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Housing Articles

Duncan Lewis Solicitors does not have direct involvement in the cases and events covered in these articles. These are articles that exist in the public domain and are used by Duncan Lewis purely for informative purpose.
Duncan Lewis:Housing

Drug dealers taking over homes of vulnerable people, says charity (30 December 2014)

A senior social worker at the Ipswich charity the Iceni Project says that there has been a sharp increase in cases involving drug dealers taking over a vulnerable person’s home to deal from – a practice known as “cuckooing”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

House prices up an average of 6% in 2014 (29 December 2014)

New figures reveal that house prices across the UK rose by an average of 6% in 2014, with properties outside London increasing in value by around £15,000.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Watford housing association under fire from LibDem councilors over mis-timed announcement that tenants might lose their homes (17 December 2014)

Liberal Democrat councilors in Watford have criticised a housing association for telling tenants they might lose their homes just hours before a public meeting to discuss the redevelopment of the Meriden estate.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Brighton Council to ask again for Right-To-Buy to be scrapped (16 December 2014)

The chief executive of Brighton & Hove Council is to ask the government to scrap Right-To-Buy to help ease the crisis in social housing in the area.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Rogue plumber given suspended sentence for endangering tenants’ lives (15 December 2014)

A plumber has been prosecuted after work he carried out at a rented property endangered the lives of tenants.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London must build on Green Belt land, says property consultant (10 December 2014)

A new report from the London Society has called for more homes to be built on the Green Belt around London, saying that it cannot be treated as “sacrosanct” given the current shortage of affordable housing.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

£75m social housing boost for Salford, after Salix Homes takes over ownership from council (8 December 2014)

The city of Salford in Greater Manchester has received a £75 million boost for social housing to be spent over the next five years, after residents living in Local Authority properties voted to transfer their council-owned homes to Salix Homes, unlocking the cash boost in the process.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Tougher mortgage rules lead to unanticipated drop in house sales (8 December 2014)

A report issued by the Office for Budget Responsibility has revealed that stricter rules for mortgage applicants relating to their income and expenditure resulted in a sharper fall in house sales than anticipated.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Evictions soar as welfare reforms bite (8 December 2014)

Housing charities are calling for more measures to protect tenants as the number of evictions by bailiffs as a result of debt and rogue landlords soars.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

New Stamp Duty rates apply from today (4 December 2014)

The Chancellor’s changes to Stamp Duty are effective from today (04/12/14), meaning homebuyers whose homes are below the £1 million threshold will save money.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Social housing stock “depleted by Right-to-Buy” (2 December 2014)

The Local Government Association has said that social housing stock is becoming depleted because local councils do not have the funding to replace homes sold under Right-to-Buy.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London Mayor defends Battersea Power Station redevelopment’s “lack” of affordable housing (2 December 2014)

London Mayor Boris Johnson has hit back at critics of the Malaysia Square development centred on Battersea Power Station, saying that the lack of affordable housing in the development has been compensated for by the developer investing in the Tube to Battersea.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Lambeth Council repossesses property from rogue landlord (1 December 2014)

Lambeth Council has taken possession of a three-bed house which belonged to the council in the 1970s, but was passed on to housing associations on a short-life contract. The property eventually ended up in the hands of a rogue landlord, who converted it into an eight-bed property and made £40,000 a year in rent, despite the property being in serious disrepair.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Letting agencies watchdog “fails to record a single complaint” (28 November 2014)

A redress scheme for tenants introduced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has failed to log any complaints against letting agents in the two months since its launch.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Call for councils to sell off million-pound properties and build more affordable homes (27 November 2014)

The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles had ordered Town Halls to sell off any council homes worth more than £1 million, in order to fund more social housing projects.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

House prices continue to rise, as Bank of England signals no rise in interest rates just yet (26 November 2014)

House prices have risen again this year – with London homeowners enjoying an 18% rise in property prices and homeowners across the country seeing the value of their homes rise by an average of 6.8%.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

New report suggests social housing tenants are struggling under debt burden (26 November 2014)

A new report focusing on low-income households and debt levels among social housing tenants has concluded that the government’s austerity measures are impacting severely on the finances of social housing tenants.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Cornwall announces social housing tenancy fraud amnesty (24 November 2014)

Cornwall Council has announced a tenancy amnesty which would enable people in social housing committing tenancy fraud to hand in the keys to the property without fear of prosecution.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

MP calls for tax break for residents who back social housing near their homes (20 November 2014)

Labour MP Diane Abbott is calling for tax breaks for Londoners who agree to social housing being built near their homes.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Slowdown in house prices in September (19 November 2014)

