Government and legislation
The Law Commission has today published a consultation paper on reform of the law and practice concerning resolution of housing disputes Housing: proportionate dispute resolution. Copies available by Clicking Here
The Housing Corporation (Delegation etc) Bill 2006 was introduced to Parliament on 30 March 2006. If passed, it will give the Housing Corporation's Board the power to delegate its functions to committees and officers.
Court of Appeal
Munt v Beasley  4 April, CA  EWCA Civ 370. A property had been converted into 2 flats. The landlord lived in the lower flat, the tenant in the upper flat. The tenant converted the loft above his flat for use as accommodation. The landlord sought possession and also damages for noise nuisance caused by the tenant. The Court of Appeal held that the lease should be rectified to expressly include the loft area and the possession claim dismissed. A modest award of damages for noise nuisance (£1250) was upheld.
Barnet LBC v Abdi and Ismail  6 April, CA  EWCA Civ 383. Two Dutch nationals, who were both economically inactive and in receipt of income support, applied as homeless. Barnet decided that they were not eligible. The Court of Appeal held that, although they were EU nationals, the applicants were "subject to immigration control" and were therefore eligible under Class I of reg 3 of the Homelessness (England) Regs 2000.
Abbey National PLC v Stringer  7 April, CA  EWCA Civ 338. Having been refused a mortgage on account of her age, a woman asked her son to become a joint mortgage applicant although she would take responsibility for repayments. The Court of Appeal held that in those circumstances the son's participation was purely nominal. He acquired no beneficial interest. Later the son had re-mortgaged the property to secure finance for a business that failed. On the lender's claim for possession, the Court of Appeal upheld the judge's finding that the mother's signature to the legal charge had been procured by undue influence.
Habib Bank Ltd v Tufail  7 April, CA  EWCA Civ 374. The defendant owned a property that she let to tenants. She took out a mortgage on the property to secure lending to her son's business. On the lender's later claim for possession she successfully established that the mortgage had been obtained by misrepresentation. The Court of Appeal upheld the judge's further finding that the defendant was not to be denied her right to have the mortgage set aside by reason of affirmation and acquiescence.
CPS v T  5 April, Div Crt  EWHC 728(Admin). The council had obtained an ASBO against a minor prohibiting him from acting "in an anti-social manner" in the City of Manchester. On a prosecution for breach, the magistrates' court found the prohibition invalid. The CPS appealed. The Divisional Court held that the ASBO was not invalid because although too broad it had been within the jurisdiction of the court making it. It said that such a wide provision as "not to act in an anti-social manner", without further definition or limitation, should never again be included in an ASBO.
R(B) v Lambeth LBC  7 April, Admin Crt  All ER (D) 108 (Apr) Contains a useful review of the proper approach to conduct of judicial review proceedings about accommodation and support provided to a minor under Children Act 1989 and as to costs, in such a claim, when concluded by consent.
Merseyside Police v Harrison  7 April, Div Crt  All ER (D) 115 (Apr). The police sought a closure order relating to a house. The Divisional Court held that on such an application, made under Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 section 2(3), the magistrates' court should apply the ordinary civil burden of proof and not the higher burden necessary for a criminal prosecution or an ASBO application.
Garden Court Chambers Seminars
24 May 2006 Housing Allocations
5 July 2006 Recent developments in disrepair
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Other notable dates:
19 April Defending ASBO applications LAG training:
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16 May Housing Law: The Update CIH training:
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17 May Possession Prevention Project Conference.
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25 May Housing Allocations & Homelessness Jordans training:
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