Government and Legislation
On 18 September 2006 the government laid the Persons Subject toImmigration Control (Housing Authority Accommodation and Homelessness) (Amendment) Order 2006 SI 2521 which comes into force on 9 October. It deals with exceptions to the prohibition on access to council housing for those subject to immigration control who are outside the normal allocation arrangements under HA 1996 Part 6 (for example, existing council tenants being re-housed because the landlord wants them to move or others displaced by clearance schemes). The new rules simply deal with changes to 'humanitarian protection' and 'exceptional leave'. For a copy of the Order click here :
On the same day, the government laid the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006 SI 2527. This makes similar changes to the 'eligibility' regimes for housing allocation and homelessness. They only impact on applications made on or after 9 October. The Order also reverses a mistaken repeal of the 'anti-dumping' provisions in the homelessness 'local connection' arrangements. For a copy of the Regulations click here :
On 20 September 2006 the latest results were released from the rolling English House Condition Survey which reviewsthe quality of the housing stock in England and the quality of the immediate environments of residential accommodation. Click here for the DCLG Press release and links to the detailed reports:
Parliament is still in recess until 9 October 2006 (Lords) and 10 October 2006 (Commons).
Lindley (The Queen on the application of) v Tameside MBC  EWHC 2296 (Admin), 21 September 2006, Admin.The claimant was a disabled man requiring 24 hour care. The council resolved to close the residential care home where he lived and to transfer the residents to a new facility. The claimant sought judicial review of that decision on a number of grounds, including failure to consult. That claim was abandoned and replaced with a claim that the council had failed to meet a 'legitimate expectation' that the claimant would transfer to live in the new facility. Hodge J decided that (1) there was no enforceable legitimate expectation or (2) if there was, it would be wrong to enforce it as the claimant's needs could no longer by met at the new facility. Read the transcript
Dulwich Estate v Kaye & Ors  EWLands LRX_137_2005, 11 September 2006. Landlords rebuilt a retaining wall on their premises and sought to recover the costs from the tenants, as service charges for 'repairs'. An LVT held that the rebuilding work went beyond repair. The Lands Tribunal allowed an appeal. The wall had been in 'substantial disrepair' and, on the expert evidence, the only way to repair it was by pursuing the method adopted. Read the transcript
Hussain v Salford CC  EWLands LCA_7_2006, 10 August 2006. The council made a demolition order in respect of a block of flats. The claimant was a displaced leaseholder of part of that building. He sought compensation. The council said that, because a demolition order cannot be made in respect of part only of a building, a person who is the owner of part only of a building that is the subject of a demolition order cannot be entitled to compensation. The Lands Tribunal held that the council had misconstrued the statutory scheme and awarded over £100,000 agreed compensation. Read the transcript
The new Term in the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal and High Court) starts on 2nd October 2006.
In a report concerning Stonebridge Housing Action Trust (05/A/07668) published on 21 September 2006, the Local Government Ombudsman considers the impact of the legal aid statutory charge on housing complaints. A tenant took legal advice because her home was in disrepair. Solicitors assisted her under the Legal Help scheme in using the pre-action protocol. When the problem was not resolved, the solicitors obtained a legal aid certificate and instructed an expert. A complaint to the ombudsman was made, maladministration was found and £750 compensation and £500 costs were agreed. The report illustrates that in those circumstances the statutory charge would 'bite' (and probably deprive the client of any recompense). Copies from the LGO Office: 020 7217 4683
Housing Allocation and Homelessness: Law and Practice a new book by Jan Luba QC and Liz Davies is published this week. Click her for details
Housing Allocation & Homelessness
2 October Newcastle
3 October Manchester
4 October Birmingham
5 October London
This series of seminars is organised by Jordans. Click here for details.
16 October 2006: Housing Disrepaira Legal Action Group training event. Details from LAG