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Home » bulletins » Housing Law Bulletin » Housing Law Bulletin - Issue 220 – 6 June 2011

Housing Law Bulletin - Issue 220 – 6 June 2011
(Published on Monday, 6 June, 2011)


The Latest Housing Law News

Empty Properties: on 31 May 2011 the Communities Minister, Andrew Stunell MP, published the article Empty Prospects which contains a review of current UK government initiatives to tackle empty housing in England. For a copy of the article, click here.

Housing Benefit: the DWP has just issued Housing Benefit Direct 114 (June 2011) in its monthly news update series for local authorities. To access the current and back issues, click here.

Social Housing Allocation in Northern Ireland: the Northern Ireland Housing Executive is conducting a consultation exercise on amendments to its Housing Selection Scheme criteria. The deadline for responses is 22 June 2011. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

Wilkes & Wilkes v UK [2011] ECHR 865
2 June 2011

The applicants had been introductory tenants of Blackpool Council. Following allegations of anti-social behaviour, the council sought and obtained a possession order. The applicants sought a review but that was decided against them by the council. The applicants tried to advance a defence based on their Article 8 rights but their defence was struck out. They complained to the European Court of Human Rights that the possession proceedings violated their rights under Article 8 and that the review panel was not an impartial and independent tribunal as required by Article 6. The Court, continuing its clear-out of pre-Pinnock/Powell cases, has posed the following questions for the parties: (1) was the interference with the applicants' respect for their home, within the meaning of Article 8, necessary in terms of Article 8(2)? and (2) was the review panel an impartial and independent tribunal as required by Article 6? For the Court's factual assessment, click here.

Birch & Others v UK [2011] ECHR 866
2 June 2011

The applicants had been assured shorthold tenants but their rights had ended on termination of their landlord's lease by the property owner, Central Bedfordshire Council. The council sought and obtained a possession order as the occupiers had no right to possession in domestic law The applicants had tried to advance a defence based on their Article 8 rights but the Court of Appeal held that that was barred by the decision in Lambeth LBC v Kay (see Central Bedfordshire Council v Taylor [2009] EWCA Civ 613). They complained to the European Court of Human Rights that the possession proceedings violated their rights under Article 8. The Court, continuing its clear-out of pre-Pinnock/Powell cases, has posed the following question for the parties: was the interference with the applicants' respect for their home, within the meaning of Article 8, necessary in terms of Article 8(2)? For the Court's factual assessment, click here.

R (Cala Homes South Ltd) v Secretary of State [2011] EWCA Civ 639
27 May 2011

In these judicial review proceedings, the issue was whether those responsible for making decisions under the Planning Acts (the Secretary of State, local planning authorities and the Planning Inspectorate) were entitled to have regard to the Government's proposal to abolish regional strategies, contained in the Localism Bill, as a material consideration. The claimant contended that, prior to Royal Assent being given, the proposal to abolish regional strategies was not capable of being a material consideration for the purpose of determining planning applications and appeals. The claim for judicial review was dismissed and the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal. Although such cases would be rare, there may be circumstances in which the imminent abolition of regional strategies might properly be a material consideration. For the judgment, click here.

Destilacija PLC v Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 May 2011

After the death of his grandparent, DN remained in occupation of his grandparent's flat as his home. The company with rights to allocate the flat sought and obtained a possession order from a court and DN was evicted. The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina found a violation of DN's right to respect for his home, quashed the lower court decision and ordered that he be reinstated in the flat. The applicant company was informed of that decision through the housing authorities and complained to the European Court of Human Rights that there had been an unlawful interference with its Article 6 rights because it had not been a party to the human rights claim in the national courts. The court rejected the complaint as inadmissible. The company had not been involved in the domestic human rights proceedings because it only had a non-commercial allocation role in relation to the flat. For the full judgment, click here.

Yevgeniya Vladimirovna Rokhlya v Ukraine
17 May 2011

The applicant was the widow of a member of the armed forces. The army rehoused her from military married quarters to a flat. She was later evicted from the flat when it was realised that the rehousing had not been properly authorised. She complained to the European Court of Human Rights that there had been an unlawful interference with her right to respect for her home. The Government delivered a unilateral declaration which admitted the infringement of the right to respect for a home and agreed to pay 22,000 euro in compensation. The Court decided that the sum would enable the applicant to buy her own flat and amounted to sufficient recompense for the breach of her rights. For the full judgment, click here.

Housing Law Articles

Recent Developments in Housing Law
N. Madge and J. Luba
[2011] May Legal Action p33
For back-copies of articles in this series, click here.

Housing Update
G. Peaker
[2011] 155 Solicitors Journal No.21 p27
To read the article, click here.

A Ticking Time Bomb?
(Article 8 defences to possession claims against shared ownership\ leaseholders and others)
D. Cowan
[2011] 161 New Law Journal p729

Damage Control
(commentary on repairs and plaster after Grand v Gill)
J. Hobson
[2011] 3 June issue Inside Housing p30
To read the article, click here.

Housing Law Events

June 2011

8 June 2011
Development of a Landlord Registration Scheme for Northern Ireland
A Housing rights Service Event in Belfast
For the details, contact the Housing Rights Service, here.

14 June 2011
New Planning Policy on Traveller Sites: All Change?
A Legal Action Group Training Event in Birmingham
For the details, click here.

20 June 2011
Homelessness & Allocations
A Legal Action Group Training Event in London
For the details, click here.

22 June 2011
Homelessness Reviews & Appeals
An HLPA evening seminar in London
For the details, click here.

23 June 2011
Housing and Anti Social Behaviour 2011
A Jordan Publishing Conference in London
For the details, click here.

29 June 2011
Housing: the Legal Update 2011
A Northern Housing Consortium Conference in York
For the details, click here.

July 2011

14 July 2011
Emergency Homeless Applications: When to get a judge on the phone
A Garden Court Chambers seminar 18:30 to 20:00
For the details, click here.

14 July 2011
Introduction to Housing Law
A Legal Action Group Training Event in London
For the details, click here.

20 July 2011
Bringing Disrepair Claims
An HLPA meeting in London
For the details, click here.

Housing Law Books

Defending Possession Proceedings
The new (seventh) edition of Defending Possession Proceedings by Jan Luba QC, John Gallagher, Derek McConnell and Nic Madge - which runs to over 1000 pages - has been published. Price: £55.00. For full details, click here.
To read an independent review, click here.
To watch an independent review, click here.
To access the free downloadable update to several chapters of the current edition of the book to take account of recent cases such as Pinnock and Powell, click here.

Housing Allocation and Homelessness
The new (second) edition of Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice by Jan Luba QC and Liz Davies has been published. Price: £50.00.
For full details, click here.
To read a review by Robert Latham, click here.
To read another independent review, click here.

Repairs: tenants' rights
The new (fourth) edition of Repairs: tenants' rights by Jan Luba QC, Deirdre Forster and Beatrice Prevatt has been published. Price: £45.00. For full details, click here.
To watch an independent review, click here.
To read an independent review, click here.

Housing Law Handbook - 10% off
The Housing Law Handbook, edited by Stephen Cottle and written by other members of the Garden Court Housing Team, covers possession proceedings, homelessness rights, the allocation of social housing, and other routes into housing. To claim your 10% discount, order online and quote promotion code GCTHLH when prompted.
To read an independent review, click here.

 

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