Housing Law Bulletin - Issue 260 - 23 April 2012

Monday 23 April 2012

Share This Page

Email This Page

The Latest Housing Law News

Mobile home park residents: on 16 April 2012 the UK Government launched a consultation exercise on proposals to extend the statutory rights and protections of residents on mobile home sites. The consultation runs until 28 May 2012. For the consultation paper, click here. For the Impact Assessment on the proposed changes to the Mobile Homes Act, click here. For the Impact Assessment on the proposed changes to the site licensing regime, click here.

Boost for self-build owner occupiers: on 19 April 2012 the UK Government announced a package of new support to give as many people as possible the opportunity to build their own homes. Some 14,000 homes were provided by self-builders last year. For the announcement, click here. For the new self-build portal, click here. For the National Self Builders Association website, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

R(W) v Croydon LBC [2012] EWHC (Admin), [2012] All ER (D) 65 (Apr)
13 April 2012

The claimant had applied to the council for accommodation under the Children Act 1989. He was an Afghani and a failed asylum seeker. The council decided that he was an adult rather than a child. He applied for a judicial review of that decision. The High Court dismissed his claim. While he had always given a clear and consistent account of his knowledge of his age, the level of consistency suggested that his answers had been rehearsed. He was not a credible witness.

HSE v Terence McBride
Trafford Magistrates Court
13 April 2012

The defendant, a private landlord, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 by failing to arrange an annual gas safety check in a tenant's home. Mr McBride, of Sawyer Drive in Ashton-in-Makerfield, received a community order requiring him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £600 towards the costs of the prosecution. For more details, click here.

Mortgage Express v Watts [2012] EWCA Civ 478
2 April 2012

The claimant, a mortgage lender, obtained a possession order for the defendants' home. The mortgage had been granted in 2001 and since July 2009 no mortgage repayments had been made because the defendants had experienced cash flow difficulties. The defendants sought permission to appeal against the possession order on the basis that the lender had relied on false documents and false evidence in its witness statements. The Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal. The trial judge had looked into all the facts. There were no grounds for impugning the validity of the documents. There was no error in the order made.

Uwakameme v Forghani [2012] EWCA Civ 481
29 March 2012

The claimant had been an assured shorthold tenant of the defendants. He claimed that he had been unlawfully evicted and that the landlords had wrongly retained his possessions and caused him to be arrested. After a six-day trial, the judge dismissed all his claims and held that they had been without reasonable foundation and ought not to have been brought. The claimant sought permission to appeal. The Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal. The trial judge had looked into all the facts, had made adverse findings as to the claimant's reliability as a witness and had preferred the evidence of the defendants for reasons that he gave. An appeal would have no real prospect of success.

Platform Funding Ltd v Miller Parris Solicitors [2012] EWHC (QB Merc) noted on LAWTEL
29 March 2012

A restrictive covenant limited the use of a flat to use as a private residence in the sole occupation of the tenant or members of the tenant's household. The tenant bought the lease with the assistance of a mortgage from the claimant. The solicitors acting for the tenant in the purchase also acted for the claimant lender but failed to report the covenant to the lender. The tenant sub-let the flat in breach of the covenant and fell into arrears with ground rent and service charges. The landlord served notice of intent to forfeit the lease for breach of the restrictive covenant. The claimant sought damages for breach of contract and negligence against the solicitors for failure to disclose the covenant. The High Court entered summary judgment for the lender and gave directions for trial of the quantum of damages (if any).

Costache v Romania [2012] ECHR 663
27 March 2012

The claimant suffered from left side paralysis, chronic hepatitis, epilepsy and brain damage. He and his partner needed housing accommodation. In 2003 he found a room for them in a deserted horse stable that was owned by the local council but had been abandoned. The council allowed him to live there free of charge while he applied for social housing in the usual way. In 2007 he was allocated a council flat into which he moved. He complained to the European Court of Human Rights that his living conditions from 2003 to 2007 amounted to a violation of his human rights. The Court held that the only relevant right was Article 8 and that his complaint of infringement of that right was manifestly ill-founded. The local council had neither authorised the poor living conditions he endured in 2003-2007 nor acted unlawfully. Article 8 gave the claimant no a right to a home and issues involving the allocation of scarce resources such as social housing were best left to assessment by national authorities. For the judgment, click here.

