Act and Regulations give the Secretary of State the power to exempt a local authority fully or partially from their requirements if he considers that the local authority would be unable to avoid serious financial difficulties if it were to comply. On 26 May 2016 the DCLG published information for local authorities applying for an exemption. To access that information, click here

Estates regeneration
On 25 May 2016 the DCL published a document providing guidance for initial expressions of interest in the government's estate regeneration programme. Expressions of interest are sought, ideally, by 10 June 2016. For the guidance, click here

Right to rent checks
On 24 May and 25 May 2016 respectively the DCLG published updated versions of the guide to landlords’ right to rent checks and the landlords’ code of practice in respect of the checks. For the guide, click here and for the code of practice, click here

On 6 June 2016 the Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee will resume its inquiry into homelessness with an oral evidence session. For more information about the inquiry, click here

Lifetime tenancies
On 27 May 2016 the House of Commons Library published a research briefing providing information on social landlords' discretion not to offer a 'lifetime' tenancy to new tenants after 1 April 2012. The paper goes on to explain provisions contained in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 which will, when in force, provide that local authorities will only be able to offer longer-term tenancies in certain circumstances. To read the briefing, click here

Help to Buy – Wales
On 24 May 2016 the Welsh Government published the latest report providing information on the Help to Buy scheme for the period 2 January 2014, when the scheme was introduced, to 31 March 2016. During that period 3,084 property purchases were completed using a Welsh Government shared equity loan. For the report, click here

Right to Buy
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Commencement No 1) Regulations 2016 bring into force sections 64, 65, 67, 68 and 145(5) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016  on 26 May 2016. Section 64 enables the Secretary of State to make a payment to a private registered provider (as defined in section 68) in respect of the discount awarded to a tenant of that provider when buying their home under the voluntary right to buy. Section 65 allows the Greater London Authority to make equivalent payments in respect of dwellings in Greater London. Section 67 makes consequential amendments and section 68 provides for the interpretation of Part 4, Chapter 1 of the Act in which the substantive provisions to be commenced appear. Section 145(5) relates to local planning authorities. To access the Regulations, click here

Rough sleeping
Evening Standard reports that internal research produced by Transport for London reveals that the number of people sleeping rough on London night buses has increased by 20% in the last four years. To read the report, click here

Just Published:

Commons and Greens - The Modern Law (2nd edn)
Angela Sydenham, Solicitor
Everyone advising on the acquisition, sale, development or management of rural land will need to know about the implemented and prospective changes to the law relating to common land, and town and village greens. Written by one of the leading experts in the field, this new edition has been substantially expanded so that in addition to offering a detailed commentary of the legislation, it explains all subsequent developments, providing a comprehensive text on the subject.

Just £65 + £4.50 p&p.

Order your copy here

Renters’ Rights Bill

This is a Private Members’ Bill introduced in the House of Lords by Baroness Grender which seeks to provide tenants and prospective tenants with certain rights, including affording access to a local housing authority’s database of rogue landlords, ending certain letting fees and providing for certain mandatory electrical safety checks. The Bill will have its Second Reading on 10 June 2016. For the Bill as introduced, click here For progress of the Bill, click here
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Land registration
The Law Commission is reviewing the legal framework that governs the registration of land in England and Wales. It has launched a consultation which asks how the Land Registration Act 2002 is working in practice and whether there are opportunities for the system to be clarified and updated. For the consultation and related documents, click here The consultation closes on 30 June 2016.

McKenzie Friends in the courts
The Judicial Executive Board (JEB) has issued a consultation paper proposing reforms to the existing guidance for 'McKenzie Friends', ie non-lawyers who offer assistance and in some cases seek to appear as advocates on behalf of litigants-in-person (LiPs) in civil cases. The JEB has invited comments from court users to be submitted by the extended date of 9 June 2016. For the consultation paper, click here

Affordable homes
The Communities Policy Commission, which leads the Labour Party’s policy development on local government, has launched a consultation entitled Housing: How can we increase the number of affordable homes to rent and buy? The Commission seeks the views of Labour members and affiliates, businesses and other organisations, and the wider public on this issue. The consultation ends on 8 June 2016. For the consultation document, click here


Government receptive to strong case from sector: May update on LHA caps Helen Mathie [2016] Homeless Link 25 May. To read this article, click here

Housing crisis: affordable homes vanish as developers outmanoeuvre councils Robert Booth [2016] Guardian 25 May. To read this article, click here

Sub-letting: have you got the best evidence?
Andy Lane [2016] Local Government Lawyer 26 May. To read this article, click here

Home and Away: what do we know about the impact of an out of area move on homeless families? Jenny Pennington [2016] Shelter Blog 26 May. To read this article, click here

When sky-high repair bills can make right to buy the wrong choice Emma Lunn [2016] Guardian 28 May. To read this article, click here

Recent Developments in Housing Law Jan Luba QC & Nic Madge [2016] May issue of Legal Action. Available in print and on-line for Legal Action subscribers. For the latest issue, click here For back-issues, click here

Number of UK landlords rises to 1.75 million
Hilary Osborne [2016] Guardian 30 May. To read this article, click here

Living in boxes (and thinking out of them) might solve our housing crisis
Deborah Orr [2016] Guardian 30 May. To read this article, click here

And the first shall be last Giles Peaker [2016] Nearly Legal 30 May. To read this article, click here

How do you build affordable homes? Hold the land in trust
Charlie Fisher and Fran Ryan [2016] Guardian Housing Network 31 May. To read this article, click here

House building stats show we’re not catching up any time soon Sara Mahmoud [2016] Shelter Blog 31 May. To read this article, click here


9 June 2016        
Closure of consultation on McKenzie Friends in the courts

22 June 2016        
Lime Legal’s Homelessness Conference 2016: Law & Best Practice (click here for details)

Oliver Fisher Solicitors

Property Solicitor - Permanent - Full-time - 0 - 2 PQE

Oliver Fisher’s highly regarded social housing & private residential property team is seeking an enthusiastic solicitor to deal with property transactions and general Landlord Tenant Litigation. 

The successful candidate, will have experience of residential conveyancing and Landlord & Tenant work for legal aid & private clients. 

Knowledge of residential landlord and tenant work is essential.  Excellent organisational and communication skills will be required, as well as the ability to manage your own caseload with little supervision but within a supportive team environment.

Applications are by personal covering letter and CV to be sent by e-mail to Russell Conway: recruitment@oliverfisher.co.uk.


Housing Solicitor

Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre

Salary: £35 - £38,000 pa

Working hours: 35 per week
Benefits include 30 days annual leave.
We have a 36 year history of providing an excellent service to the local community.
We have Housing and Immigration/Asylum contracts with the LAA and grant funding to cover out of scope work.

We require a solicitor for our housing team. At least 5 years’ experience of housing law is required.

The successful candidate will conduct the housing matter starts we have been allocated, be proactive in commencing and conducting certificated cases for clients and will participate in the court duty scheme, again looking to maximise certificated work from those cases.

Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from all candidates who meet the person specification regardless of age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or race.

For an application pack email: hflaw@hflaw.org.uk
Closing date: 10 June 2016
Interviews: 15 June 2016

Lime Legal Limited, Greengate House, 87 Pickwick Road, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9B