Housing Law Bulletin - Issue 194 - 22 November 2010

Monday 22 November 2010

Share This Page

Email This Page

The Latest Housing Law News

Legal advice and representation in Housing cases: on 15 November 2010 the Ministry of Justice issued a consultation paper on the future of legal aid. Chapter 4 indicates which Housing cases will remain within the scope of legal aid and which, it is proposed, will not. Even if most Housing cases remain within scope, the viability of specialist housing law advice and assistance to assist with advice or representation will be restricted by changes to eligibility for legal aid and will also be severely impacted by the proposals in Chapter 7 to reduce remuneration for civil legal aid advisers, solicitors and counsel by £72m from 2011. Responses are sought by 14 February 2011. For the consultation paper and the supplementary regulatory impact assessments, click here. For the Law Society's summary of the proposals, click here.

Alternative funding for Housing cases: the alternative methods of funding Housing law cases beyond legal aid (e.g. through conditional fee agreements) will be heavily affected by proposals put forward by the Ministry of Justice on implementing Lord Justice Jackson's main recommendations on Costs in Civil Cases. Those proposals are the subject of a separate consultation which also closes on 14 February 2010. For a copy of that consultation paper and the supplementary regulatory impact assessments, click here.

More affordable homes in rural areas: to stimulate the development of more affordable housing in rural communities the Commission for Rural Communities has published Improving the effectiveness of delivering affordable rural housing: section 106 agreements, rural exception sites and Community Land Trusts. For a copy, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

Vilvarasa v Harrow LBC [2010] EWCA Civ 1278
16 November 2010

The council accepted that it owed the claimant the main housing duty under the homelessness provisions of Housing Act 1996 Part 7. It advised him that it would perform the duty by arranging an assured shorthold tenancy. It later wrote to him identifying the particular property. The claimant visited the property offered but rejected it as unsuitable for his needs. The suitability was upheld by the council on a review and a judge dismissed an appeal. The claimant appealed to the Court of Appeal on the basis that the totality of the council's correspondence suggested that the offer made was a "qualifying offer" which the claimant would have been entitled to reject as of right under section 193(7B). The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The council had throughout been making the offer under section 193(5) as part of its duty to secure temporary accommodation. Nothing in the wording of the letters undermined that.

R(L) v Westminster CC [2010] EWHC (Admin), [2010] All ER (D) 149 (Nov)
15 November 2010

The claimant asserted that by reason of his poor mental health the council was obliged to accommodate him under National Assistance Act 1948 section 21. The council assessed him as needing NHS treatment and social work support and nothing more. The High Court dismissed a judicial review of that decision. To be entitled to assistance the claimant had to be in need of care and attention where help with such needs was not available otherwise than by the provision of accommodation. The needs for NHS treatment and social work support as assessed by the council were not, in themselves, a demonstration of a need for "care and attention" by provision of accommodation. The assessment by the council's social worker had been lawfully made.

Thomas v Clydesdale Bank Plc (t/a Yorkshire Bank) [2010] EWHC 2755 (QB)
1 November 2010

A couple bought a property in March 2006 to renovate and then provide a home for themselves and their children. Both contributed to the purchase price. The purchase was made in the man's sole name and in July 2006 he took a mortgage from the bank to fund the balance of the purchase price and the renovation works. The mortgage was registered in August. The works were completed and the couple moved-in at the end of September 2006. Following default on the mortgage, the bank sought and obtained a possession order. The woman applied to set aside that order. The judge rejected her application on the basis that she had no prospect of establishing a defence that her equitable interest bound the lender on any of the alternatives that (1) she was in actual occupation in July 2006 or (2) the lender could have discovered her interest on a reasonable inspection in July 2006 or (3) it had actual knowledge of her interest. The High Court allowed an appeal. On the facts, she had reasonable prospects of success on all or any of those three points. For the judgment, click here.

Housing Law Articles

Out in the cold
(gatekeeping in homelessness cases)
Z . Nabi
[2010] 154 Solicitors Journal Issue 43 p12
To read the article, click here.

Back to basics: rent arrears and disrepair counterclaims
M. Robinson
[2010] 142 Adviser p19

Dead end street
(commentary on Lower Street Properties v Jones)
DJ P. Glover
[2010] 154 Solicitors Journal Issue 43
To read the article, click here.

Recent Developments in Housing Law
J.Luba & N.Madge
(2010) October Legal Action p28

Getting past the gatekeepers Part 2: how to secure interim accommodation
L. Davies & J. Luba
[2010] November Legal Action p42

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 runs to over 1000 pages and was published last month. Price: £55.00. For full details, click here.
To watch an independent review, 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 an 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.

Housing Law Events

This Month

26 November 2010
SHLA Fifth Annual Conference 2010
A Social Housing Law Association event in London
For the details, click here.

30 November 2010
Residential Landlord & Tenant Conference
A Professional Conferences event in London
For the details, click here.

Next month

1 December 2010
Housing Management Conference 2010
A Lime Legal conference in London
For the details, click here.

1 December 2010
Annual Crime and ASB Conference 2010
A Northern Housing Consortium conference in York
For the details, click here.

15 December 2010
HLPA Annual Conference
A London Conference
For the details, click here.


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

+ View more awards