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Housing Law

"An outstanding set known for its superb representation of tenants, Garden Court maintains its position at the forefront of social housing issues."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

"Members of the set routinely act for vulnerable clients in possession proceedings, disrepair claims and homelessness appeals, and appear at all levels challenging local authorities' decisions on welfare and benefits."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

"Garden Court’s formidable reputation in housing is complemented by its extensive expertise in community care, human rights and public law cases. Its barristers are particularly adept at utilising Equality Act defences."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

"The clerks at the chambers are efficient, helpful and friendly." "The set’s clerking service is excellent."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

"Garden Court Chambers is very well known for its representation of tenants in highly complex social housing cases. Members of the set frequently represent vulnerable clients in disrepair claims, homelessness appeals and possession proceedings."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

To contact the Housing Clerks, please email housingandpropertycl@gclaw.co.uk or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

We also accept instructions for both paperwork and hearings taking place by telephone and video link. We are well set up to arrange video links. We are also readily available to provide urgent advice and guidance. For further details about getting in touch during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our Business Continuity page

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Positioned at the forefront of social housing legal advice, Garden Court Chambers is ranked in Band 1 of the Chambers UK Bar Guide, in recognition of our outstanding expertise in this area of law. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Possession claims
  • Unlawful eviction
  • Homelessness
  • Allocation of social housing
  • Disrepair
  • Housing benefit
  • Romani Gypsy and Traveller Rights
  • Disability issues
  • Welfare benefits
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Community care
  • Unfair terms in tenancy agreements
  • General planning matters
  • Grants
  • Licensing of houses in multiple occupation
  • Housing standards
  • Housing health and safety rating system

Housing law cases can and often do also raise aspects of immigration, family law, welfare benefits, disability, and criminal law. We pride ourselves on our cross-over expertise and as part of a multi-disciplinary set of almost 200 barristers, we are extremely well placed to advise on these other issues related to housing.

Our 26 strong team of housing law barristers advise on the full range of accommodation and support issues concerning migrant welfare and asylum support. We are able to offer a complete service in social services, homelessness and connected Children Act matters.

Thanks to our fluid and cross-disciplinary approach, we can draw on the wisdom and experience of our colleagues in Chambers who specialise in these areas.

Notable cases and news

Judgment from second ‘No DSS’ court win reveals letting agent caused ‘distress and humiliation’ to disabled tenant

Our Tessa Buchanan of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team represented the Claimant, instructed by Arnall Rose of Shelter.

3 February 2021

Overcrowding, children getting older and ‘deliberate acts’

Our Edward Fitzpatrick of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team represented the Flores family, instructed by Osbornes Solicitors LLP.

16 December 2020

Settled accommodation – Doka revisited

Blog by Connor Johnston. Liz Davies and Nick Bano of the Garden Court Housing Team acted for the Respondent Ms Broderick.

15 December 2020

No “temporal leeway” in considering out of borough placement

Blog by Connor Johnston. Ed Fitzpatrick and Sophie Caseley of the Garden Court Housing Team acted for the Respondent Ms Broderick.

15 December 2020

Homelessness, ‘settled’ accommodation and overcrowding

Liz Davies and Nick Bano of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team represented the applicant, instructed by Grainne McCormack of Gillian Radford solicitors.

25 November 2020

Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) finds Superior Landlords can be liable for Rent Repayment Orders in test case ruling

Edward Fitzpatrick of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team was instructed by Justice for Tenants pro bono.

13 November 2020

Court quashes decision to accommodate disabled man 130 miles away from his support network - LB Waltham Forest v Saleh remains good law

Justine Compton of the Garden Court Housing Team represented the client, instructed by Badar Jamil from Javed Nazir Solicitors.

5 November 2020

Court of Appeal considers service of notices on deceased tenants

Nick Bano of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team has acted in an important Court of Appeal case concerning the proper procedure for serving notice on a tenant who has died without leaving a will. Nick was instructed by Manjit Mandair of Osbornes Solici

22 October 2020

Claimant victorious in first “No DSS” trial

The Claimant was represented by Tessa Buchanan of the Garden Court Housing Team, who was instructed by Shelter.

10 September 2020

Housing Law Handbook: A Practical Guide (Law Society, 2nd edition)

Edited by Stephen Cottle. Contributors: Tim Baldwin, Adrian Berry, Tessa Buchanan, Sophie Caseley, Justine Compton, Sebastian Elgueta, Ed Fitzpatrick, Kevin Gannon, Adrian Marshall Williams, David Renton, Desmond Rutledge and Marina Sergides.

27 August 2020

Garden Court Chambers welcomes Paul Powlesland as a new tenant

4 August 2020

“No DSS” policy declared unlawful by Court

Tessa Buchanan of the Garden Court Housing Team acted for the Claimant and was instructed by Shelter.

