Issue 10 - 20 March 2006

Monday 20 March 2006

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Government and legislation

Housing Benefit: the DWP were justifiably proud that their exercise to consolidate all housing benefit rules was achieved on 6 March 2006 with the making of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 213: see Circular HB/CTB U3/ 2006. Click here for further information. Disappointingly the first changes were made only two days later and laid last week (13 March 2006) as the Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2006 SI 644.

Suspended possession orders: the DCA is presently considering the impact of the Court of Appeal judgment in HarlowDC v Hall (see Issue 8 of this Bulletin) on the wording of Form N28. Pending the outcome of that consideration some county courts are being invited to use a form of conditional postponed order such as that at page 591 of Defending Possession Proceedings (LAG 5th Edition) and others are drawing-up their own variants. All HLPA members have been Emailed a briefing paper prepared by Robert Latham - available on the HLPA website : A variant of the conditional postponed order was made in Famuyiwa and appears at[2006] EWCA Civ 211 (see the transcript at para 3).

Home Information Packs: on 16 March 2006 the ODPM outlined the steps it is taking to ensure the smooth introduction of compulsory home information packs from 1 June 2007: click here for further information.

Cases

Manchester CC v M [2006] 20 March, CA [2006] All ER (D) 293 (Mar). The council sought an ASBI under Housing Act 1996 s153D against a tenant arising out of the conduct of her child, M. In those proceedings the council joined M as second defendant and sought and obtained an interim ASBO against him in the county court.

The council?s application for a final ASBO was dismissed on the basis that it could not show that the pre-ASBO application consultation requirements had been met. The court of appeal allowed the council's appeal. The issue of consultation had been dealt with and resolved in the council's favour at the earlier interim hearing and ought not to have been revisited.

R (Cali & others) v WalthamForest LBC [2005] EWHC 2950 (AC). In December 2003 the council adopted a choice-based lettings scheme enabling applicants to bid for available properties and prioritising their applications by 'banding'. In judicial review proceedings, the applicants claimed that the scheme did not reflect their composite housing needs. The High Court agreed and declared the banding provisions of the council's scheme to be unlawful.

Articles

  • D.J Neil Hickman An assured approach to tenancies [2006] Law Society Gazette 16 March p29
  • J. Holbrook Right to possession is trump card [2006] Inside Housing 17 March p11
  • J. Wragg An anti-social burden [2006] 156 New Law Journal 441

Free housing law seminars

29 March 2006 Gypsy Law Update

10 May 2006 Tolerated Trespassers andRestoring Tenancies

24 May 2006 Housing Allocations

5 July 2006 Recent developments in disrepair

Click here for further information.

Other notable dates

24 March 2006: Jan Luba QC and Andrew Arden QC speak at Social Housing Law & Practice Conference.

29 March 2006: Homelessness & Lettings Law & Practice Conference 2006.

Click here for further information.

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