Figures for house prices in September have shown that in London property has fallen in value faster than anywhere else in the UK, signalling a slowdown in the house price boom.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

East London social housing tenants battle US property company over rent hikes and possible eviction (19 November 2014)

Tenants on the New Era housing estate in east London are facing uncertainty – and possible eviction – after the owners of the estate appeared to have scrapped plans not to impose a sharp hike in rents before Christmas.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

78-year-old social housing tenant evicted for hoarding habit (18 November 2014)

A social housing tenant who hoarded refuse and was “aggressive” towards housing officers has been evicted by North Hertfordshire Homes (NHH) after fifty years of living at his property.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Housing Associations recover 100th illegally sublet property (13 November 2014)

A joint initiative between The Guinness Partnership, housing association Family Mosaic and the London Borough of Hackney has led to the recovery of the one-hundredth illegally sublet council property in Hackney, east London.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Nearly one-third of social housing tenants would like to buy (13 November 2014)

Research by The Rental Exchange has found that nearly one-third (29%) of social housing tenants would like to own their own home using Right-to-Buy.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Poll finds more than one-third of homeowners would struggle if interest rates rise to 2% (12 November 2014)

Figures from market research agency ICM suggest that once mortgage interest rates rise to 2%, one-third of homeowners would struggle to repay their mortgages every month.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

40-plus generation may never own their own home (10 November 2014)

The shortage in affordable housing has led to many people aged 35 to 40-plus getting trapped in the rental market instead of owning their own homes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Social housing provider tweets for every home lost to Right-to-Buy (4 November 2014)

Housing association Phoenix Community Housing (PCH) in southeast London is tweeting every time a house is lost to Right-to-Buy, to highlight the number of homes being sold to the private sector.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Social housing tenants getting deeper in debt as a result of welfare reforms (3 November 2014)

A report from Real Life Reform has revealed that nearly half of all families in social housing have no money left once they have paid their bills.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Cornwall Council paying housing benefit on homes rented back after sale under Right-to-Buy (3 November 2014)

An investigation by The Independent has revealed that Cornwall Council has paid out £8,000 in Housing Benefit on homes recently bought by tenants under Right-to-Buy and rented back to the council.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

“Generation rent” continues as young adults consider moving abroad to afford their own home (31 October 2014)

Research from Santander Mortgages has revealed that nearly one-quarter (23%) of young adults aged 18-24 would be prepared to move – including moving abroad – to be able to afford a home of their own.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Landmark council decision on basement development could protect more residents from nuisance and construction noise (27 October 2014)

Residents in a road in Kentish Town, northwest London, have won a legal battle to prevent a neighbour tunnelling under his existing property to create a basement bedroom.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London’s Mayor’s affordable homes target may be missed (24 October 2014)

London Mayor Boris Johnson has admitted that his target of building 55,000 affordable homes in the capital by March 2015 may be missed.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Living Rent Campaign demands fairer rents and five-year tenancies in Brighton and Hove (24 October 2014)

Campaigners have protested outside a council meeting in Brighton and Hove, where councillors were discussing a fair rent petition.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

More families refurbishing homes to accommodate adult children, says FMB (22 October 2014)

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has estimated that families in Britain will spend up to £6 billion on refurbishing their homes in the next three years, as spiralling property prices prevent many families from moving to a larger home.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

House prices rise in southeast, as homebuyers are forced out of London (21 October 2014)

New figures from online estate agent Rightmove show that homebuyers who have been forced out of London are fuelling a steep rise in house prices in the southeast of England.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Landlords to check tenants’ immigration status from 1 December in West Midlands (20 October 2014)

The government has announced that the area chosen to pilot its scheme whereby private sector landlords have to check the immigration of tenants is the West Midlands.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Boys and girls as young as ten brawl outside Tesco store (20 October 2014)

A ten-year-old boy was treated in hospital for facial injuries after a fight between 15 youths outside a branch of Tesco supermarket on Thursday (16/10/14).  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Law Society-backed residential conveyancing portal from next Spring (16 October 2014)

The chief executive of a new residential conveyancing website has announced that the site – due to launch in spring 2015 – will be called “Veyo”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Southwark Council agrees out-of-court settlement with unlawfully evicted tenant, whose possessions were destroyed (15 October 2014)

An asylum seeker has won substantial damages against Southwark Council in southeast London, after a court agreed that the council had conspired to evict him from his home – as well as destroying all of his possessions.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Government offers 22 councils more borrowing power to build affordable homes (13 October 2014)

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has announced more government loans to help local councils build affordable housing.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Children in temporary accommodation at higher risk of hunger (10 October 2014)

A study of families in London has found that children whose families are housed in temporary accommodation are most like to suffer from food poverty.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

