Application

Not all disrepair is sufficient to make a property statutorily unfit, but may cause tenants undue hardship. Local authorities should fully consider use of repair notices under the Housing Act 1985 (as amended) sections 190(l) (a) or (b) to tackle housing in disrepair before it becomes statutorily unfit. In terms of repair of a dwelling-house, Lord Denning's precedent under Hillbank Properties v London Borough of Hackney (1978) Q.B. 998 summarises the importance of local authorities enforcing...

Auditing expenditure

Accountability for local authority expenditure has become increasingly important over recent years. In terms of HIP allocation and grant expenditure, this takes several forms. The priority is to spend properly the financial allocation in accordance with legal requirements. The management task is crucial. In practice, most local authorities now have computer-based grant systems with several defined personnel involved in the grant process. This in itself can be a form of regulation and audit over...

Basic private sector housing finance

Housing finance is a vital component of any private sector housing renewal programme. Government allowances and controls over capital and revenue expenditure have become increasingly tight in recent years, and are currently under review (DETR 1999). Management of expenditure has, therefore, become increasingly important both in terms of traditional housing finance, as well as seeking new and innovative resource expenditure. This section briefly overviews the importance of an accurate Housing...

Changing nature of housing strategies Outline

The need for well-thought-through strategies has been a result of massive social, political, economic and legal changes, both to housing and in wider society. The 1991 Audit Commission report (Audit Commission 1991) criticised local authorities for their general lack of strategies to make best use of available resources in private sector stock. In 1992, it published a further document advising local authorities on how to develop housing strategies (Audit Commission 1992). In addition, the...

Changing nature of housing strategy

The term 'strategy' is a military one. It is about how to win a war. In terms of housing, strategy can be defined as winning the war against poor and unsuitable housing. Increasingly, though, housing strategies have taken on a wider context than their traditional bricks and mortar approach. Local housing strategies are now much more about the bigger picture, and bringing wider socio-economic change to communities. The terms 'policy' and 'strategy' are frequently interchanged. In general,...

Private sector housing strategies

Chapter 5 considers housing strategies and looks at the changing nature of such strategies and their current role and function in a rapidly changing environment. It focuses on government requirements in developing and delivering comprehensive housing strategies and offers a general overview of their increasing importance in terms of delivering far more than just housing. It looks at some key issues involved in developing housing strategies before considering establishing housing strategies to...

Conclusions

A huge amount of progress has been made in improving housing conditions since the mid-1800s, but there is still a long way to go. Many people still live in unsatisfactory or unfit housing, affecting their access to local amenities and community, whilst others have no home at all. Government ideology and funding opportunities have played a key role in housing provision and rehabilitation policies over this period, with capital funding providing the optimum way to provide and maintain decent...

Common parts grant

Common parts grants are for the improvement or repair of the common parts of buildings containing one or more flats. Eligible buildings include self-contained flats that are more than 10 years old, where three-quarters of the flats are occupied by occupying tenants (including leaseholders). The application should be made by more than three-quarters of occupying tenants, with a landlord as a participating tenant where appropriate. Calculation or common parts grants can be complex. The costs are...

Community participation and empowerment

Community participation has become a key concept in area regeneration policies, and there is much literature illustrating what it is about and how it can be encouraged to make policies more relevant, democratic and sustainable to local communities (e.g. Taylor 1995). Participation is essentially about power and knowledge. It encourages citizens to have a greater say in policy development, but it is the State that normally determines how much it will reorganise its power relationship with...

Contents

2 Background to legal conditions 9 2.1 History of private sector housing renewal 9 2.3 Role of the private rented sector 36 2.4 Inequality and poor housing conditions 42 2.6 Asylum seekers and housing 55 2.7 Fuel poverty, energy efficiency and conservation 62 3 Essential basic knowledge 67 3.1 Building terminology 68 3.2 Common housing defects 76 3.4 Drafting a specification of works 84 3.5 Key legal definitions for housing enforcement 88 3.6 Introduction to landlord and tenant law 92 3.7 Basic...

