Garden Court Chambers is ranked in Band 1 for social housing law in the Chambers UK Bar Guide. We are dedicated to acting for tenants, homeless applicants and vulnerable individuals across the full gamut of social housing cases.
Areas of Expertise
- Possession claims
- Unlawful eviction
- Allocation of social housing
- Housing benefit
- Romani Gypsy and Traveller Rights
- Disability issues
- Welfare benefits
- Anti-social behaviour
- Community care
- Unfair terms in tenancy agreements
- General planning matters
- 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 are extremely well placed to advise on these other issues related to housing.
Our 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.
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  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  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  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  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  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.