LibDems propose Council Tax re-banding for properties worth £2m or more (7 October 2014)

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has defended proposals to take tax payments for Council Tax from the estates of deceased homeowners.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

900 London letting agencies fail to register with Ombudsman to comply with change in law (6 October 2014)

The impact of a change in the law on 1 October has meant that some letting agents are failing to register with one of three approved Ombudsman schemes, as required under the law.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London councils spending “millions” to house homeless families in temporary accommodation (6 October 2014)

New government figures show that the government’s welfare cuts have resulted in a sharp increase in the amount local councils are spending on temporary accommodation for homeless families.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Homeless EU migrants build their own “affordable homes” on London canal bank (2 October 2014)

Residents in Edmonton, north London are said to be upset by a “shanty town” set up by homeless migrants on the banks of the Regents Canal.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London Mayor pledges homes for Londoners before overseas investors (1 October 2014)

London Mayor Boris Johnson has joined the housing debate, after saying at the Conservative conference in Birmingham that he would build more new homes in London which would be for Londoners and not overseas investors.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

House prices in Midlands continue to soar (30 September 2014)

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that homebuyers in the Midlands are facing increasingly high property prices, with house prices up by 7.3% in the West Midlands in the last 12 months to July – and up by 7.6% in the East Midlands.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Homeowners renovating to avoid Stamp Duty, new research shows (29 September 2014)

New research commissioned by The London Homebuilding and Renovating and Home Improvement Show at London’s Olympia has shown that more homeowners are refurbishing their homes rather than moving on, in a bid to avoid Stamp Duty.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

£1bn pension shortfall may affect housing associations’ plans to tackle housing shortage (29 September 2014)

A shortfall in the Social Housing Pension Scheme has raised concern that some housing associations might have to curtail their plans to build more new homes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London house prices rise again by 2.7% in one month (29 September 2014)

Latest figures from the Land Registry show that London experienced another surge in house prices in August, with property prices rising by 2.7% in the capital.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Greenwich residents battle “social cleansing” regeneration scheme (24 September 2014)

Local residents battling against developers at a site near the 02 in Greenwich, southeast London, will hear in October whether a tribunal will allow them to scrutinise details of the scheme’s financial viability assessment.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

South Yorkshire house prices “putting families under pressure” (23 September 2014)

Escalating house prices in South Yorkshire are putting families under strain, according to a report in the Sheffield Telegraph.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

New Anti-social Behaviour Act could lead to tenants being evicted (22 September 2014)

Local Authorities and housing associations have been given greater powers to evict tenants committing anti-social behaviour under the new Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Call for joined up policy from housing expert – while research shows 94% of renters breach their lease (19 September 2014)

Chairman of the IMLA (Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association) Charles Haresnape has said that the UK needs a joined up housing policy to resolve the current housing crisis.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

City of York Council cuts 5,000 new houses in draft Local Plan (15 September 2014)

City of York Council has published it draft Local Plan – which contains 5,000 fewer houses than expected.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

West Midlands to pilot landlord checks on tenants’ immigration status (11 September 2014)

The government’s Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire has announced that new measures to make landlords legally responsible for checking the immigration status of tenants will be introduced in the West Midlands from 1 December.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Right-to-Buy homeowners on condemned estates mount legal challenge to council valuations (10 September 2014)

An investigation by BBC1’s Inside Out programme has highlighted the plight of thousands of Right-to-Buy homeowners on London estates, who claim they have been offered just a fraction of the market value of their homes by local councils who want to bulldoze their estates and redevelop the land.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Former DPP will “tackle housing crisis” if selected as Labour candidate (9 September 2014)

The former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keir Starmer – who is hoping to win selection as Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras – has said if elected he would tackle London’s housing crisis.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Cost of living leaves many Britons without the money for a mortgage (8 September 2014)

Research by website Shareamortgage.com has found that most Britons are unable to afford a mortgage on an average salary of £26,500, because the cost of living has risen to £13,281 before taking into account how much people have to pay for accommodation.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Affordable homes in Lancaster target social housing tenants hit by Bedroom Tax (3 September 2014)

The Guinness Partnership is developing 18 one-bedroom houses in Lancashire aimed at households which have been hit by the Bedroom Tax.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Despite rising house prices, outlook for market “looks highly uncertain” (1 September 2014)

New figures from the Land Registry show that house prices in London continue to escalate much faster than property in other areas of the country.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Social housing landlord launches young offenders on careers in construction (1 September 2014)

A Salford-based Housing Association has offered seven young offenders training to help them begin a career in the construction industry.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Finding a home in London: “Beds in sheds” to rent – and first-time buyers borrowing four times their salary (28 August 2014)

