Issue 15 - 8th May 2006

Monday 8 May 2006

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Government and legislation

On 4 May 2006 the Law Commission published its long-awaited Final Report on the reform of security of tenure in the rented sector (Renting Homes). It has also published a draft bill. Click Here to read more.

On 5 May 2006 the 'housing' portfolio in Central Government moved from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) to the new Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The new Secretary of State is Ruth Kelly, MP.

Cases

Estate Acquisition and Development Ltd v Wiltshire [2006] 4 May, CA [2006] EWCA Civ 533. The Defendants held the lease of a flat worth over £140,000. They moved out but did not give the landlords a forwarding address. The landlords sought and obtained an order for forfeiture and possession for unpaid service charges of £850 in March 2004. The defendants did not know of the claim or the order until November 2004. They applied to set aside the judgment and order under CPR 39.3. A District Judge allowed the application but was reversed on appeal. The Court of Appeal allowed a second appeal and gave useful guidance as to the proper approach to the power to set aside orders made in the absence of a party.

William v Wandsworth LBC andBellamy v Hounslow LBC [2006] 4 May, CA [2006] EWCA Civ 535. The Court of Appeal allowed two appeals by local authorities against decisions made by county court judges on homelessness appeals. In both cases the judges had quashed findings of intentional homelessness. The Court of Appeal held that neither review decision had contained any error of law.

Ozbek v Ipswich BC [2006] 4 May, CA [2006] EWCA Civ 534. The homeless applicant claimed a 'local connection' with Ipswich by 'family associations' in that he had brothers and other relatives in the Ipswich area. The Council decided that as the brothers had been resident for, at most, 18 months the applicant had no connection with its area. A county court judge allowed an appeal but the Court of Appeal allowed a second appeal. There had been no error of law in the Council's decision.

South Beds DC v Price [2006] 5 May, CA [2006] EWCA Civ 493. The Defendant, a gypsy, stationed mobile homes on his own land in the Green Belt. Planning permission was refused, an enforcement notice served, an appeal against it dismissed, an injunction granted and an application for committal made. The judge refused to suspend or vary the injunction (pending another planning application) and made a suspended committal order. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal. The new approach to planning consent in ODPM Circular 1/06 did not amount to a circumstance justifying success on the appeal.

Garden Court Chambers Seminars

24 May 2006 - Housing Allocations
5 July 2006 - Recent developments in disrepair
Click Here for more info and to book a place

Other notable dates

24 May 2006 Housing Law: Practical Introduction
14 June 2006 Defending Possession Proceedings
Both from LAG training: for more info Click Here

16 May 2006 Housing Law: The Update CIH training:
For more info Click Here

17 May 2006 Possession Prevention Project Conference.
Email: general@southwarklawcentre.org.uk

25 May 2006 Housing Allocations & Homelessness Jordans training:
For more info Click Here

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