Archived Legal Articles from 2021

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Housing & Regeneration


Strike out powers of Tribunal


Is a tribunal entitled to strike out a response when, due to the Respondent's non-compliance, it is no longer possible to conduct a fair trial in the trial window? Yes, held the EAT in Emuemukoro v Croma Vigilant (Scotland) Ltd. The case confirmed the importance of following case management…

Social Housing Development: Takeaways from the Risk Sector Profile


For Regulated Providers of Social Housing (RPs), development will always carry it a degree of risk. This is, however, usually mitigated by careful management and effective governance. The Regulator of Social Housing (the Regulator) recently published a Sector Risk Profile 2021 (the Report) outlining the…

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Lloyd v Google and the Impact on Data Breach Claims


On 10 November 2021, the Supreme Court delivered its long-awaited judgment in the case of Lloyd v Google. The judgment will be welcomed by our clients and data controllers as it brings clarification to the rapid rise in claims being made for compensation following a data breach. However, whilst the…

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Qualified Electronic Signatures - the real gamechanger?


The Land Registry (HMLR) is to pilot the use of qualified electronic signatures (QES) that does not need to be witnessed. If successful, it is set to be a real gamechanger in the property market. The move comes just over a year after HMLR allowed deeds to be signed electronically to be registered…

Decent Homes Standard- will the review make a difference?


The Charter for Social Housing Residents: Social Housing White Paper was published on 17 November 2020 announcing a review of the Decent Homes Standard. Part 1 of the review of the definition is to conclude in Autumn 2021; if it is found that a change should be implemented, Part 2 will run from Autumn…

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PD Rights set to be more restrictive for Office to Residentials Conversations


The planning laws are there to monitor what can and can't be built in certain areas to keep within the local policy and that of the country as a whole. Permitted development rights are, to some degree self-explanatory, as they are those rules that allow certain aspects of development to progress…

Q&A - Repair free period for new shared ownership leases


What is the "repair free" period? A new 10 year "repair free" period has been introduced by the new shared ownership model lease, during which time shared owners of new builds will receive support from their landlord to pay for essential repairs. Following this 10 year period,…

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ASB Awareness week


As part of National ASB Awareness Week, we teamed up with colleagues at The Guinness Partnership and West Yorkshire Police on Friday 23rd July 2021 to focus on locally-based initiatives for tackling cuckooing in our neighbourhoods. This partnership-focussed session was able to capture the essence…

CCTV and ASB: Do Perpetrators have a Right to Privacy?


CCTV and ASB: Do Perpetrators have a Right to Privacy? The Court of Appeal has recently heard a case where the defendant argued that a breach of his injunction, proved by his neighbour's CCTV, breached his right to privacy. The Court of Appeal has dismissed this argument and decided that the…

Impact of social media - the backlash for employers


Following the disappointment of the Euro 2020 Final, many no doubt expected they would be getting up the morning after to an influx of press articles and social media posts centred around a technical critique of the football skills on display in the final along side messages of support for the players.…

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ICO Cracks Down on Marketing Emails and Texts


Over the last month, the ICO has announced it has fined 7 organisations for sending unlawful emails and/or text messages. The ICO has taken action against the following organisations: · American Express - fined £90,000 for sending marketing emails to its customers without valid…

First Homes Scheme - just what will its effect be?


The First Homes scheme, launching in June 2021, is a mechanism for selling discounted affordable housing to first-time buyers - it does not apply in Wales or Scotland; and to reserve it for those most in need, it won't apply if the buyers' combined household income is over £80,000, or &…

Developments: Are you Overreaching?


The recent findings in the case of Knight v Fernley and another [2021] EWHC 1343 (Ch) (19 March 2020) are a stark reminder of the importance of registering plot transfers on a development prior to any common areas being transferred to a management company or other third party. In this case, a…

The Building Safety Bill and Fire Safety Act 2021 - Are You Prepared?


Building Safety Bill The government published its Building Safety Bill in July 2020 to respond to long-standing concerns surrounding fire safety, quality and competence, and to respond to recommendations from the Hackitt review which concluded that the whole system needed major reform. The…

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All change - New notice periods and forms


What's new? Two sets of regulations have been laid before Parliament, which have brought further changes to the notice periods to be given in respect of possession proceedings for residential tenancies and the corresponding forms of notice to be served by landlords. To give them their long…

Construction Framework Review Should Push Playbook


What must the government's independent review of construction frameworks consider to benefit both the public sector and contractors. An independent review of public sector construction frameworks should have happened before the publication of the Construction Playbook and should take a project-…

EU Settlement Scheme- How does the scheme affect Registered Providers?


