Issue 109 - 29th September 2008

Monday 29 September 2008

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Latest Housing Law News

Tolerated trespassers: Before the relevant provisions of the Housing & Regeneration Act 2008 are brought into force, the Government needs to work out how they should be applied to those who were tolerated trespassers of local authorities when those councils sold their stock to housing associations. A consultation paper, inviting views as to how the changes might work in these "successor landlord" cases, has just been published. Responses are required by 19 December 2008. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

Legal Aid Changes: this week several of the main forms issued by the Legal Services Commission and used by advisers in legal aid Housing cases are changing. From 1 October 2008 only the new forms will be valid. For the details, given in the Forms Masterpack Update October 2008, click here.

Housing Policy: the Housing Minister, Caroline Flint MP, told the Labour Party annual conference that the Government would be giving greater emphasis to the role of local authorities in housing matters. She said "we will provide the opportunity for local authorities to access the grants necessary to build again. In the next decade, I want to see local councils, once again play a central role, not only building more homes, but providing leadership in meeting the housing needs of their community, across all sectors." For the full text of her speech given on 23 September 2008, click here.

Improving Rights for Gypsies: when the relevant provisions of the Housing & Regeneration Act 2008 are brought into force, residents of local authority gypsy caravan sites will gain security of tenure under the Mobile Homes Act. A consultation paper, inviting views as to how the changes might best be introduced, has been published. Responses are required by 19 December 2008. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

Private Rented Housing: the Government has published a research paper, Evidence Gathering - Housing in Multiple Occupation and possible planning responses, which identifies ways to help councils manage high concentrations of Houses in Multiple Occupation in the private rented sector in their areas. For a copy of the paper, click here.

Wednesday is EPC day: from 1 October 2008, private landlords and social landlords will be obliged to give all new prospective tenants a copy of the up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate for the home they will be renting. For a copy of the Government's guide to the new regime for tenants, click here.

Law First, Guidance Later: the Government has indicated that the change to the "local connection" rules relating to military personnel made by the Housing & Regeneration Act 2008 will be introduced later this year but that "Statutory guidance will be issued to local authorities after this date". For the official outline of the changes, click here.

Giving Notice of Possession Proceedings: from 1 April 2009 all landlords and lenders in Scotland, when taking possession proceedings in respect of a home, will need to give notice to the local housing authority in a prescribed form. The change is to be made by section 11 of the Homelessness (Scotland) Act 2003. For the commencement order, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

19 September 2008
Mylcrist Builders Limited v Buck
[2007] EWHC 2172(TCC)
Mrs Buck employed builders to construct an extension to her bungalow in order to accommodate her disabled father. When a dispute arose over the works, the builder insisted that it be resolved by arbitration - relying on a term in the standard conditions of contract that Mrs Buck had signed. The High Court decided that the arbitration clause was not binding as it was an unfair contract term inhibiting access to the courts. The arbitrator's award was set aside. For a copy of the judgment, click here.

The Supreme Court (Court of Appeal and High Court) and the House of Lords remain on vacation until early October.

Housing Law Events Coming Up

This Week

1 October 2008
Housing Allocation and Homelessness Conference 2008
A Jordan's Conference in London
For the details, click here.

2 October 2008
Housing Law Conference in Manchester
Organised by North West Housing Law Practitioners Group
For the details, click here.

3 October 2008
Mortgage Possession: Preventing homelessness and protecting homeowners
A Lime Legal Conference in London
For the details, click here.

Next Week

10 October 2008
Anti-Social Behaviour & Social Housing Conference 2008
A Lime Legal Conference in London For the details, click here

Later this Month

17 October 2008
Housing & Regeneration Act 2008 - What it Means for Social Housing Management
A Lime Legal Conference in London
For the details, click here

21 October 2008
The Future of Social Housing
Housing seminar in Oxford led by Professor Peter King.
For the details, click here.

Date for the Diary

10 December 2008
The Housing Law Conference
The Annual HLPA Conference in London.
For the details, click here.

 

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