Posts tagged "local councils"

Martha Mackenzie

By Martha Mackenzie

A tax on both your (privately rented) houses

Wednesday’s budget furrowed many a brow at Shelter. The Chancellor singled out housing support for substantial cuts. A lot of the people who come to Shelter for help are about to find themselves worse off – and our job just got tougher.

However, amidst this frustration there were some sensible tax reforms that deserve an honourable mention.

1. Raise the Roof

The Budget raised the tax-free threshold for the rent-a-room scheme.

This scheme was introduced in 1992 to offer … MORE...

Zorana Halpin

By Zorana Halpin

London’s forgotten homeless


How have we got into a situation in London where being homeless could mean: 

a)      Living in insecure temporary accommodation for up to 23 years 

b)      Living in temporary accommodation up to 200 miles away 

c)       Subject to the benefit cap with a £100 per week shortfall, putting you at risk of arrears and eviction?



A heady combination of a housing shortage, inadequate government support with housing costs, some private landlords taking advantage of desperate councils, and the MORE...

Martha Mackenzie

By Martha Mackenzie

The tenants’ trap

Following the actions of Fergus and Judith Wilson hundreds of private renters have been served legal eviction notices– simply for receiving some housing benefit. According to the most recent National Landlords Association survey just one in five landlords let to people on benefits.

Those in desperate need may turn to their council for homelessness assistance. All local authorities in England have a legal duty to assist people who are homeless, or threatened with homelessness. As the loss of MORE...

Hannah Gousy

By Hannah Gousy

Bad housing

Nearly fifteen million people in England are living in bad housing – that’s three people in ten.  This figure – revealed in a recent Shelter report prepared by NatCen – is made up of 3.6 million children, 9.2 million working age adults and 2 million pensioners.

By bad housing we mean homes that are overcrowded, or fail to meet the government’s ‘Decent Homes Standard’. The basic requirements of the standard are that homes must:

not pose a risk to the… MORE...
Martha Mackenzie

By Martha Mackenzie

Rogue landlords: Another step forward

On Wednesday, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles formally responded to the CLG Committee’s report on the private rented sector. Before addressing the recommendations Mr Pickles noted that:

“The private rented market… is an important option for the millions of people who prefer the flexibility that renting offers, or who are simply saving up for a deposit so they can buy a place of their own.”

It is precisely because this is not the case … MORE...