Issue 162 - 21st December 2009

Monday 21 December 2009

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The Latest Housing Law News

Who gets social housing? on 18 December 2009 the Government released the latest revised statistics on lettings of social housing in England. They show what types of household were allocated social housing accommodation and they identify trends in lettings. For the full tables of figures, click here.

Recording homelessness prevention: local housing authorities in England are expected to supply regular statistical data to central government on homelessness work by completion of the Quarterly Return P1E. To improve the content and accuracy of the data relating to homelessness prevention, the Department for Communities & Local Government (CLG) has re-issued its April 2008 guidance. For a copy, click here. The CLG has now additionally published further non-statutory guidance on recording homelessness prevention and relief. For a copy, click here. Also, the Homelessness Action Team at the Tenant Services Authority has just published the December issue of HAT Update. For a copy, click here.

Housing benefit reform: on 15 December 2009 the Government launched a consultation exercise on its latest proposals for reform of the Housing Benefit Scheme. The consultation period closes on 22 February 2010. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

Advice on possession day: on 15 December 2009 the Housing Minister announced a grant of £4m to keep 80 CLG-funded possession day duty desks and advice services operating into 2010. For the details, click here.

Resolving disputes about (mobile) homes: on 16 December 2009 the Government announced that, subject to Parliamentary approval, it would transferring part of the county court's jurisdiction in disputes between site owners and mobile home occupiers to the Residential Property Tribunal. For the statement, click here. Following a consultation exercise, it has been decided that the county court will retain jurisdiction in termination/possession claims. For a copy of the response to the consultation, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

17 December 2009
R(Birmingham CC) v Birmingham Crown Court
R(South Gloucestershire DC) v Bristol Crown Court

[2009] EWHC 3329 (Admin)
Considers the circumstances in which appeals against the making of ASBOs should be allowed "out of time" from a magistrates' court to the Crown Court. For a copy of the judgment, click here.

15 December 2009
Yemshaw v Hounslow LBC
[2009] EWCA Civ, on LAWTEL
The claimant fled her matrimonial home. The council decided that her accommodation had been reasonable to continue to occupy and that she had become homeless intentionally. It found that she had been subject to no actual or threatened violence even if there had been emotional, psychological, other 'abuse'. A judge dismissed an appeal against that decision and the claimant, supported by the Secretary of State, appealed to the Court of appeal seeking a broad interpretation of "violence". The Court rejected the appeal holding itself bound by an earlier decision that violence was limited to actual or threatened physical abuse.

15 December 2009
R() v Barnet LBC
R() v Portsmouth CC

[2009] EWHC (Admin) 3261
Two successful judicial review challenges to decisions to replace resident warden services with on-call services. For a copy of the judgment, click here.

14 December 2009
Rodriguez v Minister of Housing of Gibraltar
[2009] UKPC 52
A tenant asked her landlord to agree to make her long-term same sex partner a joint tenant of her home (so that her partner would be secure in the event of her death). The landlord said that its policy was only to agree to such requests if the couple were married or had children. The tenant complained that this was unlawful discrimination. The landlord claimed that the policy was not discriminatory because a heterosexual childless couple would also have been refused. Alternatively, if there was discrimination it was justified by the aim to support families and children. The Privy Council held that the policy did discriminate and that there was no rational justification for it. For a copy of the judgment, click here.

Housing Law Books and Articles

Repairs: tenants' rights
The new edition by Jan Luba QC, Deirdre Forster and Beatrice Prevatt can now be ordered. Price: £45.00. For full details, click here.

Housing Allocation and Homelessness - new edition
The new edition of Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice by Jan Luba QC and Liz Davies can now be ordered. Price: £50.00. For full details, click here.

Housing Law Handbook - 10% off
The Housing Law Handbook provides a first port of call for lawyers and advisors dealing with housing. The book covers possession proceedings, homelessness rights, the allocation of social housing, and other routes into housing. To claim your 10% discount, order online and quote promotion code GCTHLH when prompted.

Housing Law Consultations

Closing on 4 February 2010
The Home Office consultation on support arrangements for asylum seekers. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

Closing on 5 February 2010
The TSA consultation on all the new National Standards for Social Housing Management. For copies of the consultation paper, click here.

Closing on 15 February 2010
The Treasury consultation on further measures to protect mortgage borrowers. For the consultation paper, click here.

Closing on 22 February 2010
The DWP consultation exercise on proposals for reform of the Housing Benefit scheme. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

Housing Law Events

19 January 2010
Meeting Housing Needs
A conference in Bristol for South West England and South Wales
For the details, click here.

21 January 2010
Housing management
A CIH conference in London
For the details, click here.

22 January 2010
Recent Developments in Housing Law
A LAG Training Day in London
For the details, click here.

28 January 2009
Housing management
A CIH conference in Manchester
For the details, click here.

4 February 2010
Disrepair: Recent Developments & Good Practice
A Garden Court evening seminar
For the details, click here.

22 February 2010
Defending Possession Proceedings
A LAG Training Day in London
For the details, click here.

25 February 2010
Public Sector Housing Law
A Jordans conference in London
For the details, click here.

25 February 2010
Public Law and housing
A LAG Training Day in London
For the details, click here.

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