Hillingdon Council has demolished a shed which a rogue landlord was renting out as a “bed in a shed” for £750 per month.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Croydon tenant facing eviction after causing fire while drunk (27 August 2014)

A social housing tenant who passed out while frying chicken and nearly burnt down his flat is to be evicted.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Cheaper to buy then rent, says Halifax (26 August 2014)

New figures from the Halifax show that buying a house with a mortgage saves an average of £1,300 a year compared with paying monthly rent.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Council budgets slashed more in poorest areas, says Labour (26 August 2014)

Labour Shadow Communities Secretary Hilary Benn has attacked the Coalition government for creating a postcode lottery of council budget cuts.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Average London house price now £499,000 (20 August 2014)

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that house prices in London have risen by 19.3% in the last year to June – taking the average price of a house in London to £499,000.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Help to Buy failing, says Labour (20 August 2014)

The government has defended its Help to Buy mortgage scheme, after official figures show that in many areas of London, not a single buyer has bought under the Help to Buy scheme.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

1.6m households “spending more than half their income” on rent and mortgage repayments (19 August 2014)

Money advice website MoneyExpert.com says that people on low incomes are spending more than half of their salary on housing costs – and is calling for more affordable housing to be built.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Housing associations fear that Universal Credit may push tenants into rent arrears (18 August 2014)

Housing Associations are asking claimants to pay some of their rent in advance, over fears they might default on rent payments once they are switched from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

74 new homes for Yorkshire and northeast under £1.5m government funding scheme (15 August 2014)

Social housing provider Riverside has been awarded more than £1.5 million by the Homes and Communities Agency to build affordable new homes in the northeast of England.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Right to Buy “costing Harrow Council £500,000 a year” in renting back properties (13 August 2014)

The Conservative policy of Right to Buy which was introduced under Margaret Thatcher’s government is being called a “strait-jacket” for Harrow Council, as many of the council properties sold to council tenants under the Right to Buy scheme are now being rented back to the council at an annual cost of £500,000.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Landlords may be required to check immigration status of tenants under Immigration Bill (12 August 2014)

New rules in October’s Immigration Bill may mean landlords will be required to check the immigration status of tenants.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London and southeast property market “distorting national average” (11 August 2014)

A report by The Money Charity says that first-time buyers may have a long wait before they can buy their own home, with many young adults facing waits of up to 22 years before they can save enough for a deposit at current figures.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

More cuts to benefits may be on the way (11 August 2014)

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is expected to announce further cuts in benefits in the run up to the general election next year – including lowering the current £26,000 annual cap on welfare benefits to the level of the average income of £18,000.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bedroom tax court victory for disabled wife and carer husband (8 August 2014)

A couple from Kirklees in West Yorkshire has won a court case against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the “bedroom tax”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Council housing shortage “forcing families in hostels and B&Bs” (8 August 2014)

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by homeless charity Shelter has revealed that some homeless families are forced to live in temporary hostel accommodation for up to two years until a council house can be found for them.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Conservative London Assembly Members urge councils to build “infill homes” on redundant land (30 July 2014)

A new report by Conservative Party London Assembly members says that another 10,000 homes could be built in London if unused plots of land on London council estates were developed.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

CAB dealing with more evictions among rental tenants (28 July 2014)

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) says that it has seen a 38% rise in the number of rental tenants who seek advice as a result of eviction, despite not being in arrears with their rent.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Elderly under fire for “bed blocking” housing market (28 July 2014)

The government’s English Housing Survey has revealed that 79% of older people are homeowners – many having lived in their homes for decades after bringing up families.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Citizens’ victory as 200 peaceful protesters prevent eviction of cancer patient by HM Treasury’s bailiffs (25 July 2014)

A 63-year-old prostate cancer sufferer whose house was due to be repossessed has kept his home thanks to the actions of 200 strangers – who prevented the eviction by protesting peacefully outside the property.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

“Midlife stopgap” tenants changing the face of rental sector (23 July 2014)

New research by Experian has revealed that after students, middle-aged workers and divorced Britons are the largest group of people renting homes in the UK.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Lewisham Council to sell off £20% of new homes built to reinvest in social housing (21 July 2014)

Lewisham Council in southeast London is to sell off 20% of the new social housing homes it has built in the borough to private buyers.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

ONS figures show no slowdown in house prices (17 July 2014)

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that in May house prices in the capital rose by £7,000 on average – and over the last year have risen by an average of 20.1% in London.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Barratt increases house building and doubles profits (11 July 2014)

The housing boom in the UK is having a positive effect on the profits of housing developers, as house builder Barratt Developments revealed an update its full-year profits for this year (2013-2014).
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Tory MP suggests house hunters out-priced in London should try Manchester (2 July 2014)

