Government guidance on homelessness makes it clear that spent convictions should be ignored
In the government’s updated Homelessness code of practice, it has made clear that convictions that are spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 should be ignored.
Chapter 23 focuses on “people with a offending history”, and section 23.29 reads:
“23.29 People with an offending history face barriers to accessing accommodation across tenures. Housing authorities providing help to secure or securing accommodation should be aware of the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012). The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 sets out timescales for when convictions become spent, after which it is unlawful for social and private landlords to take spent convictions into account when determining whether the person is suitable for housing.”
The government had recently consulted on updating this guidance, which we submitted a response to. As part of our submission, we made the point that the earlier version of this guidance should be strengthened. This is particularly important given a recent case where a local authority were challenged in court because they took into account an applicant’s spent criminal record.
Written by Christopher Stacey, Co-director, Unlock
Find out more information about our policy work on housing.
- Unlock Annual Report 2018-19 Posted on: Nov 18th, 2019
We are delighted to publish our Annual Report and Accounts for the…
- Unlock volunteer shortlisted for helpline volunteer of the year award Posted on: Nov 7th, 2019
We’re delighted that one of Unlock’s long-standing helpline…
- Monthly update - October 2019 Posted on: Oct 28th, 2019
We've just published our update for October 2019. This…
- Blog - How can people with criminal records access higher education? Posted on: Oct 22nd, 2019
Evidence shows that some groups are disproportionately criminalised:…
- Ten UK universities lead the way by signing the ‘Fair Chance for Students with Convictions’ pledge Posted on: Oct 22nd, 2019
Trailblazing UK universities are leading the way in helping people…