Linda Storey

Welcome to the summer edition of our social housing newsletter

by Linda Storey


Since our June newsletter was published, there has been a change in Prime Minister and the inevitable reshuffle of the Cabinet. As a result there is a (yet another) new housing minister. When Mr Johnson was London Mayor, he seemed to appreciate housing and housing associations had a key part to play in boosting the London economy. I was pleased to read, therefore, that the Prime Minister has already made pledges to increase spending in social housing – although so far this appears to be limited to home ownership.

Housing continues to make the headlines in the news and social media. One example is the case of a council tenant who was fined over £100,000 and evicted for illegally subletting his home through Airbnb. Our housing litigation team are increasingly being consulted by our housing association clients to advise on unlawful subletting and sharing of occupation which breaches the terms of tenancy agreements.

This month sees the 100th anniversary of the Addison Act – the Housing Act 1919 – which paved the way for large scale council housing. It is expected local council’s efforts to build more housing will see a substantial increase over the next few years now that the Housing Revenue Account cap has been removed. We expect to see councils entering into joint ventures and partnerships with housing associations to deliver this objective.

While no legislation on housing is likely before 31 October, the Government has been very busy launching a number of key consultations which are featured in this month’s edition.

Our first article considers the Government’s proposals for residential leasehold reform such as a ban on leasehold houses; zero financial value ground rents and onerous obligations on landlords to provide leasehold information packs on sales. This is especially topical given the Competition and Markets Authority’s announcement that it intends to investigate two key areas of leasehold contract terms namely - potential mis-selling and potential unfair terms.

The second article sets out our views on the Government’s consultation on the repeal of section 21 – bringing to an end ‘no fault’ termination of tenancies.

The final article summarises the Government’s consultation seeking views on the introduction of a new Housing Complaints Resolution Service and a New Homes Ombudsman. This is intended to provide better redress for purchasers of new build homes.

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 contact me.

Mark Sellers

The latest proposals for residential leasehold reform

by Mark Sellers


The Government’s proposals for residential leasehold reform all started with a couple of sentences in the Housing White Paper entitled ‘Fixing our broken housing market’ issued in February 2017. The Government issued a commitment to consult on a ‘range of measures to tackle unfair and unreasonable abuses of leasehold practices’.

Amy Evans

'A new deal for renting' but a risky hand for landlords

by Amy Evans


The Government has recently released news that the majority of landlords hoped or assumed would never come; section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 will be repealed in the (apparently) near future. This marks a complete turnaround in strategy from the Government following the passing of the Housing Act in 1988, which was introduced with the intention of making renting easier for landlords in order to open up the private rented sector.

Mark Sellers

Redress for purchasers of new build homes and the new homes ombudsman

by Mark Sellers


The Government has committed to delivering 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s. At the same time, it does not want to see a deterioration in quality.






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