R (Julie Smith) v Secretary of State for Communities [2012] EWHC 963 (Admin)
16 March 2012

The claimant was a gypsy. She moved her caravan onto an unauthorised gypsy caravan site established on agricultural land. She sought planning permission from the local council but permission was refused. She appealed to the Secretary of State who appointed an inspector. The inspector refused planning permission and dismissed an appeal against an enforcement notice (save in respect of the period for compliance). The claimant challenged that decision on the grounds that the inspector ought to have followed and applied Circular 01/2006 and not given it reduced weight because of the announcement of its imminent withdrawal. The High Court rejected her claim. The inspector had correctly afforded such weight to the circular as was appropriate in the circumstances.

Mogaji v Bilkhu [2012] EWCA Civ 469
13 March 2012

The defendant was a private landlord. He let a property on an assured shorthold tenancy to a Mr O. The claimant and her children moved into the flat to live with Mr O. Sometime later, Mr O left the flat but the claimant continued in occupation until the defendant unlawfully evicted her. On her compensation claim, the judge awarded her general damages of £4000, special damages of £4500, exemplary damages of £1500 and aggravated damages of £1500. The defendant sought permission to appeal on the basis that the claimant had produced at trial documents which were false, fabricated and dishonest. The Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal. The judge had inspected the documents, seen and heard the witnesses, had decided that he preferred the case for the claimant and had given reasons. There was no merit in the proposed appeal.

Housing Law Articles

Recent developments in housing law
N. Madge and J. Luba
[2012] April Legal Action p20
For back issues of articles in this series, click here.

Testing the Limits
(commentary on Dixon v UK)
J. Plant
[2012] 20 April Inside Housing p32
To read the article, click here.

Making a (Community Harm) statement
S. Pearson
[2012] 19 April Local Government Lawyer
To read the article, click here.

Repossession day in court
J. Robins
[2012] The Guardian 16 April
To read the article, click here.

Housing Law Events (Spring 2012)

18 April 2012
How to Defend Subletting Cases
An evening seminar in London arranged by HLPA
For the details, click here.

19 April 2012
Homelessness and Allocation after the Localism Act
An evening housing seminar at Garden Court Chambers.
For more details, click here.

25 April 2012
Doing Your Duty: How to Keep your Client's Home when on the Duty Possession Scheme
(Free for representatives on the housing possession day duty schemes)
An evening housing seminar at Garden Court Chambers.
For more details, click here.

26 April 2012
Tenancy Fraud
An evening housing seminar from SHLA
For more details, click here.

1 May 2012
Defending Possession Proceedings
A Legal Action Group training event in London
For the details, click here.

16 May 2012
Possession Claims: The Old and The New
An evening meeting in London of HLPA
For the details, click here.

17 May 2012
Localism Act & Social Housing
An evening meeting in Leeds of Yorkshire Housing Law Practitioners (with Jan Luba QC)
For more details: click here.

18 May 2012
Gypsy & Traveller Law Update
A Legal Action Group training event in Birmingham
For the details, click here.

22 May 2012
Social Housing Law & Practice
A Lime Legal training event in London
For the details, click here.

22 May 2012
Housing Disrepair
A Legal Action Group training event in London
For the details, click here.

24 May 2012
New Forms of Tenancy and Using the Ombudsman After the Localism Act
An evening housing seminar at Garden Court Chambers.
For more details, click here.

13 June 2012
Homeless Cases: Has the Duty been Discharged?
An evening housing seminar from HLPA
For more details, click here.

27 June 2012
Social Housing Tenancy Agreements
A Lime Legal training event in London
For the details, click here.

Latest tweets from Garden Court Chambers

Follow us on Twitter

Tweets by gardencourtlaw

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

+ View more awards