Criminal remedy for disrepair

It is normal practice for private tenants to secure their right to repair under statute enforced by local authority environmental health departments, although this does not preclude a civil case from running simultaneously. The Housing Act 1985 (as amended) provides remedy for tenants seeking repair and are enforced by environmental health departments on a daily basis. The Act provides for service of repair notices as a remedy both for disrepair as well as unfitness. This section concentrates...

Definitions

There is, therefore, a huge body of case law under the Housing Act 1985 (as amended) and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. This tends to revolve around the concept of making something good (which may result in improvement) rather than an improvement in itself. A fuller definition is provided in Section 3.5. Repair notices local authorities can require works of repair by notice under the Housing Act 1985 (as amended), sections 189 and 190. Section 190 notices are...

Environmental Protection Act 1990

These are defined under the sections 79-82 Statutory Nuisance provisions of the Act, and are further considered in Section 4.4. Nuisance is not defined, but a statutory nuisance includes any premises in such a state as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance. See Section 4.4 for further details. This means, in relation to statutory nuisance, the person to whose act, default or sufferance the nuisance is attributable. Where the Environmental Protection Act is used instead of the Housing Act,...

Funding opportunities

Local authorities housing capital programmes are financed by a mixture of central government allocation and the local authority resources. The main function of capital programmes is for renovation and improvement of the authorities' own housing stock, grants to the private sector, disabled adaptations and grants to registered social landlords to support new build as well as rehabilitation schemes. This funding comes in four separate housing capital allocations (DETR 1999b) Housing Annual...

Harassment and illegal eviction

Harassment and illegal eviction are commonly interrelated and can be difficult to prove because of the power differential between landlord and tenant. Harassment and illegal eviction are criminal offences and civil damages can be claimed. The Protection from Eviction Act 1977 (as amended by the Housing Act 1988) makes it an offence to interfere with the peace or comfort of the tenant or anyone living with them and persistently withdraw or withhold reasonable services needed to live in the...

History of private sector housing renewal Outline

A background knowledge in the development of private sector housing renewal policies is important in informing an understanding of current housing conditions, law and practice. It is also useful to overview which policies were successful and why, and, conversely, which policies were not so successful, and why. A comprehensive, honest and sensitive overview is useful in developing sustainable new policies. This section, which can only offer a summary of key features and dates, traces the history...

HMOsproposals for licencing

It is often said that a licence is needed to run a kennel, but that any idiot can run an HMO. In many senses this is true, but the reality of dealing with residential accommodation in the market place in a climate of increasing homelessness makes the situation more complex. HMO licensing is being considered at the time of writing. Conditions in HMOs are commonly found to be amongst the worst in housing, with increasing numbers of low-income groups occupying them (DETR 1999). There is an...

Housing Act 1985 as amended

Defined under section 207 to include the building containing a flat. Defined under section 207 to include a house or flat, and incorporates any yard, garden, outhouses and appurtenances belonging to it or used by it. This extends to flats, which are also dwelling houses, and notices may be served in respect of buildings containing flats. The definition does not apply to temporary or movable structures, which are separately defined and to which specific legislation applies. There is much case...

Housing Investment Programme HIP

The government makes annual housing capital allocations for local authority housing investment through the HIP. The programme is an annual process of preparing the local authority plans for housing expenditure across all housing tenures. The discretionary allocation process is closely regulated by guidance issued by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR). Local authorities are required to provide details of their local housing strategy, successes in meeting this,...

Impact of regeneration

To be successful, regeneration schemes need to be able to tackle broader urban problems and the extent to which poor housing conditions are part of a general social and economic process in a geographically defined urban area. It can be difficult to find a way forward in some areas where traditional industries have disappeared, leading to an ageing population and lack of young inflow, causing long-term decline which can cause changes to local housing markets due to low demand for owner...

