Issue 113 - 10th November 2008

Monday 10 November 2008

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Latest Housing Law News

Housing work on legal aid: the blueprint for provision of publicly-funded Housing Law services after April 2010 has been set out by the Legal Services Commission in its consultation document Civil Bid Rounds for 2010 contracts: A consultation. The LSC proposes to let no Housing-only contracts. Future contracts will provide either for Housing plus Family or Housing plus Debt & Welfare Benefits. The paper also stipulates that any future such social welfare law contracts will only be let to agencies (or consortia) with an employed solicitor. The paper makes numerous references to the Possession Day schemes at county courts. In short, it is essential reading for anyone thinking that they might be engaged in publicly funded Housing Law work after 2009. Responses should be submitted by 23 January 2009.

Access to information about housing: on 7 November 2008 the information Commissioner issued a Practice Recommendation to the Communities & Local Government Department about delays in its handling of information requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. For a copy of the recommendation, click here. The Commissioner has already issued a Guidance Note to local authorities about requests for information about council housing. For a copy of that note, click here. In two recent cases, he has treated housing associations as "public authorities" for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations. For more detail of those cases, click here.

Tenant Services Authority: on 4 November 2008 the TSA announced senior appointments at Executive Director level. The new recruits include Phil Morgan (currently of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service) and lawyer Claer Lloyd Jones who has worked both in law centres and in local authority legal services. For the full list of the TSA's senior management team, click here.

Housing - the Facts: the government has produced a handy collection of key statistics relating to Housing in its quarterly publication Housing & Planning - Key facts. The free booklet provides links to tables of the more detailed information. For a copy, click here.

 

The Latest Housing Case Law

7 November 2008
Ali & others v Birmingham CC
[2008] EWCA Civ 1228
The claimants were applicants for homelessness assistance. The council made decisions on review concerning factual aspects of their applications. They claimed that their rights under Article 6 of Schedule 1 Human Rights Act 1998 to a fair and independent consideration of those decisions by a court or tribunal were thwarted because appeal to a county court lay only on a point of law. The Court of Appeal held that the combination of internal administrative review and access to the courts to correct legal error satisfied the Article 6 obligation. For a copy of the Court of Appeal's judgment, click here.

5 November 2008
S v Floyd
House of Lords
The House of Lords has refused leave to appeal to the tenant in this claim concerned with rent arrears and alleged disability discrimination. For a copy of the Court of Appeal's judgment, click here.

5 November 2008
Hanoman v London Borough of Southwark
House of Lords
An Appeal Committee has granted the council leave to appeal in this case concerning delay by a local authority in dealing with a right to buy application. For a copy of the Court of Appeal judgment, click here.

4 November 2008
G v Southwark LBC
An Appeal Committee has granted leave to appeal in this important case concerning the accommodation of young people under sections 17 and 20 of the Children Act 1989. For a copy of the Court of Appeal judgment, click here.

Housing Law Events this Month

11-13 November 2008
"Changing Times" Housing Conference (in Cambourne)
CIH Eastern Region

For the details, click here

12 November 2008
Asylum Seekers and Eligibility
A HLPA Seminar

For the details, click here

19-21 November 2008
Annual Lettings & Homelessness Conference (in Staffordshire)
Chartered Institute of Housing

For the details, click here

19 November 2008
Housing Law Update
The HLPA meeting

For the details, click here

26 November 2008
Annual Housing Conference
Social Housing Law Association

For the details, click here

26 November 2008
Landlord Liability for Nuisance.
A HLPA Seminar

For the details, click here

Dates for the December Diary

1 December 2008
The Crime & ASB Conference (in Harrogate)
Northern Housing Consortium

For the details, click here

3 December 2008
Residential Landlord & Tenant Conference
Professional Conferences

For the details, click here

8 December 2008
National Youth Homelessness Conference (Croydon)
For details e-mail: hsg-homelessnessdtategy@croydon.gov.uk

9 December 2008
Housing & Regeneration Act 2008
A CIH Conference

For the details, click here

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

11 December 2008
Housing Management
A Lime Legal Conference (Manchester)

For the details, click here.

12 December 2008
Housing Management
A Lime Legal Conference (London).

For the details, click here.

Garden Court Housing Seminars

click here for more info

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