Social Housing newsletter

April 2019


Welcome to the spring edition of the social housing newsletter

by Linda Storey


Welcome to the Spring edition of our Social Housing Newsletter.

On Monday, the Government announced the possible scrapping of section 21 in relation to lettings, which currently allows landlords to evict tenants when their fixed term contract expires. This quick removal of tenants does not require the landlord to establish any ground. Our first article, reviews this remarkable announcement. Interestingly, both major political parties share the same policy which is to abolish section 21.

Last week the EU agreed to extend the Article 50 negotiating period until 31 October 2019. So it is fitting that we also look at a recent decision of the High Court concerning a case where it was argued that Brexit had caused a lease to be frustrated and so entitling the tenant to walk away from its obligations. It is the first significant case on the impact of Brexit on transactions between contracting parties.

Finally we move onto the regulation of heat networks and charging for energy. This is of increasing importance as planning authorities seek to impose upon housing associations and developers planning conditions and obligations which require them to use combined heat and power systems or to connect into Qualifying Heat Networks. Housing associations are particularly concerned to ensure their residents should not incur costs which would exceed on-site stand-alone heating systems. Value for money is a key consideration for housing associations and their residents.

I hope you will find this edition informative, of interest and value.

Please do circulate the newsletter to your colleagues.

If you have any suggestions for future articles, please do email me at


Section 21 title

by Mark Sellers


On 15 April, the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, made the incredible announcement that the Government is to abolish section 21. This will reverse the reforms introduced in the Housing Act 1988 when the Government led by Margaret Thatcher revolutionised a stagnant private rental market. At that time, private rentals accounted for less than 8% of all households in England. That figure has dramatically increased to 19%. 


Brexit frustration frustration

by Adam Jones


What affect does Brexit have on contracts entered into by housing associations? A 2019 case considered whether Brexit could frustrate a lease.


Regulation of heat networks and charging for energy

by Ed Weightman


Regulated heat networks are set to play an increasingly important role in UK social housing, private and commercial property and energy sectors.