15 July 2020

Crisis unveils draft emergency legislation to end rough sleeping and homelessness

Adrian Berry, Liz Davies and Connor Johnston of the Garden Court Housing Team worked with Crisis to draft the legislation.

1 July 2020

Significant challenge to Lambeth’s housing policy conceded

Two members of Garden Court’s Housing Team, Liz Davies and Nick Bano, have been involved in bringing an important challenge to Lambeth Council’s allocations and homelessness policy.

25 June 2020

Garden Court Housing Team response to Clerkenwell & Shoreditch County Court consultation on arrangements for listing possession claims after 25 June 2020

Garden Court Housing Team and Liz Davies, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers respond to Clerkenwell & Shoreditch County Court consultation on arrangements for listing possession claims after 25 June 2020.

28 May 2020

Court of Appeal rules that Covid-19 related freeze on evictions also imposes freeze on eviction appeal proceedings

Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team representing the appellant Mr Okoro, in his successful challenge against the London Borough Of Hackney.

27 May 2020

Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice (LexisNexis 5th ed. 2018) now available free of charge

HHJ Jan Luba QC, Liz Davies, Connor Johnston and Tessa Buchanan are pleased to announce that Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice (LexisNexis 5th edition 2018) is now available as a pdf free of charge.

16 April 2020

COVID-19 Bulletin - Law & Practice - 30.03.20

Updates on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on law and practice.

30 March 2020

Nick Bano joins Garden Court Chambers as a new tenant

Nick specialises in representing homeless people, residential occupiers, and destitute & migrant households in both public law and private law disputes.

12 March 2020

Significant unlawful eviction case exposes the use of sham letting agreements by landlord companies in London

Tim Baldwin represented the Claimant instructed by Jayesh Kunwardia of Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors.

25 February 2020

Court of Appeal provides important guidance on late homelessness appeals, recognising the “difficulties faced by homelessness applicants in bringing an appeal… without legal advice and representation”

Liz Davies and Connor Johnston of the Garden Court Housing Team were instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, on behalf of the intervener Shelter. They all acted pro bono.

30 January 2020

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2020.

17 October 2019

Garden Court Housing Team responds to Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government consultation on 'A new deal for renters'

The Garden Court Housing Team welcomes the government’s proposal to abolish no fault evictions (based on s.21 Housing Act 1988).

15 October 2019

Two-day court hearing set to start over demolition of Seven Sisters indoor market

The Claimants are represented by Marc Willers QC, Tim Baldwin and Camila Zapata Besso of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Hodge Jones and Allen.

7 October 2019

Court of Appeal allows appeal on important point of law in housing succession case

Mr Yildiz was represented by Edward Fitzpatrick (at the appeal hearing) and Tim Baldwin (prior to the appeal hearing) leading Stephen Marsh, all of Garden Court.

24 July 2019

Landmark Supreme Court ruling on criteria for affordability of accommodation and intentional homelessness

Shu Shin Luh and Connor Johnston of Garden Court were instructed on behalf of the interveners Shelter and the Child Poverty Action Group.

12 June 2019

Catherine O'Donnell co-authors 'Housing Conditions: tenants' rights' (sixth edition, LAG)

The definitive legal guide to bad housing conditions in rented accommodation in England is written by Catherine O'Donnell of Garden Court, HHJ Jan Luba QC (formerly of Garden Court) and Giles Peaker.

21 May 2019

Court of Appeal grants permission to appeal on a novel point of law in a housing succession case

Mr Yildiz is represented by Tim Baldwin leading Stephen Marsh, both of Garden Court, who are instructed by Farzana Chowdhury of Hodge Jones and Allen Solicitors.

17 April 2019

High Court’s inherent jurisdiction for the protection of vulnerable adults (Southend-on-Sea Borough Council v Meyers)

20 March 2019

Congratulations to Justine Compton on her appointment as Deputy District Judge on the South Eastern Circuit

Justine Compton of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team has been appointed as Deputy District Judge on the South Eastern Circuit.

15 March 2019

Garden Court Housing Team's response to Call for Evidence on the Case for a Housing Court

The Garden Court Chambers Housing Team has responded to the Call for Evidence on the Case for a Housing Court, which closed on 22 January 2019.

23 January 2019

'Crisis, what crisis?'

Liz Davies of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team gave the keynote speech titled “Crisis, what crisis?” at the Housing Law Practitioner’s Association Annual Conference on 12 December 2018.

19 December 2018

All notable cases and news

Notable Cases

 

Equality and Human Rights Commission v Fergus Wilson 
Successfully claimed an injunction restraining a large private landlord from maintaining a policy of not taking “coloured” tenants. See coverage in The Guardian.

