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When everyone has a home

Housing and debt helpline for Northern Ireland – 028 9024 5640

January 2014

Housing professionals will be only too aware of the increase in the number of applications for possession of residential dwellings.  What many are less aware of is how useful an application for a Time Order can be to homeowners who risk losing their homes due to a secured loan or second charge.

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Repossession, Case law, Affordability

Advising homeowners who Are at risk of losing their home due to arrears on secured loans is a complex area. With this in mind, it’s essential that you’re aware of the very particular problems that can arise when your client has a second charge on their property. 

Advisers and clients alike need to be aware that when a borrower defaults on payment of a secured loan or a second charge the lender may be entitled to:

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Repossession, Affordability, Adviser

Fiona King is senior policy officer at Shelter Scotland and works on policy and legislation around homelessness, social housing, welfare and poverty based in the Edinburgh office. 

Below she outlines her three housing wishes.

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Housing Genie

Fiona King is senior policy officer at Shelter Scotland and works on policy and legislation around homelessness, social housing, welfare and poverty based in the Edinburgh office.  Here, Fiona looks at the Housing Options model of homelessness advice, assistance and prevention and what this means in the Scottish context. 

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Opinion

The Department for Social Development has been reviewing how social housing is allocated in Northern Ireland.  Research, published in December, recommended introducing a Choice Based Lettings system to manage the allocation of social housing.  The Housing Executive has recently starting trialling this system in specific locations within Belfast, with plans to extend the pilot to other areas of NI in the coming weeks.

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Social Tenancies, Homelessness

Members of the European Parliament have overwhelmingly adopted a resolution calling for a European wide homelessness strategy. The resolution describes homelessness as “a violation of human dignity and of human rights” and recognises housing as a “basic human need and a precondition for a decent life and social inclusion”.

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Homelessness

In the case of Roberts v Bank of Scotland PLC [2013] EWCA Civ 882, the UK Court of Appeal upheld an award of damages against the Royal Bank of Scotland for harassment.

The case was brought as a civil claim under section 1 (1) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which provides:
“A person must not pursue a course of conduct (a) which amounts to harassment of another and (b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of another”.

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Case law, Legal

Over the last number of years, as a result of the economic downturn, there has been an increase in the number of possession proceedings against homeowners and social tenants who have fallen behind in paying their mortgage or rent.

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Repossession, Social Tenancies, Legal

January is always a busy month for our services as people make resolutions to sort out their debt and housing problems.  Getting help can make a massive difference to clients facing repossession, even if they leave it to the very day of their court hearing.  Last week, our adviser at court helped one vulnerable family save their home:

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Repossession, Homelessness, Affordability