Issue 139 – 15th June 2009

Monday 15 June 2009

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The Latest Housing Law News

Homelessness in England: figures published on 11 June 2009 show that the number of homeless households accepted for statutory assistance under the main housing duty has continued to fall. Compared with the first three months of last year, figures for the first quarter of 2009 are down by 26%. The proportion of acceptances for mortgage arrears repossession has also fallen. For the full statistical release, click here.

New National Standards for Social Housing: last week, the Tenant Services Authority launched a second round of consultation on the draft new statutory standards to apply from April 2010 to social housing providers in both the local authority and housing association sectors. The detail is contained in a Draft Standards Framework discussion paper. For a copy, click here. For a summary of that paper, click here.Responses are sought by 8 September 2009. The papers are accompanied by the findings from the National Conversation consultation exercise with tenants. For the details of those findings, click here. For the executive summary of them, click here. A further round of full statutory consultation will take place in Autumn 2009.

Housing and Disability: on 8 June 2009 the UK ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For the announcement of ratification, click here. The Welfare Reform Bill (presently before the House of Lords) will give the Government regulation-making powers to introduce a statutory "right to control" for disabled people enabling them to exercise greater choice and control in the provision of services. On 11 June 2009 the Secretary of State launched a consultation exercise on the scope of the new right. For the consultation paper, click here. Consultation ends on 30 September 2009.

The Latest Housing Case Law

11 June 2009
Freeman v Islington LBC
[2009] EWCA Civ 536
Ms Freeman owned her own flat. When her father became ill, she began to stay with him in his council flat to care for him. By the date of his death, the council flat was her only home (her own flat having been recently let to tenants). The question was whether Ms Freeman could succeed to the council tenancy on the basis that she had been "residing with" her father for a full year prior to his death: Housing Act 1985 section 87. The judge decided that although she had been staying at her father's flat for 7 nights a week for more than a year she had not been "residing with" him all that time. It had not been a "home" for her for a full 12 months. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal. For a copy of the judgment, click here.

10 June 2009
Hanoman v Southwark LBC
[2009] UKHL 29
Mr Hanoman exercised the right to buy his council flat. When the sale was delayed, he served default notices on the council allowing subsequent payments of rent to be used to diminish the purchase price: Housing Act 1985 section 153B. The House of Lords decided that housing benefit, to which he was entitled by way of rent rebate and which was credited to his rent account, counted as "payment of rent" for these purposes. For a copy of the judgment, click here.

Housing Law Articles

Challenging times: social landlords and service charges: Part 3: section 27A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
H. Carr
[2009] 12 Journal of Housing Law 77

Abuses in the sell-to-rent-back market - an estoppel response
R. Crozier
[2009] 13 Landlord & Tenant Review 104

Nothing going on but the rent
(possession and private tenancies)
J. Driscoll
(2009) 159 New Law Journal 848

Ahmad and allocations: telescopes, law and policy
C. Baker
[2009] 12 Journal of Housing Law 69

Assured tenancies and possession orders: the new law
J. Luba
[2009] 13 Landlord & Tenant Review 104

Better late than never: demise of the tolerated trespasser
S. Bridge
(2009) Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 268

Ahmad: some reflections
D. Cowan
[2009] 12 Journal of Housing Law 73


Housing Law Consultations

Closing on 31 July 2009
Views are invited on the issues relating to costs in housing litigation by Lord Justice Jackson's review of civil litigation costs. His Preliminary Report contains a Housing Claims chapter (Chapter 31 in Volume 1) canvassing a range of issues. For the Preliminary Report, click here.

Closing on 7 August 2009
A consultation exercise relating to the private rented sector is currently underway. It covers the proposed national registration scheme for private landlords and the proposed regulation of letting agencies and managing agents. For the consultation paper, click here.

Closing on 31 August 2009
The consultation on the London Housing Strategy is now underway. For a copy of the draft strategy, click here.

Closing on 8 September 2009
The TSA consultation on new national housing standards will close. For a zip file containing all the consultation and background documents, click here.

Housing Law Events


This Week

17 June 2009
Judicial Review
A Garden Court Chambers Conference
For the details click here

19 June 2009
Successful Housing Litigation
A Jordans Training Seminar
For the details click here


This Month

24 June 2009
The "Do and Don't" of Possession Hearings in the County Court
A free Garden Court Chambers evening seminar
For the details, click here

Next Month

10 July 2009
Introduction to Housing Law
A Legal Action Group training event
For the details, click here.

15 July 2009
Housing Law: the Legal Update 2009
Northern Housing Consortium Conference (York)
For the details, click here.

15 July 2009
Relationship Breakdown & Housing
An HLPA meeting in London
For the details, click here.


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