Housing Law Bulletin - Issue 201 - 17 January 2011

Monday 17 January 2011

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The Latest Housing Law News

Reforming Social Housing - deadline today: the consultation exercise on the Government's proposals for the reform of Social Housing closes at 5pm today. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here. For a copy of the response from the Housing Team at Garden Court Chambers, click here. For the HLPA response,click here. For the comprehensive House of Commons Library research report on the housing and planning aspects of the Localism Bill, which take forward the Government's proposals, click here. The Second Reading of the Bill takes place today. For the Hansard report of it, click here.

Housing & Anti-Social Behaviour: on 11 January 2011 the Housing Minister announced new measures to address anti-social behaviour (ASB) in housing. They include: (1) a new mandatory ground for possession (to be introduced by amendment into the Localism Bill - see above); (2) improved court procedures for handling ASB cases; and (3) a facility to extend housing association starter tenancies by six months. These proposals come ahead of publication of the Government's review of measures to tackle ASB. For a copy of the announcement, click here. On the same day, the Chartered Institute of Housing announced that its ASB Action Team would "refresh and update" the Respect Standard for Housing Management and encouraged social landlords to access the free services provided by the team. For more details, click here.

Empty Homes: on 10 January 2011 the Minister of State for Communities and Local Government (Andrew Stunnell MP) announced that the Government would be offering a New Homes Bonus to local councils in England for each private sector empty home brought back into use -even though the consultation period on that proposal does not expire until today (see above). The bonus requires the Government to match the council tax received by restoring the home to use. The Minister urged members of the public to report long-term empty homes to their local councils. For a copy of the announcement, click here.

Housing & the Equality Act 2010: although the Equality & Human Rights Commission has yet to publish any guidance under the new Act specifically dealing with housing, it did publish last week a series of guides on the new public sector equality duty which will be of importance for all social landlords. To access the new guides, click here.

Private Rented Sector: Shelter has published a free campaigns briefing on Tackling Rogue Landlords. It deals with putting a stop to exploitation, harassment and negligence in the private rented sector. For a copy, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

Hemphurst Ltd v Durrels House Ltd [2011] UKUT 6 (LC)
5 January 2011

Tenants of a block of flats set up DH Ltd to exercise a statutory right to acquire the freehold from the owners, H Ltd. The owners had granted a 999 year lease for the development of a penthouse on the roof surface of the block. DHL only wanted to acquire that part of the roof necessary to serve as a common part of the block (e.g. as to ventilation shafts and machinery). The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal held that DHL had to acquire the whole of the lease or nothing. The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) allowed an appeal. DHL was entitled to acquire only such part of the roof as it needed in support of its right to enfranchise. For the full judgment, click here.

Carmarthenshire County Council [2010] EWCA Civ 1567
16 December 2010

The council sought and obtained a possession order against a secure tenant. He lodged an appeal raising the question of whether he had the mental capacity to defend the proceedings without the appointment of a litigation friend. The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal and an expedited hearing of the appeal to enable it to address the question as to how, once the court is possessed of information raising a question as to the capacity of a litigant to conduct the litigation, it should satisfy itself as to whether the litigant does in fact have sufficient capacity.

Watson v Wandsworth LBC [2010] EWCA Civ 1558
12 October 2010

The council accepted that it owed Ms Watson the main homelessness duty and made her an offer of accommodation in the Roehampton part of its district. That offer was declined on the ground that Ms Watson would not be safe there because it was within the territory of gang by a member of which she had previously been assaulted. The offer was upheld on review but the county court allowed an appeal. The Court of Appeal restored the council's decision. It had lawfully concluded that Ms Watson would not be at risk in Roehampton. This otherwise unremarkable appeal is noted (the transcript only just having been approved) because of the useful discussion in the judgments of how the case might have been differently decided if the fears of a vulnerable young person were subjectively and strongly held (although objectively mistaken) and there was a degree of medical evidence in support of the genuine nature of her fears.

Housing Law Articles

Housing Repairs update
B. Prevatt
[2011] January Legal Action 15
For details about the January issue, click here.

A New Neighbour
(the effect on Pinnock on applications for orders of sale)
R. Strang
[2011] 161 New Law Journal No.7448 pp 51-52

Recent Developments in Housing Law
J. Luba and N. Madge
[2011] January Legal Action
For details about the January issue, click here.

Death is not the end
(tenancy succession and rent arrears)
M.Coates
[2011] 143 Adviser 18

None shall escape the judgment
(Pinnock and succession claims)
M. Robinson
[2011] 143 Adviser 23

An exercise in trust
(more than four joint tenants)
C. Kus
[2011] 143 Adviser 25

Planning control over Houses in Multiple Occupation
A. Samuels
[2011] Journal of Planning & Environmental Law 132

MCC v Pinnock
A. Arden and J. Bates
[2011] 14 Journal of Housing Law 3

The Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc) Act 2010
S. Blackmore
[2011] 14 Journal of Housing Law 12

Rights of Audience in Possession Claims
S. Madge-Wyld 16
[2011] 14 Journal of Housing Law 16

Follow rules to the letter
(rent increases for assured tenants)
Y. Dania
[2011] 14 January Inside Housing 31
To read the article, click here.

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 - which runs to over 1000 pages - has been published. Price: £55.00. For full details, click here.
To read an independent review, 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.
To read a review by Robert Latham, 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 Week

19 January 2011
Housing & the Equality Act 2010
An HLPA Meeting in London
For the details, click here.

21 January 2011
Recent Developments in Housing Law
A LAG training day in London
For the details, click here.

Later This Month

28 January 2011
What difference does Pinnock make
A Shelter training seminar in London
For the details, click here.

Later this Year

11 February 2011
Public Sector Housing Law Conference 2011
A Jordan Publishing conference in London
For the details, click here.

10 March 2011
The Mental Capacity Act 2005: Where are we now?
A Garden Court Chambers half-day seminar
For the details, click here.

28 March 2011
Housing Benefit, Rent Arrears and Possession Proceedings
A LAG training day in London
For the details, click here.

1 April 2011
Housing & Support for Migrants
A LAG training day in London
For the details, click here.

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