Issue 1 - 16 January 2006

Monday 16 January 2006

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Government & Parliament

More on anti-social behaviour: the Government's Respect Action Plan published on 10 January 2006 proposes: (1) housing officers should be able to apply for 'parenting orders' against tenants; (2) financial penalties including 'housing benefit measures' for evicted families who 'refuse to take up offers of help' in addressing behaviour; (3) a new Respect Standard for social housing management; (4) widening the availability of ASB injunctions; (5) instant closure orders to seal homes (of any tenure) which are bases for anti-social behaviour; (6) rights of audience in court for housing staff who are 'anti-social behaviour practitioners'; and (7) appointment of county court staff as ASB co-ordinators and 'advocates' for the needs of victims and witnesses. Click here for the full report.

Housing Disrepair cases: a House of Commons select committee has recommended raising the small claims threshold for disrepair cases to, say, £2500. The Dept. for Constitutional Affairs will be considering the proposal to which housing lawyers may wish to respond. Click here for the report.

Looming Deadlines

Tenancy Deposit Protection: Consultation on Secondary Legislation : Consultation period expires on 1 February 2006

Enabling local authorities to contract their Anti-Social Behaviour Order functions to organisations managing their housing stock : Consultation period expires on 1 February 2006.

[Click on titles for links to the documents]

Latest Court Cases

Court of Appeal:

( Click here to download transcripts for free)

Riverside HA v White[2005] EWCA Civ 1385. 6 December 2005. Assured tenants. Annual rent increase notices inconsistent with tenancy agreement. Tenants not estopped from denying liability to pay the increased amount in possession proceedings. Full casenote in 12 January 2006 issue of Law Soc Gazette p28.

Delgable Ltd v Perinpanathan [2005] EWCA Civ. 14 December 2005. As between the freeholder and various lessees of a multi-storey property, who was responsible for repair of the roof?

Lambeth LBC v Vandra [2005] EWCA Civ. 19 December 2005. Secure tenancy. Alleged subletting and NTQ served. DJ grants possession order. CA decided the appeal against that order had been wrongly allowed and reinstated it.

Crossley v Crossley [2005] EWCA Civ 1581. 21 December 2005. Secure tenancy. Right to buy. Tenant buys with husband and daughter. Who owns what share of the value?

Copping v Surrey CC [2005] EWCA Civ 1604. 21 December 2005. Secure tenancy. Right to Buy. Correct date for valuation.

High Court:

( Click here to download transcripts for free)

R (Supportways) v Hampshire CC [2005] EWHC Admin. 8 December 2005. JR by a housing-related support provider of a decision by the funding authority that its services were not 'cost-effective'. Allowed.

R(Mohamed) v Harrow LBC [2005] EWHC Admin. 13 December 2005. JR by homeless Dutch national of refusal of interim accommodation. Issues: whether claimant was a 'worker' or 'work seeker' or otherwise enjoyed a 'right to reside' in EU law. Dismissed.

Circulars

HB/CTB A24/2005. Gives detailed description of effects of 2006 benefits uprating on HB and CTB claims. Click here for further info.

HB/CTB A25/2005. Advises local authorities to 'stay' cases which look like Commissioner's case CH/3801/2004 (on refusal of benefit because claimant's wife did not have an NI number) pending Court of Appeal decision. Click here for further info.

Ombudsman Reports

Dampness: council's repeated failure to tackle leaks coming from 'flat above'. £1000 compensation. Lambeth LBC. No 04/B/17994. 6 December 2005. Click here for further info.

Homelessness: council failing to deal with homeless 17yo as 'homeless' and instead putting him on waiting list. £2000 compensation. South Tyneside Council. No 04/C/18995 12 December 2005. Click here for further info.

Recent Articles

Recent Developments in Housing Law [2006] January Legal Action 28

County Court ASBOs: Practitioners Guide [2006] January Legal Action 33

Click here for further info.

Backdating (Housing Benefit) for 'good cause': [2006] January/February Adviser 9

Prevention or Cure re-visited: [2006] January/February Adviser 45 (on homelessness prevention)

Equal Measures [2006] January/February Adviser 48 (reviews impact of Civil Partnerships Act 2004 on housing)

Click here for further info.

Free Housing Law Seminars

29 March 2006Gypsy Law Update

26 April 2006 Tolerated Trespassers and Restoring Tenancies

24 May 2006 Housing Allocations

Click here for further seminar information and to book.

LSC Housing Law Seminars

Housing & Possession cases: Practice & Procedure

8 February 2006 Liverpool (full)

9 February 2006 Manchester

1 March 2006 Exeter

Housing Case Law Update

7 March 2006 London

Click here download the LSC training programmes.

Other Dates for the Housing Lawyer's Diary

18 January 2006: Housing Law Practitioners Association AGM and general meeting. Click here for further info.

28 February 2006:Public Sector Housing Law Conference. Click here for further info.

24 March 2006: Social Housing Law & Practice Conference. Click here for further info.

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