The Conservative MP for Croydon South, Sir Richard Ottaway, has suggested that those who are unable to afford to buy a home in London should get on a train and go to Manchester.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

“Gradual and limited” interest rises to prevent families from cutting back on spending (30 June 2014)

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said that interest rates are likely to rise by 2.5% by 2017 – adding £175 to the average monthly repayment on an £150,000 variable rate mortgage.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

13.8m households “relying on benefits”, according to ONS figures (27 June 2014)

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that many households in the UK now receive more from the State than they pay into public funds.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bank of England announces “mortgage cap” to prevent housing market overheating (27 June 2014)

The Bank of England^s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) is proposing to introduce a cap on mortgage lending, to prevent borrowers from taking out home loans they would be unable to repay when interest rates rise.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Shelter calls for MPs to “roll up their sleeves” and build more affordable homes (26 June 2014)

Research by homelessness charity Shelter has revealed that 80% of homes for sale in the UK are beyond the means of the average working family.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bank of England committee warns that interest rates could rise “this year” (23 June 2014)

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has warned that interest rates could rise faster than expected as a result of stronger than expected growth in the economy.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bedroom tax does not take into consideration UK’s smaller homes, say reasearchers (20 June 2014)

Researchers at the University of Cambridge say that the “bedroom tax” may be fundamentally flawed because more than half the homes in England are smaller than the present-day standard of space recommended for homes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

“Renters’ Manifesto” launched to help those unable to afford to buy (19 June 2014)

Campaign group Generation Rent has launched a manifesto calling for more help for the thousands of young Londoners unable to afford their own homes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London homeowners wishing to sell “may have missed out” on peak property prices (17 June 2014)

London homeowners wanting to sell may have missed the peak in property prices, according to a report in the Evening Standard newspaper.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

IMF warning over interest rate risks for homeowners (9 June 2014)

A new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned homebuyers in the UK that they risk becoming vulnerable to hikes in interest rates if they overextend themselves financially when applying for mortgages.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Crackdown on 30-year mortgages expected (9 June 2014)

The Bank of England is expected to crack down on long-term mortgages, after a significant rise in the number of mortgages lasting 30 years or more.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Wiltshire Council green lights £40m affordable housing building programme (5 June 2014)

Wiltshire Council has announced a £40 million housing initiative to build affordable new homes, including new retirement homes for the elderly.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

High Court rejects Judicial Review over bedroom tax imposed on disabled teenager’s family (2 June 2014)

The family of a 14-year-old disabled youngster has vowed to carry on their fight over having to pay the Bedroom Tax.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

More UK homes left unoccupied, ONS statistics show (2 June 2014)

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that for the year 2011 – the most recent for which data is available – there were 1.1 million homes in the UK with no regular occupant.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London property market facing “natural correction” (30 May 2014)

The chief executive of the Nationwide Building Society, Graham Beale, has said that there are sign of “natural correction” to London’s overheated property market.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

“Boris badge” landlord accreditation scheme launched (29 May 2014)

London Mayor Boris Johnson has launched the next stage of the London Rental Standard scheme, under which landlords and agents can become accredited.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Council tax arrears “now major debt problem for Britons” (27 May 2014)

Citizen’s Advice has said that council tax debt has escalated to become the most common debt problem it has to deal with  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Help to Buy helping buyers avoid today’s rising house prices, says Mortgage Advice Bureau (27 May 2014)

The Mortgage Advice Bureau has claimed that the coalition government’s Help to Buy scheme is working by helping buyers sidestep escalating house prices across the UK.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

New report assesses impact of Bedroom Tax on social housing tenants (22 May 2014)

A new report has found that under-occupancy in social housing has not been improved during the first year of the government’s so-called Bedroom Tax.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Private management of Land Registry would give companies access to valuable data, says Law Society (21 May 2014)

The Law Society has said that transferring the Land Registry (LR) from being a publicly-run organisation to the private sector would not only pose a risk to conveyancers – which include both specialist law firms and licensed conveyancers – but would also give private firms access to “valuable data”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bank of England Governor calls for more house building (19 May 2014)

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said that the main problem that the UK housing market is facing is the lack of houses being built.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Judge orders Heygate Estate affordable housing figures to be made public (15 May 2014)

An appeal judge has ruled that Southwark Council and its partner, private developer Lend Lease, must make public the financial details of the social housing component to the Heygate Estate regeneration scheme.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

People in work claiming housing benefit up by 60% (12 May 2014)

The number of people with a job claiming housing benefit in the UK has escalated by 60% – despite the government’s cuts to welfare benefits.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

High Court victory for squatter could affect future rulings (8 May 2014)

