Issue 26 - 24th July

Monday 24 July 2006

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Government and Legislation

On 21 July 2006 the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) wrote to all Directors of Housing in local authorities and all Chief Executives of ALMOs about the problem of former secure tenants who have become tolerated trespassers. The letter (which attaches the new form N28A, the new parts of CPR PD55 and a briefing note circulated by the Courts Service) will shortly be available on both the DCLG website ( www.communities.gov.uk ) and the HLPA website ( www.hlpa.org.uk )

On 20 July 2006 the Local Government Ombudsmen published an Annual Review for 2005/2006 showing that although housing cases continued to be the largest area for complaints, the number of such complaints was down, with a significant fall in the number of housing benefit complaints. To view the Review, and a Press Release summarising it, Click Here

On 19 July 2006 the Housing Corporation (Delegation) etc Act 2006 received Royal Assent. The statute enables the Housing Corporation to delegate its decision making functions. Click Here to read the Act

On 18 July 2006, the DCLG announced that the full requirements for Home Information Packs would not now be introduced in June 2007 as had been scheduled. The revised requirements are set out in the Press Notice, Click Here to view

Cases

Supportways Community Services Ltd v Hampshire CC[2006] EWCA Civ 1035, 18 July, CA. The claimant company supplied housing-related support services under contract. The contract provided that it would end 12 months after Hampshire had carried out a review undertaken in accordance with statutory guidance. In judicial review proceedings, a judge held that although a review had been carried out and had caused the contract to end, the review had been flawed and should be undertaken afresh. The Court of Appeal held that the proceedings ought properly to have been brought exclusively in private law. The judge ought not to have made the order he did as the contract had ended and there was therefore no longer a contractual obligation (to conduct a review) that could be enforced. The fact that such an order could have been made in public law proceedings did not itself justify the Administrative Court granting that remedy in what was essentially a contract claim. The company's remedy lay in damages only. Click Here to view the transcript is at:

Janet Reger International Ltd v Tiree Ltd [2006] EWHC 1743 (Ch), [2006] All ER (D) 226 (Jul), 17 July, High Crt. This decision contains a useful review of the law of disrepair on the question whether the landlord or the tenant is liable to remedy dampness caused by an incorrectly installed damp-proof course which had been installed prior to the date of letting.

Lake v Lake [2006] All ER (D) 297, 20 July, CA. MrsLake successfully applied to a family court for an order transferring a tenancy, held jointly by herself and her husband, into her sole name. Mr Lake appealed on the ground that the judge had wrongly taken his misconduct in the marriage into account when exercising judicial discretion, contrary to the provisions of Family Law Act 1996 Sch 7 para 5. The Court of Appeal held that, despite the statutory language, the judge was not prohibited from taking conduct into account.

This Week...

26 July 2006: Housing Law Reform: a special HLPA meeting to discuss the Law Commission's proposals and Draft Bill.

27 July 2006: Homelessness: a HLPA Advanced Seminar

Click Here for details of both events

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