Housing Law Bulletin - Issue 226 - 18 July 2011

Monday 18 July 2011

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The Latest Housing Law News

Consultation on squatting: on 13 July 2011 the Ministry of Justice released a consultation paper on options to amend the law relating to squatting. For the consultation paper, click here. For the impact assessment, click here. The consultation closes on 5 October 2011.

Affordable rent housing: on 14 July 2011 the Homes & Communities Agency announced that almost 150 housing associations, local authorities, house builders and other providers are set to deliver the 80,000 new affordable homes intended to be provided on terms including rents set at up to 80% of market levels. For their announcement, click here. For the ministerial statement on the programme, made on the same day, click here. The Chartered Institute of Housing has said there are 'serious on-going concerns' around the affordable homes programme. For details of the CIH position, click here.

Housing ombudsman: on 15 July 2011 the Law commission published the final report on its review of ombudsman arrangements in England & Wales. The report reviews "filter" mechanisms preventing direct applications to the ombudsmen such as those contained in the Localism Bill. For the Law Commission report, click here.

 

The Latest Housing Case Law

Places for People v Sharples, A2 Dominion Homes v Godfrey [2011] EWCA Civ 813
15 July 2011

These were two claims for possession based on rent arrears brought against assured tenants of social housing. Ms Sharples had been declared bankrupt by an order made on her own application. Mr Godfrey was subject to a Debt Relief Order. Both argued that the arrears of rent accrued up to the date of their respective orders could not be used to found a possession claim. The Court of Appeal held that the arrears of rent could not be the subject of a money order in the proceedings but that possession orders could be made. Where an order was sought on a discretionary ground it could be made conditional on payment of current rent but not conditional on payment of the arrears. The full judgement should be available here shortly.

Jones v Ruth [2011] EWCA Civ 804
12 July 2011

The parties were adjoining home owners. The Ruths decided to extend and develop their property. The work, which should have taken a year, at most extended over several years. There was considerable nuisance and annoyance caused and trespass on the claimant's property both during the works and in the end result. The claimant was made ill by the events and by the conduct of the Ruths and their workmen. The judge awarded £30,000 damages for loss of amenity, £6000 for harassment, and £45,000 in lieu of an injunction for the ongoing trespass. Both parties appealed. The Court of Appeal decided that the judge had been wrong not to award damages for the personal injury caused by the harassment. It awarded £28,750 general damages and £115,000 for loss of earnings. The £45,000 award was reduced on a cross appeal to £15,000 but an order that the defendants pay indemnity costs was upheld. For the judgment, click here.

Krahulec v Slovakia [2011] ECrtHR Third section
7 June 2011

Mr Krahulec owned a house sub-divided into several flats. Most of the flats were tenanted (he lived in the other flat). The impact of rent control laws meant that the tenants were paying him less in rent than t cost him to maintain the premises. He complained to the European Court of Human Rights that this was an infringement of his right to enjoy his property under Article 1 of Protocol 1. The court decided that the complaint raised "serious issues of fact and law" justifying consideration by the Court at a full hearing.

 

Housing Law Articles

Recent Developments in Housing Law
N. Madge and J. Luba
[2011] July Legal Action p16
For back-copies of articles in this series, click here.

Tenancy Deposits
DJ R. Pates
[2011] 108 No.28 Law Society Gazette p23
For a copy of article, click here.

 

Housing Law Events

This Week

20 July 2011
Bringing Disrepair Claims
An HLPA meeting in London
For the details,click here.

Autumn 2011

21 September 2011
Tenancy Agreements Conference 2011
A Chartered Institute of Housing event in London
For the details, click here.

21 September 2011
Homelessness & Allocations
A Housing Law Practitioners meeting in London
For the details, click here.

23 September 2011
Public Law and Housing
A Legal Action Group Training Event in London
For the details, click here.

29 September 2011
Preventing Homelessness and Helping Homeowners at Risk National Conference 2011
A Lime Legal Event in London
For the details, click here.

5 October 2011
Social Housing Allocations Conference
A Lime Legal Event in London
For the details, click here.

13 October 2011
Unlawful Eviction: What to Look for and What's the Damage?
A Garden Court free evening seminar in London
For the details, click here.

10 November 2011
Disrepair: Penetration, Infestation and Hibernation
A Garden Court free evening seminar in London
For the details, click here.

16 November 2011
Housing Law Update
A Housing Law Practitioners meeting in London
For the details, click here.

1 December 2011
Residential Landlord & Tenant Update 2011
A Professional Conferences event in London
For the details, 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.
To access the free downloadable update to several chapters of the current edition of the book to take account of recent cases such as Pinnock and Powell, 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 a review by Robert Latham, click here.
To read another 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. 

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