Info

Inequality and poor housing conditions Outline Goss and Blackaby (1998) argued that housing policy has always been a dimension of inequality for the following reasons Black, ethnic minorities and woman headed households are overrepresented in poor housing. Some have more than one home others have none. Some can move freely others are trapped in negative equity or have an inability to transfer to alternate social housing. Rent levels across sector can cause a 'poverty trap' and prevent movement...

Initiating Local House Condition Surveys

While there is no specified way in which local authorities are required to undertake local surveys, the (then) Department of the Environment (DoE) issued guidance (1993) based on recommendations from the Building Research Establishment. The DoE categorised Local House Condition Surveys into three main types Strategy development, for statistical and planning purposes. Action planning, for statistical and planning purposes. Implementation, for detailed specifications and costings. Strategy...

Introduction and legislation

This section introduces civil and criminal remedies to tackle poor housing conditions. It shows the various remedies available under different Acts and how they might apply to particular conditions. Remedy for disrepair is available under the following legislation Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 11. Defective Premises Act 1972 sections 1 and 4. Housing Act 1985 (as amended) sections 189 and 190. Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 80 statutory nuisance provisions. Other miscellaneous...

Introduction to landlord and tenant law Outline

Action taken by local authorities in respect of housing conditions can generate some difficulties between landlord and tenant, particularly those in tenancies granted since 1988. This raises the need for officers to have a background knowledge in landlord and tenant law, its application and scope, and at what stage to refer to a housing advice officer for assistance and intervention for potential cases of harassment and illegal eviction. Local authorities need procedures in place to ensure...

Key legal definitions for housing enforcement

An appeal can be upheld because an officer has mistakenly served the notice on the wrong person or organisation, or has made an error in a key legal definition. Such an apparently minor mistake can invalidate a notice, cause embarrassment and cost to a local authority and, most importantly, cause delay in a tenant getting necessary works done. To prevent this happening, a knowledge of basic definitions and where to find them is necessary. It is essential to have all relevant information to hand...

Key legislation governing housing conditions

The key environmental health and housing legislation was summarised in Table 1.2. This section is concerned mainly with the procedures and practices associated with the following Acts and Circulars Housing Act 1985 (as amended). Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Environmental Protection Act 1990. Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. DoE 17 96 Private Sector Renewal A Strategic Approach. Whilst each Act is unique in its application, there are several principles that...

Leasehold

Tenancy (including a local authority tenant, private sector tenant, where different tenancies afford different tenant rights). Licence (including residents of hostels, family members of tenants). A tenant is someone renting property under a lease or tenancy in any housing sector. The term is sometimes interchangeable with 'lease', but tenancies tend to be issued for shorter-term arrangements. The main statutes in respect of private sector residential tenancies are the Rent Act 1977 and the...

Local House Condition Surveys

Local authorities have a duty to consider housing conditions in their area on an annual basis and decide the action to take. This is an ongoing process, designed to build on existing information year on year. Local authorities need to identify housing conditions in their areas the size, type, location, and condition and their suitability to meet local need, including for young single people, families, the elderly, the disabled and so on, both now and in the future. Wider planning issues, such...

Management Regulations

The Housing (Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation) 1990 placed responsibilities on the person managing the HMO to ensure proper standards of management. The regulations apply to all HMOs and failure to comply with them is an offence, but the local authority first needs to show that the manager was aware of responsibilities under the Management Regulations. The regulations are summarised in Table 4.6, but in general require the HMO manager To ensure repair, maintenance, cleansing and good...

Moving forwardhousing and sustainability

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Chair of the World Commission on Environment and Development, defined sustainability in 1987 as follows 'Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (cited in Sustainability 2000). The ability to sustain ourselves, our housing and our communities requires some basic changes and local authorities can move in the...