"Free Movement" to and from the EU ended on 31 December 2020. As a result of this, new rules came into force on 1 January 2021 which affect who can receive help with benefits, housing allocation and homelessness. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members must now apply to the EU…

New form of Notice Seeking Possession - but not all is what it seems


A new prescribed form of Notice Seeking Possession (under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988) has been introduced. Landlords in England are required to use this latest form for any Notice Seeking Possession served on or after 04 May 2021. It has no effect on landlords in Wales. Below is a link to…

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Collecting Staff Vaccination Data


As the lockdown restrictions begin to ease and employers are making plans for staff to return to the office, we have been contacted by a number of RP clients to ask whether or not it is lawful to collect information from staff about whether or not they have been vaccinated against Covd-19. The…

Enfranchisement and lease extensions for shared owners


The Housing (Shared Ownership Leases) (Exclusion from Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and Rent Act 1977) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/212) (Regulations) were made on 1 March 2021 and came into force on 1 April 2021. The Regulations amend Schedule 4A of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (LRA 1967) and…

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Changes to the Right to Buy policy - does it go far enough?


The proposed changes to the Right to Buy (RTB) policy put forward by the housing sector a couple of years ago has been published by the government in recent weeks. While the changes are welcomed, experts in the housing sector are of the view that an opportunity has been missed to go even further.…

Ban on evictions is extended - again!


The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) (No. 2) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 were due to be in force until 31 March 2021. That has now been extended to 31 May 2021. To recap, the Regulations ban most evictions unless the notice, writ or warrant of possession relates to…

Homeownership now more attenable - as Stamp Duty Holiday Extension announced?


On 8th July 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a temporary stamp duty holiday for properties in England and Northern Ireland that cut the rate of stamp duty to zero percent for all properties £500,000 or under until 31st March 2021. Rishi Sunak has now confirmed an extension until…

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The Launch of the New Homes Quality Board


New build properties often get bad press with stories of poor quality making the headlines, highlighted in the recently published story of the Developer who was forced to rebuild all four external walls of a property. The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) has launched this week, led by Natalie Elphicke…

Merseyside County Lines & Social Housing Conference


Forbes' Merseyside County Lines & Social Housing Conference took place over two days on 9th and 10th February 2021 in conjunction with Merseyside Police. With over 400 attendees across the two day conference, it was clear to see the importance of tackling cuckooing and county lines across…

Supreme Court Uber decision - what does this mean for social housing?


Earlier this month, the Supreme Court handed down its long-anticipated judgment in relation to the action brought against Uber by drivers claiming to be workers as opposed to self-employed contractors. The judgment provides the answer to whether 'gig economy' workers can be classed as '…

Eviction Ban extended to 31 March 2021


The Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has announced the ban on evictions, save for exceptional cases, will be extended to 31 March 2021. It had been due to end on 21 February so we expect to see updated Regulations released shortly. There were some changes to the exceptions when the ban was…

Choosing and Implementing Building Warranties / Insurance


Building insurance / warranties are an essential consideration for any development. There are a variety of providers available, all with their own products and add-ons which should be considered to ensure you choose a policy which suits your development's needs. It is important to have discussions…

Extra £3.5billion to fix unsafe cladding


The government has revealed that it is investing an extra £3.5billion in addition to the £1.6billion already pledged towards the removal of unsafe cladding in high-rise buildings which are taller than 18 metres. This will mean that leaseholders in such buildings will not be charged "for…

National Apprenticeship Week


National Apprenticeship Week began on 8 February. This year's theme is 'Build The Future.' With 20 years of experience in progressing employees through apprenticeships, Forbes Solicitors has helped build futures and this year has been no different and has been as successful, despite the…

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Acas Early Conciliation - New Rules


A claim to an employment tribunal must usually be made within 3 months less 1 day. This is known as the 'limitation date'. For example, if an employee wants to claim for unfair dismissal, they have 3 months less 1 day from the date their employment ended to make the claim. However this is with…

Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme is changing


The existing Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme is set to be replaced with a new Help to Buy Equity Loan (2021 - 2023) on 1 April 2021. The new scheme will be extended to first-time buyers only along with the introduction of regional price limits. First-time buyers who apply for the loan must use it towards…

Data Protection Update


December was a busy month for those involved in data protection compliance. Therefore, we've set out a short summary of the most relevant updates for our RP clients. Brexit As you will no doubt have heard, the UK and the EU reached a trade and cooperation agreement on Christmas Eve. That…

Leasehold shake-up


In 2017, the government announced plans to tackle leasehold exploitation following an investigation by The Guardian in 2016, which found that some developers were using contracts on leasehold houses to double ground rents every 10 years, thus making it difficult for leaseholders to sell their homes on.…

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