Last edited 19 Nov 2020

Housing Act 1996

The Housing Act 1996 is a UK Act of Parliament which was introduced to make provisions about the social rented sector, houses in multiple occupation, landlord and tenant matters, the administration of housing benefit, the conduct of tenants, the allocation of housing accommodation by local housing authorities and homelessness; and for connected purposes.

The Act also introduced duties for local authorities concerning homeless people and the circumstances in which such duties arise. Interim accommodation must be made available for those applicants who have a ‘priority need’. This is defined in Section 189 as:

'…a person who is vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness or handicap or physical disability or other special reason, or with whom such a person resides or might reasonably be expected to reside.'

Section 184 applies where local authorities have reason to believe that an applicant may be homeless or may be threatened with homelessness and can make enquiries with another local housing authority to ascertain whether they have a local connection. For more information, see Section 184.

The Act also stipulated that in the event of ‘housing-related anti-social conduct’, landlords can apply for an injunction against a tenant. It set out ‘anti-social conduct’ as being behaviour which could, or does, cause annoyance to other tenants, employees of the landlord, or people lawfully in the vicinity.

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