A squatter who applied to take ownership of a property he had lived in illegally for 10 years has won the backing of a judge, who has said the case can be used as a test case.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Right to Build scheme “key” to government’s housing policy (6 May 2014)

Conservative Planning Minister Nick Boles is expected to announce today (06/05/14) that Local Authorities will have to make land available to enable residents to build their own homes if the Conservatives win the next election.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bank of England “vigilant and ready to act” if housing market overheats (6 May 2014)

The Bank of England is warning that the current housing boom may precipitate another property crash, as it emerged in London one in every 15 houses now sells for more than £1 million.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

How tenants and landlords can protect themselves in the volatile private rented sector (28 April 2014)

As a second London council introduces mandatory licensing for landlords, we offer tips and solutions to private sector landlords and tenants alike, in the ever changing housing market.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bedroom tax is waging war on “the old, the sick and the disabled” (28 April 2014)

Delegates to the CWU conference unanimously backed a motion to raise awareness of issues round the government’s “Bedroom Tax”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Buyers now paying 97% of seller’s asking price (28 April 2014)

A shortage of homes for sale means that it is now a seller’s market, with homebuyers forced to pay the asking price for homes rather than negotiating.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Mortgage applicants face more financial checks from this weekend (25 April 2014)

Intrusive new checks on expenditure by mortgage applicants are due to come into force this weekend – including the amount of money a mortgage applicant spends on lifestyle choices such as gym fees or even mobile top-ups.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Asylum seeker housing contracts “poorly planned and badly managed” (24 April 2014)

The Public Accounts Select Committee has criticised the management of contracts to provide housing for asylum seekers, saying the overhaul of contracts was “poorly planned and badly managed”.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Damp and overcrowded housing in London “costs the NHS £56m every year” (23 April 2014)

A new report by the BRE Trust has revealed that overcrowded, cold and mouldy housing in London is costing the health service £56 million every year.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Damp and overcrowded housing in London “costs the NHS £56m every year” (23 April 2014)

A new report by the BRE Trust has revealed that overcrowded, cold and mouldy housing in London is costing the health service £56 million every year.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Strongest housing market for five years, says CML (22 April 2014)

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has recorded another rise in the number of mortgages being approved in March this year.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Benefits mother encouraged daughter to fall pregnant “to get a house of her own and have a better life” (17 April 2014)

A mother who first fell pregnant when she was 15 says that the benefits system makes it “pointless” for her to work – and she is now encouraging her two daughters to “work the system”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

“Bedroom tax” victims still waiting to move to smaller properties (16 April 2014)

Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that most people affected by the bedroom tax have remained in their homes – although half of them are in rent arrears.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Four million are one pay cheque away from losing their homes, says Shelter (16 April 2014)

A new survey of working adults by homeless charity Shelter has revealed that as many as four million working families could be just one pay cheque away from losing their homes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Disabled tenants “should receive long-term DHPs” if unable to share a bedroom (14 April 2014)

The Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee has been told that disabled social housing tenants cannot be exempted from the government’s housing benefit changes.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Buy-to-let Landlords rush to remortgage before Bank Rate hike (14 April 2014)

New research by broker Mortgages for Businesses has shown that buy-to-let landlords are racing to remortgage properties in anticipation of a hike in interest rates in the next year.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

More debt in southwest London than the whole of Wales, says CML (10 April 2014)

A new report by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed that southwest London now has more debt than the whole of Wales.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Homeless family to be evicted for “squatting” (8 April 2014)

The owner of a Southend property allegedly occupied by squatters has said the local council paid them housing benefit when they moved into her property without having a tenancy agreement.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Business Secretary calls for “regionalised” housing policy (8 April 2014)

Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned that a regionalised housing policy and Help to Buy scheme are needed to address the issue of some areas of the country’s property markets “overheating”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Help to Buy “may be reviewed” to prevent house prices overheating (7 April 2014)

A government source has told the Daily Mail that the government’s Help to Buy scheme may be “scaled back” to prevent the property market from overheating.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Housing minister welcomes rise in house prices (4 April 2014)

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has welcomed the rise in housing prices across the UK, saying that house prices are “nowhere near the peak at this moment in time”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Housing benefit bill continues to rise despite bedroom tax (31 March 2014)

Figures from the government’s Office for Budget Responsibility have revealed that housing benefit is to cost taxpayers £1 billion more in the financial years to 2019, despite cuts introduced by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

“Property bubble” fears as house prices continue to rise (28 March 2014)

The former chairman of the Financial Services Authority – now known as the Financial Conduct Authority – has warned that escalating property prices could lead to instability in the property sector in London.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Housing experts warn of pitfalls of guaranteed rent schemes (26 March 2014)

