Issue 163 - 4th January 2010

Monday 4 January 2010

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The Latest Housing Law News

County Court Possession Day duty schemes: the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme is funded by the Legal Services Commission, covering 112 courts in England & Wales and the vast majority of all possession claims issued. The Department of Communities and Local Government funds a further 80 court desks to complement the LSC-funded scheme. LSC analysis of its Scheme in 2008/09 showed that on the day of the court hearing 76% of clients were able to remain in their own home after their hearing, 16% were not able to remain in their homes, and 8% of results are unknown. For a court-by-court breakdown of the figures released on 29 December 2009 click here

Protecting borrowers from action by mortgage lenders: on 29 December 2009 the Government launched a consultation exercise on a proposal to require mortgage lenders to obtain a court order or the consent of the borrower before repossessing and selling residential owner-occupied homes. The proposed changes would reverse Horsham Properties Ltd v Clark and put current lending practice into law, and ensure that borrowers can access the protections offered by the court. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here. The consultation closes on 28 March 2010.

Homes and energy efficiency: the Code for Sustainable Homes is the national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes. The Code aims to reduce carbon emissions and create homes that are more sustainable. A consultation exercise launched in December 2009 seeks views on changes to the Code for Sustainable Homes in 2010, to align with changes to Part L of the Building Regulations and the proposed approach to adopting the 2016 definition of zero carbon. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here. For an impact assessment of the proposals, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

27 November 2009
Daejan Investments Ltd v Benson & Ors
[2009] UKUT 233 (LC)
Five leaseholders, each facing service charges in excess of £50,000, applied to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) for a review of their liability. The LVT held that each lessee was only liable for £250 because the landlords had failed to comply scrupulously with the statutory consultation obligations. On a further appeal, the Upper Tribunal said that although the LVT was entitled to find a material breach of the regulations, the evidence of actual prejudice was weak. However, the LVT was entitled to regard the breach as a serious breach, rather than a technical or excusable oversight. It involved a failure by a corporate landlord to ensure that those responsible for the stage 2 consultation properly understood its requirements and its significance. The appeal was dismissed. 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.

Closing on 24 March 2010
The CLG consultation on changes to the Code for Sustainable Homes. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

Closing on 28 March 2010
The Ministry of justice consultation on a proposal to require mortgage lenders to obtain a court order or the consent of the borrower before repossessing and selling residential owner-occupied homes. 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 2010
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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