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 & Tier 1 in Legal 500, 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.

Recent notable cases and news

High Court finds that Lambeth does have a discretion to backdate registration date of housing allocation applications

Matt Ahluwalia of the Garden Court Housing Law Team acted for the defendant, instructed by Luke Sheldon of GT Stewart.

9 February 2024

Excluding people with behavioural disabilities from social housing: new High Court decision

Nick Bano of the Garden Court Housing Law Team represented the Claimant, instructed by Tracy Ball of BHT Sussex.

26 January 2024

Amendments introduced by Renters (Reform) Bill extend liability for Rent Repayment Orders "RRO" to Superior Landlords

Edward Fitzpatrick and Tim Baldwin are members of the Housing Team at Garden Court Chambers.

8 December 2023

High Court quashes council’s refusal to accommodate vulnerable man

Kevin Gannon, Nick Bano and Angharad Monk of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team were instructed by North West London Law Centres.

27 November 2023

Oscar Davies joins Garden Court Chambers as new tenant

We are delighted to announce that Oscar Davies has joined Garden Court Chambers as a new tenant.

27 November 2023

Liz Davies KC presents evidence to the Renters (Reform) Bill Scrutiny Committee

Liz Davies KC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, presented evidence to the Renters (Reform) Bill Scrutiny Committee.

16 November 2023

Garden Court Chambers welcomes four new pupils

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to welcome four new pupils: Matthew Banks, Abby Buttle, Daniella Davenport, and Christopher Lambert.

9 October 2023

Liz Davies KC contributes to Wales Expert Review Panel Report on Homelessness

Liz Davies KC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, was the legal adviser to this important report, part of the Welsh Government's work on ending homelessness in Wales.

5 October 2023

Garden Court secures top tier rankings in the Legal 500 UK 2024

Garden Court Chambers is proud to be recognised as a Top Tier set again in the Legal 500 UK 2024 rankings.

4 October 2023

John Beckley appointed as Circuit Judge

We are delighted to announce that John Beckley, a former member of chambers, has been appointed as a Circuit Judge.

26 September 2023

Connor Johnston conducting new Law Commission project on reforming social care for disabled children

Connor Johnston is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Community Care team.

13 September 2023

High Court issues declaration of incompatibility with the Human Rights Act 1998

Stephen Cottle of the Garden Court Housing Team represented the first defendant, instructed by Chris Johnson of Community Law Partnership.

6 July 2023

Tom Wainwright and Justine Compton appointed as Recorders

We are delighted to announce Tom Wainwright (Call: 2003) and Justine Compton (Call: 2005) of Garden Court Chambers have been newly appointed as Recorders by the Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

18 May 2023

Court of Appeal quashes an unlawful notice served by Local Authority seeking eviction of Irish Travellers from a temporary site in Ramsgate Harbour

Tim Baldwin of Garden Court Chambers acted on behalf of the Claimant, SO, leading Lara Simak of 12 Old Square Chambers.

14 April 2023

Supreme Court gives important ruling on liability of 'superior landlords' for Rent Repayment Orders

Ed Fitzpatrick and Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Housing Team represented the Appellants, instructed pro bono by Simon Mullings of Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre.

1 March 2023

Supreme Court to hear appeal concerning whether Rent Repayment Orders can only be made against an immediate landlord or whether a superior landlord can also be liable

Edward Fitzpatrick and Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team representing the appellants.

25 January 2023

Garden Court Housing Team responds to Government’s “Technical consultation on changes to the homelessness legislation”

Consultation response by Liz Davies KC and Connor Johnston on behalf of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team.

23 January 2023

Court of Appeal clarifies that 10% uplift in damages applies in housing disrepair cases

Liz Davies QC and Marina Sergides of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team acted for the interveners, HLPA pro bono, instructed by Dan Fitzpatrick at Hodge Jones Allen solicitors.

21 June 2022

Garden Court responses to government consultations on domestic abuse

11 May 2022

Housing Allocation & Homelessness Law & Practice 6th edition out now

Co-authored by His Honour Judge Jan Luba QC and members of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team, Liz Davies, Connor Johnston and Tessa Buchanan.

28 January 2022

Nicola Braganza, Mark Gatley and Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers to be appointed Queen’s Counsel

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that Nicola Braganza, Mark Gatley and Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers will be formally appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2022.

22 December 2021

The PSED - Court of Appeal overturns possession order against a disabled tenant

Nick Bano, of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team, instructed by Duncan Lewis Solicitors, acted for the tenant throughout and was led by Karon Monaghan QC in the Court of Appeal.

20 December 2021

Important Court of Appeal decision on housing possession cases

Nick Bano, of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team, acted for the legally aided occupier throughout the proceedings, instructed by Simon Mullings of Edwards Duthie Shamash solicitors.

3 December 2021

Vulnerable woman with a learning disability wins her homelessness appeal

Justine Compton and Nick Bano, of the Garden Court Chambers Housing team, represented SR, assisted by Alex Schymyck, Pupil at Garden Court Chambers.

17 November 2021

Homeless teenager claims victory for more than 1,200 homeless people after forcing council to overturn unlawful housing policy

Tim Baldwin, of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team, represented Shadacia White, instructed by Sam O’Flaherty of Osbornes Law.

4 November 2021

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Homeless Teenager takes Council to High Court for Unlawful Housing Policy

Tim Baldwin of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team represents Shadacia White, instructed by Samuel O’Flaherty of Osbornes Law.

6 September 2021

Tessa Buchanan wins Legal Aid Barrister of the Year and Audrey Cherryl Mogan wins Legal Aid Newcomer of the Year at 2021 LALY Awards

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that two of our barristers won awards at the annual Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards on 6 July 2021.

8 July 2021

Stephen Lue, Tessa Buchanan and Audrey Cherryl Mogan shortlisted at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce that Stephen Lue, Tessa Buchanan and Audrey Cheryl Mogan of Garden Court Chambers have been shortlisted at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2021.

18 May 2021

High Court rules on access to emergency accommodation during pandemic to people usually ineligible for support

Liz Davies, Adrian Berry and Connor Johnston of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team were instructed to represent Shelter.

11 March 2021

Successful policy challenge: homeless women fleeing domestic violence

Stephanie Harrison QC and Nick Bano represented the Claimant. Sophie Caseley was instructed by Bhatt Murphy for Women’s Aid, who intervened in the case.

4 March 2021

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

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 Jordan Publishing 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.

 

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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