Issue 53 - 26th March 2007

Monday 26 March 2007

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Government & Legislation: Last Week

On Tuesday 20 March 2007, Citizens Advice published its report Locked Out: CAB evidence on prisoners and ex-offenders. The document indicates that a third of prisoners lose their homes while in custody and that homeless ex-prisoners are more likely to re-offend. In recommends an increase in advisory services for prisoners, both pre- and post- release. For a copy of the report click here

On Thursday 22 March 2007, the House of Commons' Public Bill Committee considered new Clause 7 to the Tribunals and Enforcement Bill 2007 (Hansard, col 188). The amendment, drafted by HLPA, would have required applications to county courts for warrants to enforce possession orders to be made on notice to occupiers (as in the High Court). The Minister (Vera Baird QC MP) indicated that the government was content with the present position and that any suggestions for change should be directed to the Rule Committee. The amendment was withdrawn. For the debate click here (and scroll down):

Last week's Cases

Elifry v Westminster CC [2007] All ER (D) 405 (Mar), 23 March 2007. The claimant, a home owner, applied for homelessness assistance on the basis that his home was so overcrowded that it was no longer reasonable to occupy. The council decided that although the premises were statutorily overcrowded, using the "room" standard, the excess was only by one person. On review it upheld a decision that he was not homeless because it was reasonable to continue in occupation. The Court of Appeal quashed the decision. The "space" standard for statutory overcrowding had not been considered by the council. It indicated that the excess was two and a half people. That was a relevant matter and the decision would need to be reconsidered.

Glen International Ltd v Triplerose Ltd [2007] All ER (D) 396 (Mar), 23 March 2007. This case concerned the obligation imposed on a landlord by section 48 Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 to give the tenant an address for service of notices on the landlord. The landlord said that its section 48 address was the address its agent had given to the tenant's solicitors in earlier correspondence concerning repairs and insurance and not an address to which the tenant had subsequently sent a statutory notice. A judge held that the former address had been given only for the limited purposes set out in that earlier correspondence. The Court of Appeal agreed. The tenant's notice had been validly served/

Roper v Tussauds Theme Parks Ltd [2007] EWHC 624 (Admin), 23 March 2007. On a prosecution for noise nuisance, contrary to section 82 Environmental Protection Act 1990, a district judge convicted the defendant and imposed the maximum fine. On appeal, the Crown Court made a complex order requiring the defendant to abate the nuisance and not generate noise above 40db. On a further appeal, by case stated, that order was confirmed. In particular, the Crown Court had not erred in adopting the approach contained in the Noise Council's Code of Practice on Environmental Noise.

Huang v Home Secretary [2007] UKHL 11, 21 March 2007. This case concerned human rights issues in immigration cases. In the course of its judgment, the House considered its earlier decision in Kay v Lambeth LBC [2006] UKHL 10 and said this (at [17]): "Domestic housing policy has been a continuing subject of discussion and debate in Parliament over very many years, with the competing interests of landlords and tenants fully represented, as also the public interest in securing accommodation for the indigent, averting homelessness and making the best use of finite public resources. The outcome, changed from time to time, may truly be said to represent a considered democratic compromise". For the full judgment click here

Coming events: This Week

Tuesday 27 March 2007 Homelessness & Lettings, a Lime Legal Conference. For details click here

Wednesday 28 March 2007 Housing & Community Care, a North West HLPA meeting in Manchester.
For details email: info@johnkershawsurveyor.co.uk

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

Friday 30 March 2007 Social Housing Law & Practice, a Lime Legal Conference. For details click here

"Free" Advice from Specialist Housing Counsel: LAST WEEK!!

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":

HOUSING LAW BULLETIN: Publication dates

Due to the Easter break there will be no issue of this Bulletin on
Monday 2 April 2007 or
Monday 9 April 2007.
The next issue will appear on Monday 16 April 2007.

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