Issue 48 - 19th February 2007

Monday 19 February 2007

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Government and Legislation Last Week

On Tuesday 13 February 2007 the Secretary of State for Communities set out her detailed vision for the development of housing policy for the next 5 to 10 years. For a copy of her speech, The Future of Housing Policy, click here

On 14 February 2007 the Disability Rights Commission launched its "Agenda for Change" across a whole range of issues impacting on the lives of disabled people. Its paper Meeting the Future Housing Challenge in England and Wales: Creating an Alternative Future applies that agenda to the housing field. For a copy click here

More than a third of council housing is now managed by Arms Length Management Organisations. Last week the Government published a report evaluating their operation and performance to date: Learning from Arms Length Management Organisations: The experience of the first three rounds. For the full report click here For a summary, click here

The Commission for Racial Equality (Wales) has just published a review of progress made by the 22 local authorities in Wales in adopting Black & Minority Ethnic Housing Strategies. The results are extremely disappointing. For a copy of the report click here:

The Housing Inspectorate at the Audit Commission is consulting on proposed changes to two Key Lines of Enquiry it uses when inspecting housing authorities and housing associations. They are: (1) KLOE 7 Allocations and Lettings and (2) KLOE 8 Homelessness and housing need. The consultation exercise closes on 16 March 2007. For the details click here:

The new Tenancy Deposit Scheme arrangements come into force on 6 April 2007. Advisers wishing to prepare for their impact should review the draft Housing (Tenancy Deposit Schemes) Order 2007 presently before Parliament. Click here for a copy. The related Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007 can be found by clicking here

Last Week's Housing Cases

Palfrey v Wilson [2007] EWCA Civ 94, 15 February 2007. The case resolved another costly dispute over title to a narrow strip of land (occupied by a wall between buildings). The Court of Appeal upheld a decision that the ownership had passed by "adverse possession" in consequence, among other things, of the non-title holder having added a further three feet to the height of the wall.
For the transcript, click here

The Royal Courts of Justice were closed on Monday 12 February 2007 by a failure of the power supply.

Coming Up

28 February 2007 Public Sector Housing Law, 10th Annual Conference in London. For details, click here

28 February 2007 Homelessness and Allocations, a LAG training course. For details, click here

1 March 2007 Eligibility for Social Welfare Assistance, a free Garden Court Chambers seminar. For details, click here

15 March 2007 Private Law Possession Claims: Public Law Defences, a free Garden Court Chambers seminar. For details, click here

27 March 2007 Homelessness & Lettings. A Lime Legal Conference. For details click here

29 March 2007 Housing and Anti-Social Behaviour. A Jordans Conference. For details click here

30 March 2007 Social Housing Law & Practice: A Lime Legal Conference. For details click here

"Free" Advice from Specialist Housing Counsel

For the period 1 January 2007 to 30 March 2007, solicitors firms or advice agencies which have LSC Contracts (or are LSC Quality Mark holders) will be able to seek and obtain written advice from counsel on Housing cases without having to first call the Garden Court Chambers Call Counsel advice line. Click here for more details under the heading "New Service":

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