Other arrangements

This is permission to occupy a dwelling given to someone who is not a tenant or owner-occupier. By being granted a licence, the person is not a trespasser. Licensees include partners and family members. It is commonly associated with agreement between a landlord and occupier giving permission to occupy certain types of accommodation, including households with lodgers and shared housing, such as hostels. There are less legal rights than with tenants, no security of tenure and usually no right to...

Outline

The relationship of poor housing and health, poverty and deprivation, lack of employment, poor local facilities and social exclusion has long been recognised, but it is only relatively recently that converging these areas has been reflected in policy. Until recently regeneration was dealt with under separate banners, but is now based on partnership working and a bringing together of all parties with potential skills, legislation and resources to move things forward. A comprehensive approach now...

Partnership working

Organisational change seems to be a constant feature of local government as new relationships continue to emerge in service delivery. The Welfare State required new forms of organisation to deliver services, which gradually evolved over the next decades. However, public sector organisation and management was criticised by proponents of the New Right and heavily cut through the 1980s and 1990s. The New Right argued that radical change was required to counteract perceived selfinterest, white...

Rent

Staff costs, including a unit manager and staff. Other administration or management costs. The support for destitute asylum seekers is based on the assumption that those provided with accommodation through NASS, with associated funding for utility supplies, will only require 70 per cent income support level rate for essential living expenses. Support is in the form of vouchers for exchange of goods and some of which can be cashed in, but change from the vouchers is...

Rent Act 1977 and Housing Acts 1988 and 1996

Tenancies granted under the Rent Act 1977 have several advantages, including security of tenure and rent control through registration of a reasonable rent. From a tenant's perspective, less secure were the tenancies created by the Housing Act 1988, (see Section 2.3, Role of the private rented sector), where landlords were entitled to charge market rents with easier possession procedures at the expiry of the tenancy. This Act created the assured tenancies as follows Assured tenancy the tenant...

Role of the private rented sector Outline

A definition of the private rented sector was included in the Introduction. Here the private rented sector is defined as that which is let as a business enterprise to make a profit, so does not include housing associations or other not-for-profit lettings. This section briefly overviews the role and function of the private rented sector, its rise and fall over the course of this century, and the way in which government policy is encouraging its current role to provide, in essence, a new...

Service of notices

Only officers with specific authority delegated under the Local Government Act 1972 can serve notices. Normally, the chief environmental health officer has power to authorise others to serve notices, normally by qualification and or experience, and this may be outlined in the local authority's standing orders. It is usual practice for the task to be delegated to EHOs and housing technical officers. However, some local authorities still require the Chair of the housing committee to sign basic...

Summary

The definition can sometimes need breaking down into component pieces to apply so that HMO specific legislation can be enforced. HMOs comprise the worst living conditions, frequently occupied by the most vulnerable members of society. HMOs can be difficult to locate, so statistics remain in question. Although local authorities are increasingly developing strategies, there is still a long way to go in addressing a growing number of HMOs. The government is currently proposing to introduce an...

Theory Into Practiceintentionally Homeless Or

Local authorities need to investigate fully all applicants presenting as homeless before making a decision on whether they are homeless, eligible for assistance and are satisfied that the homlessness is non-intentional. A family applied as homeless, and the local authority found a priority need because of having dependent children and thus provided temporary accommodation for a reasonable period whilst obtaining relevant information to consider the application further. Investigating the...

Urban regenerationthe policies legislation and resources

Regeneration is wider than just housing rehabilitation. In its urban context, regeneration is about the improvement of a distinct geographical area by tackling a wide range of factors causing disadvantage and decline. Regeneration activities range in scope from small-scale community development projects to large-scale regeneration with substantial capital investment (Hooton 1996). The nature and extent of regeneration is frequently determined by funding and other resource opportunities. Urban...

Acknowledgements

First and foremost, I am grateful to W.H.Bassett (Editor of Clay's Library of Health and the Environment) and Michael Doggwiler (Senior Editor, Spon Press an imprint of the Taylor and Francis Group) for their continued and enthusiastic advice, ideas, guidance and support throughout the compilation of this book. I am indebted to Three Rivers District Council for permission to use the photographs and paperwork such as survey sheets, risk inspection sheets, etc. to the Chartered Institute of...