Eviction specialist company Landlord Action is warning landlords that if a guaranteed rent agreement goes wrong or a company offering the service folds, landlords may have problems getting their properties back from rental tenants.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Couple evicted from home for cultivating illegal drugs (21 March 2014)

A married couple from Peterborough have been evicted from their home by a local housing association for growing cannabis and consistent anti-social behaviour.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Budget welfare cap may price tenants out of housing association homes (20 March 2014)

The chief executive of housing provider the Home Group has said that measures in the Chancellor’s Budget could price benefit claimants out of housing association homes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Liverpool asylum seekers “living in squalor” and subjected to racial abuse (18 March 2014)

New figures from the National Audit Office (NAO) have revealed that many asylum seekers in Liverpool are housed in accommodation which is “damp and dangerous”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Birmingham City Council announces affordable housing plans (17 March 2014)

Birmingham City Council is set to show its commitment to creating affordable housing in the second city by building hundreds of council houses and procuring maintenance and repair contracts for existing properties under new proposals set to be announced next week.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Rental and housing benefit tenants suffering at the hands of landlords (13 March 2014)

The chair of the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) in Scotland has told a CIH Scotland conference that housing benefits have made landlords in the social housing sector “complacent”.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Rental and housing benefit tenants suffering at the hands of landlords (13 March 2014)

The chair of the Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) in Scotland has told a CIH Scotland conference that housing benefits have made landlords in the social housing sector “complacent”.

  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Welfare changes impact on role of housing officers, says new study (11 March 2014)

New research commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Wheatley Housing Group has found that changes to welfare benefits such as housing benefit has led to more tenants in social housing requiring help – and even emotional support – from frontline housing staff.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Court of Appeal rules against council after refugee refuses high-rise council flat (10 March 2014)

The Court of Appeal has upheld the right of a refugee from Somalia to refuse a council flat on the basis it is too small and she is scared of heights.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Homeless figures rise as a result of eviction by private landlords (7 March 2014)

Government figures have revealed that one-third of homeless people in London have been evicted from their homes by private landlords.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

GMB calls for councils to name landlords profiting from housing benefit tenants (6 March 2014)

The GMB union has called on 62 councils which pay private landlords housing benefit for tenants to declare the amount paid to each.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Disabled council tenant wins landmark housing benefit appeal (6 March 2014)

The Court of Appeal in London has ruled that Local Authorities need to use a wider interpretation of the term “adapt the dwelling” when assessing housing benefit claims for people with disabilities.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Angry tenant criticises landlord for long running water problems (5 March 2014)

A social housing tenant from London has been locked in a long running dispute with her landlord over a lack of hot water, with the woman in question claiming that she has been without the utility for over four months.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bedroom tax and lack of smaller council properties fuelling rent arrears in Croydon (4 March 2014)

A report in the Croydon Advertiser has revealed that since the bedroom tax was introduced, more than 600 social housing tenants in the area have fallen into arrears with their rent.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

25% of rough sleepers in London from Eastern Europe, as housing crisis deepens (27 February 2014)

New figures on homelessness in the UK have revealed that more than 25% of those sleeping rough in London come from Eastern European countries.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bedroom tax hits four times as many households as DWP predicted (24 February 2014)

The number of households hit by the bedroom tax could be four times the number predicted by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith – with many households being wrongly charged the tax.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Croydon council plans new five-year social housing policy (24 February 2014)

Housing applicants new to the area in Croydon and other London boroughs could have to wait five years before they are eligible for social housing under new proposals set out by Tory councils, which would come into effect if they were re-elected in the spring.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

UKIP’s housing spokesman supports social housing for migrants on benefits (24 February 2014)

It has been revealed that UKIP’s spokesman for housing – buy-to-let millionaire Andrew Charalambous – profited from tenants receiving housing benefit and including migrants, to the tune of £745,351 last year.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Letting agent given suspended jail term after illegally evicting tenant (14 February 2014)

A letting agent that illegally evicted a family from its home in central London after waging a war of intimidation for several months has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to do community service.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

UK house prices rise again (12 February 2014)

The latest Halifax House Price Index has revealed that in the last three months to January, house prices were 7.3% higher than during the same period in 2012.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Minister says that social landlords should do more to help tenants (12 February 2014)

Social landlords are being urged to offer greater assistance to tenants who want to move home as it would “boost social mobility” and ensure that social housing is managed more effectively according to Housing Minister, Kris Hopkins.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Call for more protection from landlords for private sector rental tenants (5 February 2014)

Labour MP Teresa Pearce is calling for more regulation in private sector rental accommodation to prevent unscrupulous private landlords exploiting tenants.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Londoners feel lack of housing is the capital’s most urgent problem (3 February 2014)