Panayiotou v London Borough of Waltham Forest [2017] EWCA Civ 1624
One of the most significant homelessness cases of recent years. The Court of Appeal handed down important guidance on when a homeless person is “vulnerable”. See coverage in Nearly Legal.

London Borough of Islington v Dyer [2017] EWCA Civ 150
Court of Appeal rules on the requirements of a valid notice to end an introductory tenancy.

Grenfell Inquiry (2018)
Instructed to represent approximately 280 Bereaved, Survivors and Residents (BSR) Core Participants. As part of the ‘G4’ team, this work entails detailed scrutiny of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), Tenant Management Organisation, police and fire brigade. Garden Court members chair and sit on the Housing Law Practitioners Association (HLPA) Grenfell sub-committee and have been instructed by residents in multiple disputes in the wake of the tragedy on issues such as rehousing allocation.  

Benefit Cap Challenge
Instructed in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court on behalf of the intervener Shelter in an ongoing challenge to the revised benefit cap. Shelter’s intervention relates to the lack of affordable housing and risk of homelessness. The High Court found that the cap resulted in unlawful discrimination to single-parent families with children under two and that ‘real misery is being caused to no good purpose’. See coverage of the pending Supreme Court judgment.

Strawberry Vale Residents v Peabody (2018)
Instructed to represent 57 residents in novel class action litigation which settled in 2018 following a two-year legal battle. Residents’ gas supply was cut off for four months during winter, leaving vulnerable occupants in dire conditions due to lack of heat, hot water and cooking facilities. See coverage in in Inside Housing.

Paragon Asra Housing Limited v James Neville [2018] EWCA Civ 1712
Test case on disability discrimination which is likely to proceed to the Supreme Court. At issue is the extent to which the Equality Act 2010 can be raised at the eviction stage of a possession claim where there was a previous suspended possession order. See Nearly Legal coverage.

The Mayor & Burgesses of the London Borough of Southwark v Ibidun
High Court dismisses local authority’s appeal in respect of allegations of unlawful subletting and parting with possession of a property. 

Doka v London Borough of Southwark [2017] EWCA Civ 1532
Instructed in a Court of Appeal challenge on the definition of ‘settled accommodation’ and when someone is ‘intentionally homeless’. The Supreme Court controversially refused permission to appeal. See Nearly Legal coverage.

Green v Southern Pacific Mortgage Ltd and another [2018] EWCA Civ 854
Instructed in a Court of Appeal challenge concerning mortgages and the Equality Act 2010 which is likely to proceed to the Supreme Court.

Contact team

URGENT WORK

Chambers’ housing team operates an urgent work and out of hours rota.

The housing clerks can be contacted on 07920 497 962 and will be pleased to arrange for members of the team to assist with urgent work. Please note this number is for the legal profession only. Enquiries from members of the public or enquiries relating to non-urgent work cannot be dealt with on this number. 

General enquiries from the legal profession can be dealt with by contacting the clerks on housingandpropertycl@gclaw.co.uk or call us on 020 7993 7600.

Enquiries from members of the public can be dealt with by emailing pa@gclaw.co.uk or calling 020 7993 7777.

 

Social Welfare Case Law Updates

A full list of Social Welfare Case Law Updates can be viewed here.

 

Publications, Advice & Training

Our work extends beyond the courtroom. Our housing law barristers also spend time training, advising and writing on housing issues. Our members have written or co-authored some of the most important works currently available in housing law:

We have also written two of the Jordans Special Bulletins (on The Homelessness Act 2002 and Housing and the Human Rights Act).

We regularly contribute articles and case reports to professional publications such as Legal Action, Journal of Housing Law, Solicitors Journal, Landlord and Tenant Review and the New Law Journal.

Over many years, we have supported the Housing Law Practitioners’ Association (HLPA) as both ordinary and executive members, and by giving talks and attending meetings. We have also taken part in numerous training courses provided by or in association with the Legal Action Group, The Law Society, Liberty and others.

 

Useful Links & Materials

Legislation and procedural rules (in reverse chronological order)

Useful Links

Books

  • Housing Allocation and Homelessness Law and Practice (5th edition, 2018) by Garden Court Chambers door tenant, His Honour Judge Luba QC, Liz Davies, Connor Johnston and Tessa Buchanan.
  • Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice (4th edition, 2016) by Garden Court Chambers door tenant, His Honour Judge Luba QC, Liz Davies and Connor Johnston
  • Repairs: Tenants’ Rights (2016) 5th edition by door tenants His Honour Judge Luba QC and District Judge Beatrice Prevatt and Deirdre Foster
  • Defending Possession Proceedings (7th ed. 2010) by His Honour Judge Luba QC (and others)
  • Housing Law Handbook (2009) by Stephen Cottle and other members of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team. Order from the Law Society.

 

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