Issue 165 - 18th January 2010

Monday 18 January 2010

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The Latest Housing Law News

Costs in Housing Cases: on 14 January 2010 the Final Report of the Civil Litigation Costs Review was published. A whole Chapter (26) is dedicated to recommendations relating to the costs regimes for Housing cases and disputes. For a copy of the report, click here.

Temporary homes for the priority homeless: on 7 January 2010 regulations were laid in the Scottish Parliament designed to enable the main housing duty owed to priority homeless households to be capable of being concluded by the offer of a private sector tenancy. For a copy of the regulations, click here. For the Executive Note (an explanatory memorandum), click here. Unless made subject to a negative resolution, the changes come into effect on 25 February 2010.

Mortgage possession claims: in December 2009 the advice agencies AdviceUK, Citizens Advice and Shelter published Turning the Tide. The report concludes that: measures to help struggling homeowners weather the recession need to be strengthened to prevent more people being needlessly repossessed; the government package of support for homeowners is making a difference; but there are still gaps and too many homeowners are falling through the net. For a copy of the report, click here.

Homelessness: the January 2010 Update from the TSA/CLG Homelessness Action Team covers allocation, regional homelessness strategies, housing association evictions, unlawful subletting, benefits and debt. For a copy, click here.

Regulating the Private Sector: Newham Council has become the first local authority in the south of England to take advantage of the selective licensing provisions of the Housing Act 2004. Subject to the outcome of a round of statutory notifications, from 1 March 2010 a selective licensing scheme will operate to control private landlord activity in part of its area. For more details, click here.

Tower blocks: in light of recent fire safety fears, the Tenant Services Authority announced on 7 January 2010 that it would be assembling a national register of tower blocks in social housing. For a copy of the announcement, click here.

More council houses: on 11 January 2010 the Minister for Housing announced a further injection of funds for council house building. Total public investment in the programme as a whole now amounts to over £500m in funding to build more than 4,000 new council homes. For the distribution of the monies and further details, click here.

Gas safety in residential premises: this month the HSE has renewed its campaign to improve gas safety in rented housing, particular student accommodation. For more details of the Will you wake up? initiative, click here.

The Latest Housing Case Law

9 December 2009
R(Cabdi) v Ealing LBC
[2009] EWCA Civ 1461
In a claim for judicial review in a housing case, permission to apply was refused on the papers. The claimant made a renewed application for permission. Before that could be heard, the claim was compromised on terms that gave the claimant even more than he had claimed to be entitled-to. But on his application for costs, the judge refused to order the council to pay the costs on the grounds that, in a case with disputed facts, an adverse costs order might deter local authorities from reaching early settlements. The Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal from that decision. The Court was not satisfied that the merits were such that the renewed application and the claim would have necessarily succeeded and that a costs order against the council would therefore have followed.

Housing Law Articles

Recent Developments in Housing Law
N. Madge and J. Luba
[2010] January Legal Action 27

Weaver battle looms
(the follow-up to Weaver v LQHT)
K. Cooper
[2009] 15 January Inside Housing 1
For a copy of the article, click here.

Declaration of Rights
(Human rights defences to possession claims)
M. Robinson
[2010] 137 Adviser 17

Tenancy fraud: Detecting the sub-letters
A. Gillett
[2009] 15 January Inside Housing 29
For a copy of the article, click here.

Security of tenure and bankrupt tenants
M. Coates
[2010] 137 Adviser 23

Housing Law Books

Repairs: tenants' rights
The new edition of Repairs: tenants' rights by Jan Luba QC, Deirdre Forster and Beatrice Prevatt has been published. 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, edited by Stephen Cottle and written by other members of the Garden Court Housing Team, 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

There are still some places available for this week's conference on homelessness, lettings and possession proceedings - the Meeting Housing Needs conference in Bristol on 19 January 2010. Speakers include: the Housing Ombudsman; barrister Jan Luba QC; solicitors Derek McConnell and Steve Povey; and DJ Exton. For more details, click here.

[This week] 20 January 2010
Disrepair
HLPA Meeting in London
For the details, click here.

[This week] 21 January 2010
Housing Management
A CIH conference in London
For the details, click here.

[This week] 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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