Housing Law Bulletin - Issue 278 – 28 August 2012

Tuesday 28 August 2012

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The Latest Housing Law News

Social housing: a new report from the Policy Exchange think tank proposes the sale of high value social rented housing when it falls vacant, with the proceeds used to fund multiple lower value social housing units. For a copy of Ending Expensive Social Tenancies, click here. For the UK Government's response to the report, click here.

Mobility of tenants in social housing: on 20 August 2012 the UK Government reported that the latest figures show nearly 6,000 searches a day are conducted on HomeSwap Direct - an online scheme that shows social homes available for mutual exchange across the country. The total number of searches since it launched in October 2011 is shortly expected to reach 1.5million. For the announcement, click here.

Private rented sector: Sir Adrian Montage's review group, established to look at barriers to institutional investment in private rented housing, has presented its report to the UK Government. For a copy, click here. For the ministerial statement responding to the report, click here.

Housing & anti-social behaviour: a helpful new briefing note from the House of Commons Library sets out the background and content of the UK Government's latest proposals for reform of the tools designed to tackle anti-social behaviour. For a copy, click here.

Leaseholders: a new report from the Centre Forum think tank proposes the reform of the law relating to long leases, including the abolition of forfeiture for non-payment of charges, the establishment of an independent regulator of leasehold management and the reform of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal process. For copies of A new lease of life: reforming leasehold in the 21st century, click here.

Energy efficiency of homes: on 16 August 2012 the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 were made. They come into force on 12 September 2012/ They amend the existing Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (England) Regulations by broadening the Warm Front eligibility criteria, by aligning the income-based criteria with those used for the Affordable Warmth group of the forthcoming Energy Company Obligation and by aligning the thermal efficiency criteria with the average level for social housing, thereby increasing the pool of eligible households. They will also allow occupiers of mobile homes to be assisted under the scheme and will enable the closure of the scheme to new applicants later this year. For the regulations, click here. For a memorandum explaining them, click here.

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO): a fundamental review of the regulation of HMOs has been launched by the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland. For the consultation paper setting out their proposals, click here. Responses should be submitted by 28 September 2012.

The Latest Housing Case Law

Fuller digests of most of the cases noted each week in this Bulletin appear in an online indexed and searchable database edited by Jan Luba QC and called the Case Law Digest. For details of that service, click here.

R (Bates) v Barking & Dagenham LBC [2012] EWHC (Admin). Noted on LAWTEL
17 August 2012

The claimant brought a claim for judicial review of a decision by the council not to provide accommodation for her with her children in the exercise of its powers under Children Act 1989 section 17. The council had decided that given a history of intentional homelessness, refusal of offered accommodation and failure to co-operate with the authorities it would accommodate the children under section 20 of the 1989 Act but not their mother. The claimant sought an interim injunction requiring the council to house the family together until an application for permission to seek judicial review could be determined. The High Court refused the order. The merits were such that permission for judicial review was likely to be refused and in those circumstances, an injunction would not be appropriate.

Newham LBC v Paulette Narine
10 July 2012

The defendant was a private landlord. She wished to evict her tenant. She went to the property, obtained the key from the tenant's child minder and refused to re-admit the tenant, except to collect her belongings. On a prosecution brought by the council, the defendant was found guilty of an offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. She was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a contribution of £1,500 towards prosecution costs together with a £15 victim surcharge. The District Judge (Stratford Magistrates' Court) also awarded the ex-tenant £540 compensation. The defendant appealed. At Snaresbrook Crown Court her appeal was dismissed, her conviction was upheld and she was ordered to pay the council further costs of £4,319. For details of the prosecution, click here.

Housing Law Articles

Recent developments in housing law
N. Madge and J. Luba
[2012] August Legal Action 23
For back issues of articles in this series, click here.

Squatters in residential premises
M. Martil
[2012] 15 Journal of Housing Law 100

Succession and mutual exchange after the Localism Act 2011
N. Billingham
[2012] 15 Journal of Housing Law 86

Housing Law Events

Autumn 2012

12 September 2012
Recent developments in housing law
A LAG training event in London
For the details, click here.

12 September 2012
Dealing with the housing possession duty desk
An evening seminar in London for HLPA members
For the details, click here.

13 September 2012
Homeless children in Need: Local authorities' duties
A LAG training event in London
For the details, click here.

19 September 2012
Homelessness Update
An evening meeting in London of HLPA
For the details, click here.

20 September 2012
Succession, Mutual Exchange & the Localism Act
An evening meeting in London of SHLA
For the details, click here.

25 September 2012
Localism Act: an update for housing practitioners
A LAG training event in London
For the details, click here.

27 September 2012
Housing Mental Capacity and Disability Discrimination
An evening seminar at Garden Court Chambers
For the details, click here.

28 September 2012
Social Housing Allocation
A Lime Legal Conference in London
For the details, click here.

17 October 2012
How to quantify damages in disrepair cases
An evening seminar in London for HLPA members
For the details, click here.

18 October 2012
Using Mediation to Resolve Housing Disputes
An evening seminar at Garden Court Chambers
For the details, click here.

16 November 2012
SHLA Annual Conference
the 7th Annual Conference of SHLA in London
For the details, click here.

21 November 2012
Housing Law Update
An evening meeting in London of HLPA
For the details, click here.

21-22 November 2012
New Approaches to Allocations, Lettings & Homelessness Conference 2012
A two-day Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Nottingham
For the details, click here.

22 November 2012
Gypsies and travellers: An Update
An evening seminar at Garden Court Chambers
For the details, click here.

27 November 2012
Housing Allocations and Homelessness: The Practitioner Seminar Series 2012
A Jordans Housing seminar in Leeds
Includes a free copy of the forthcoming Housing Allocation and Homelessness (3rd edition) by Jan Luba QC and Liz Davies
For the details, click here.

28 November 2012
Housing Allocations and Homelessness: The Practitioner Seminar Series 2012
A Jordans Housing seminar in Manchester
Includes a free copy of the forthcoming Housing Allocation and Homelessness (3rd edition) by Jan Luba QC and Liz Davies
For the details, click here.

29 November 2012
Housing Allocations and Homelessness: The Practitioner Seminar Series 2012
A Jordans Housing seminar in Birmingham
Includes a free copy of the forthcoming Housing Allocation and Homelessness (3rd edition) by Jan Luba QC and Liz Davies
For the details, click here.

30 November 2012
Housing Allocations and Homelessness: The Practitioner Seminar Series 2012
A Jordans Housing seminar in London
Includes a free copy of the forthcoming Housing Allocation and Homelessness (3rd edition) by Jan Luba QC and Liz Davies
For the details, click here.

5 December 2012
After the possession order: set aside or appeal?
An evening seminar in London for HLPA members
For the details, click here.

11 December 2012
Housing Law Conference
Annual conference of HLPA in London
For the details, click here.

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