Essential basic knowledge

This chapter is more technically based than Chapter 2. It is a 'how to' rather than a 'why to' and discusses essential basic knowledge before detailed environmental health housing law and practice is presented in Chapter 4. Chapter 3 introduces essential basic knowledge required as a background to deal with poor housing conditions. It provides a foundation to building terminology and common housing defects before using this as a basis on how to survey a house and draft a specification of works....

Housing

Clay's Library of Health and the Environment Volume I First published 2001 by Spon Press 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Spon Press 29 West 35 th Street, New York, NY 10001 Spon Press is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge's collection of thousands of eBooks please go to...

Introduction

People's homes and their local communities can influence health and well-being, community and family ties, and access to wider society. It then follows that decent housing has a positive effect on a person's lifestyle and their life chances. Those living in decent housing are more likely to maintain good health, access to education, health, community facilities and employment opportunities. Conversely, those who live in poor housing, particularly within deprived...

Civil remedy for disrepair

Civil remedies are about private citizens' rights that are not criminal or political. In terms of remedy for disrepair, a tenant can sue their landlord for breach of contract, implied or explicit. Across both housing sectors (public and private), civil remedy can be sought through the following legislation Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 11. Defective Premises Act 1972 sections 1 and 4. Civil remedy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Defec-tive Premises Act 1972 are now...

Caravan Sites Act 1968 and Mobile Homes Act 1983

Relations between caravans (more commonly now referred to as mobile homes or park homes) and site owners are largely governed by the Caravan Sites Act 1968 and the Mobile Homes Act 1983, which updated many existing provisions. The Mobile Homes Act applies to private and local authority sites. It introduces new rules governing ownership (but not tenancies) in respect of mobile homes, including security of tenure, sale of mobile homes and agreements between site owners and residents. The act...

Abbreviations

Association of Metropolitan Authorities Bed and Breakfast Information Exchange Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Department of the Environment, Transport and the National Federation of Housing Associations Private Sector Renewal Support Grant Tenants Resource and Information Service

References

Age Concern and RADAR (2000) Report by Age Concern and Radar on the Disabled Facilities Grants System. Is the System Working http (19 June 2000). Albeson, R. (2000) 'Uneasy settlement', Roof, July August, 16. Arblaster, L. and Hawtin, M. (1993) Health, Housing and Social Policy, London Socialist Health Association. Ashton, J. and Seymore, H. (1988) The New Public Health, Milton Keynes Open University Press. Association of Metropolitan Authorities (1985) Defects in Housing, London AMA. Asylum...

Bed and breakfast

Of the above categories, bed and breakfast accommodation is frequently in poor condition, and dependence on this sector for temporary accommodation has fallen in recent years in favour of other types. However, a substantial number of households are still housed in bed and breakfast establishments, and it is this sector that is mainly considered here to illustrate health and housing issues. The London Research Centre LRC established the Bed and Breakfast Information Exchange BABIE in 1988 as a...

Private sector housing the local authority role

The fundamental purpose of local authority environmental health activity is to break the link between poor housing and ill-health, through a mixture of enforcement and enabling provisions. The objectives include repair and or improvement of individual houses, rehabilitation on an area basis, a wider strategic role in anti-poverty, social exclusion and political initiatives as well as the increasing use of private sector as 'alternative' to social housing. Local authority housing functions are...

Fall and rise of the private rented sector

Interpretation of the decline of the private rented sector falls largely into two camps. First is the view that it is not allowed to operate as a market. This view is mainly concerned with what is perceived as over regulation, which prevents the housing market from operating effectively. The second view is that the decline is due instead to wider social changes, fiscal policy favouring owner occupation as a tenure and the provision of low-cost social housing by a different provider. The reality...