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PlaceShapers respond to shared parenting bedroom tax appeal

21st May 2015

A Tenant Working Group on bedroom tax, one of the core tenant panels at Coast and Country Housing Association, has been supported to a first tier tribunal victory by their landlord. The case relates to a family where a child lives in two homes of their separated parents. In this decision the Judge has found that the child in the family is entitled to a bedroom at the residences of both parents. Joe Halewood's blog on the case contains the statement of reasons given by Judge Moss, as he contests the opinion given in a previous Upper Tier Tribunal case that a chi...

An anatomy of a bedroom tax appeal

21st May 2015

In the wake of Coast and Country's 'Tenant Working Group' on bedroom tax achieving a victory at a first tier tribunal for one of their members, Rob Gershon investigates the unique structure behind this project to empower tenants to mount their appeals. The election of a new government on the 7 May has elicited a lot of commentary and conjecture in the political and housing worlds. There are already concerns about how the actions in the former will affect people in the orbit of the latter. For o...

Southwark accepts 'shortcomings', welcomes Supreme Court vulnerability ruling

14th May 2015

Southwark Council has welcomed Wednesday’s landmark ruling by the Supreme Court and acknowledged 'some shortcomings' in the previous guidance it had followed. Councillor Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for housing, said: “(This) hearing is an important test case that will have an impact on how councils across the country approach  homelessness. Southwark, along with all councils, previously followed national guidance. “The judgements today (Wednesday) make it clear th...

YouGov survey shows public worried about housing benefit fraud

13th May 2015

Two thirds of people believe housing benefit fraud is a 'big problem', according to a YouGov survey.The survey, which was funded by Callcredit Information Group, also showed that respondents across all age groups and regions prioritised affordable housing (50%) as the most deserving area for any recovered money. Illegal claiming of housing benefit was deemed a big problem by 66% of respondents, followed by illegal sub-letting of social housing (55%). Callcredit director Andrew Davis said: “Th...

You’ve got a friend: Homeless to gain from Supreme Court 'vulnerability' ruling

13th May 2015

Shelter has praised today’s Supreme Court judgement for making the application of the 'vulnerability test' much fairer for single homeless people, including women fleeing domestic violence and young people left with no choice but to leave the family home, writes Brian Church. It was the first time that the UK’s highest court has considered the meaning of 'vulnerability' and the ruling changes the way councils must assess whether a single homeless person is vulnerable enough to quali...

Guinness tenant jailed under new ASB legislation after drinking eight cans

6th May 2015

A tenant in Cheltenham who breached a six-day old injunction by screaming late night at her partner after drinking eight cans of lager has been jailed. The Guinness Partnership said it believed this to be the first tenant in the country imprisoned under new anti-social behaviour (ASB) legislation. The unnamed woman was handed a 28-day sentence after breaching a civil injunction – a new order which came into effect in March as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act. Guinness, ...

Opinion: 'Tricky legal road ahead' for RTB

14th April 2015

By Jonathan Turner.Head of Housing at law firm Bevan BrittanThe issue of providing affordable housing is now at the centre of the election debates after today’s Conservative proposals to give housing association tenants the right to buy their homes. The vision is to promote a new generation of aspirational property owners – while balancing the need for thousands of new affordable homes across the country. But there is a tricky legal road ahead. Feelings are strong on all sides, wit...

Private landlords demand council delays licensing scheme

26th March 2015

A private landlords group is demanding that Liverpool City Council postpones the launch of a city-wide licensing scheme. According to the National Landlords Association (NLA), the scheme's current application process - which is due to go live on 1 April - will put every landlord in Liverpool in breach of the law. The NLA also claims that the current online application process provided by the council does not meet legal requirements to allow landlords to comply with the new scheme, which would make...

Housing officer jailed for rape

25th March 2015

A former council housing officer has been jailed for raping a "vulnerable" woman. Clive Glasford, who worked for Birmingham City Council, attacked the single mother at her home while her child slept next to her. Birmingham Crown Court heard that on 12 December 2013, the victim awoke to find Glasford, 47, having sex with her. The trial's judge said: “She was unconscious which meant she was in no position to consent. When she woke up she tried to stop you doing what you were doing. The pos...

Council seizes £400,000 family home

24th March 2015

A council has taken possession of a four-bed house as part of a crack down on empty properties. Croydon Council used a complusory purchase order to seize the detached home in Purley, which has been abandoned since the mid-1990s. The local authority took the step as a last resort after years of unsuccessfully trying to get the owner to do up the property and ensure it was lived in. It will now auction the house to a suitable buyer who must then refurbish it and let it to new tenants within an a...