Housing Law Bulletin - Issue 182 - 12 July 2010

Monday 12 July 2010

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The Latest Housing Law News

Gypsy and Traveller site provision: on 6 July 2010 the Secretary of State for Communities announced the immediate revocation of Regional Spatial Strategies by exercise of delegated powers under section 79(6) of the Local Democracy Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 pending legislation to abolish them. They will no longer form part of local authority development plans for the purposes of section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The Strategies had been major drivers in requiring site provision for gypsies and travellers. On the same day a letter was sent to all planning authorities explaining the impact of the change but in relation to Gypsy and Traveller sites it states that "We will review relevant regulations and guidance on this matter in due course". For the Parliamentary statement, click here. For the letter to planning authorities, click here. For the CLG news release, click here.

Money for house building: on 5 July 2010 the UK Government's Housing Minister announced that £390m will be made available to build 4500 social rented homes, over 3000 homes for sale at affordable prices and 1000 stalled by the recession - a total of 8500. This was said to be in addition to £170m already made available by the new Government to build 4000 new social homes. For more details, click here.

Tenants of Mortgage Borrowers: a commencement order has been made bringing the Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc) Act 2010 into force on 1 October 2010. For the order, click here.

Social housing regulation and Housing Benefit: the new system for registration and regulation of social landlords in England took effect on 1 April 2010. Two months after the event, the DWP has issued a Circular giving guidance to local authorities on the impact the change has had on the housing benefit system. For a copy of Circular A12/2010, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

Brent LBC v Corcoran and O'Donnell
[2010] EWCA Civ 774
8 July 2010
The defendants lived on the council's official Gypsy and Traveller site. In March 2008 a police raid found drugs and other evidence of criminal activity on their plots and revealed other breaches of their licence agreements. The council gave notice to determine their licences and sought possession. In May 2008 the county court rejected 'public law defences' and made possession orders, adjourning the question of whether they should be suspended (for up to one year) under Caravan Sites Act 1968 section 4. The adjourned hearing did not take place until September 2009 when the judge granted a 12 month suspension. In the meantime there had been an incident of intimidation of the site management staff. The Court of Appeal rejected an appeal against the making of the possession orders. There was nothing in the public law defences that had been advanced. It allowed the council's appeal against the suspensions and substituted outright orders. The occupiers had failed to discharge the burden of showing why, exceptionally, they should be permitted to stay in the face of evidence of breach of their agreements and serious criminality on their plots (although they had not been personally involved). For the full judgment, click here.

Southern Pacific v Walker
[2010] UKSC 32
7 July 2010
Mr and Mrs Walker took a secured loan for £17,500. To that was added a broker administration fee of £875. Interest was payable on both elements. Following default in payments, the lender sought possession. The Walkers took the point that the agreement failed to accurately state the total charge for credit under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, and the relevant regulations, because it stated that the amount of credit was "£17,500". The Supreme Court upheld the agreement. The brokerage fee did not need to be included in the amount of credit. For the full judgment, click here.

Housing Law Articles

Update: Housing
G. Peaker
[2010] 154 Solicitors Journal No26 p25

A new gateway
(commentary on Salford CC v Mullen)
J. Burton and A. Gask
[2010] 160 New Law Journal 964

Rollercoaster Ride
(30 years of homelessness law)
S. Povey
[2010] ROOF (final Issue) p48

Reset the pain threshold
(likely impact of HB changes on possession claims)
R. McGuirk
[2010] Inside Housing 9 July, p28
To read the article, click here.

Housing Law Books

Housing Allocation and Homelessness - new edition
The new 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.

Repairs: tenants' rights
The new 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, provides a first port of call for lawyers and advisers dealing with housing. The book 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.

Housing Law Consultations

Closing 20 July 2010
The consultation exercise on the proposed new procedural rules for the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

Housing Law Events

This Month

13 July 2010
Anti-Social Behaviour
An HLPA intermediate training seminar
For the details, click here.

Autumn 2010

9 September 2010
Applying Article 8 ECHR to secure Accommodation for Persons Subject to Immigration Control
A Garden Court Chambers evening seminar.
For full details, click here.

10 September 2010
Recent Developments in Housing Law
A Legal Action Group training event in London
For full details, click here.

14 September 2010
Tenancy Agreements
A CIH conference in London
For full details, click here.

16 September 2010
Housing Allocation and Homelessness
A Jordans conference in London
For full details, click here.

24 September 2010
Using Public Law in Housing Cases
A Legal Action Group training event in London
For more details, click here.

30 September 2010
Preventing Homelessness and Protecting Homeowners National Conference 2010
A Lime Legal event in London
For more details, click here.

7 October 2010
Social Housing Allocation Conference 2010
A Lime Legal event in London
For more details, click here.

14 October 2010
Judicial Review Conference
A Garden Court Chambers one-day conference in Birmingham on all aspects of judicial review
For full details, click here

14 October 2010
Anti-social Behaviour and Social Housing conference 2010
A Lime Legal event in London
For more details, click here.

21 October 2010
Anti Social Behaviour Possession Claims and Injunctions
A Garden Court Chambers evening seminar
For the details, click here.

11 November 2010
Gypsies, Travellers and Unauthorised Encampments
A Garden Court Chambers evening seminar
For the details, click here.


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