A new survey has found that 82% of Londoners believe the capital is in the throes of a housing crisis.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

London’s £630 million bill for short-term homeless accommodation (31 January 2014)

Homelessness in London has become a major problem during the recession. London’s boroughs have spent over half a billion pounds on temporary accommodation for homeless people since 2010. Most of the money has been spent on B&Bs and hotels.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

High rents plunge more households below minimum income standard (28 January 2014)

New research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed that the number of households without sufficient income to give them an adequate standard of living has risen by one-fifth in three years.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Losing Security of Tenure through Absence (27 January 2014)

In cases involving secure tenants, Housing Act 1985 s81 (‘the tenant condition’) provides that security of tenure can only be gained and retained if tenants occupy premises as their ‘only or principal home’.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Changes in social housing rent guidelines mean more councils will set maximum increases (27 January 2014)

Research by the website Inside Housing.co.uk has found that more than 40 local authorities in England are planning to increase rents by the maximum allowed in the year 2014-2015.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Ministers invite councils to bid for £3 billion housing fund (27 January 2014)

Housing associations and developers across the UK are being encouraged to bid for cash from a multi-billion pound fund that the government says will help to create hundreds of thousands of affordable homes during the next five years.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Homelessness & Challenging Decisions (27 January 2014)

The latest national statistics on statutory homelessness were released by the government on 6th June 2013.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Social Housing & Repossessions (27 January 2014)

If you are of working age and live in social housing your ability to meet your rent will be made much harder in 2013. This will, in all likelihood, make the risk of losing your home much greater. This is against a backdrop of already rising possession claims being issued at county court by landlords and orders for possession obtained.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Disabled tenants mount Court of Appeal challenge to bedroom tax (22 January 2014)

A group of five disabled public sector tenants is mounting a challenge to the government’s “bedroom tax” at the Court of Appeal.
  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Disabled tenants mount Court of Appeal challenge to bedroom tax (22 January 2014)

A group of five disabled public sector tenants is mounting a challenge to the government’s “bedroom tax” at the Court of Appeal.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Councillors urge Westminster to spend NHB on social housing (21 January 2014)

Westminster Labour councillors have urged the local council to green light plans for extra social housing in the borough after it received a substantial seven-figure sum from the government for 2014/15 as part of its new homes bonus (NHB) scheme.   Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Bedroom tax loophole to close (21 January 2014)

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is to close a loophole in the government’s bedroom tax in March.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Affordable housing planned for Devon’s sustainable new town (21 January 2014)

A new market town near Plymouth based on a design code drawn up by The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community is one step closer, after land near Sherford in Devon was incorporated into a consortium comprising leading house builders Taylor Wimpey, Linden Homes and Bovis Homes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

New homes for Stafford under Affordable Housing Programme (20 January 2014)

Social housing landlord Aspire Housing has bought 54 former RAF homes in Staffordshire, with the aim of turning them into affordable homes.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Mortgage lenders “stress test” could prevent families getting on the property ladder (15 January 2014)

High street mortgage lenders are imposing a “stress test” on borrowers to make sure they can still meet their mortgage payments when interest rates rise.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Council Tax arrears rise by 25% in five years (14 January 2014)

Working families are being surcharged on Council Tax payments to make up the shortfall in revenue for those who do not pay.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

South West homeowners warned about repossession risk (14 January 2014)

Homeowners in the South West have been warned about the risk of mortgage repossession after new figures published by housing charity Shelter showed that one out of every 179 households in the region are currently considered at risk of eviction or more serious consequences.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

LibDems say build more garden cities to solve housing crisis (14 January 2014)

The Liberal Democrats are accusing the Prime Minister David Cameron of suppressing proposals for two new garden cities in the south of England to help resolve the housing shortage.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Celebrity landlords asking tenants on benefits to find other accommodation (9 January 2014)

Britain^s best-known private landlords have revealed that they are currently asking tenants on benefits to seek alternative accommodation and admitted that immigrants are often easier to deal with as “they work harder.”  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Tories eye up under-25s for welfare and housing benefit cuts (7 January 2014)

Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to reduce welfare payments further to help cut the UK economic deficit.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Government announces 70% discount boost for Right to Buy council tenants (6 January 2014)

Community Secretary Eric Pickles has announced that council houses are to be sold off at a 70% discount in 2014, to enable more people to get on the property ladder.  Read more...

Duncan Lewis:Housing

Homeowners in mortgage arrears “should seek help as soon as possible” (3 January 2014)

The housing sector is currently enjoying a boost as a result of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which some critics say is fuelling a property bubble in the UK.  Read more...


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