Issue 55 - 23rd April 2007

Monday 23 April 2007

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Government & Legislation: Last week

The Legal Services Commission has announced that the present contracts for Specialist Support with Housing Cases let to Shelter, Garden Court Chambers and other specialist housing advisers have been extended to 31 June 2008. A consultation paper on the future position is planned for May 2007. For a description of the "Call Counsel" service available to generalist and housing advisers under the current Garden Court contract click here

Should the small claims limit for housing disrepair cases be changed? Can the process of dealing with repair cases be improved? Those are two of the questions posed by the Consultation Paper Case Track limits and the claims process for personal injury claims issued on 20 April 2007 (paras 34-35). Responses are sought by 13 July 2007. For a copy of the consultation paper click here

The Spring Newsletter from the Law Commission updates progress on its Housing Law Reform agenda. The project on 'Ensuring Responsible Renting' is hoped to produce a consultation paper next month (May 2007). On 'Housing Dispute Resolution' the Commission is still exploring "the best way to take the project forward". For a copy of the Newsletter click here

Accommodation for Care Leavers is the subject of an internal research report prepared by the Rainer Foundation. It found that one in six such young people were being placed in unsuitable accommodation. The report recommends that every local authority develop a list of approved properties and landlords and a system for rigorously inspecting properties before vulnerable young people are placed in them. For further details click here

On 19 April 2007 the Government announced the successful bidders under a new £30m scheme to buy 900 homes in London to provide long-term accommodation for homeless families in place of temporary accommodation. Only 20 bids were received from local authorities and social landlords. For the details click here

On 18 April 2007 the Housing Minister delivered a speech outlining the Government's commitment to introduce Home Information Packs for all home sales across the country on 1 June 2007. For a copy of the speech click here

Last week's Cases

London & Quadrant HT v Ansell [2007] EWCA Civ 326, 19 April 2007. The claimant (a social landlord) obtained a suspended possession for rent arrears against a secure tenant. The order was in the pre-October 2001 variant of form N28 and provided that the order would cease to be enforceable once the arrears and costs were paid. The order was not strictly complied with and terminated the tenancy. The former tenant became a tolerated trespasser, remained in possession and in due course she cleared all the arrears and costs. The claimant then (following complaints of nuisance) brought a fresh claim for possession on the basis that she had no right to remain and that it was automatically entitled to an order. The Court of Appeal upheld a possession order. The previous order had been rendered unenforceable and new proceedings were the only way in which the claimant could gain possession. The Court expressed unease at the outcome and doubted that it was the result Parliament intended. For the transcript click here

Crisp v Eastaugh [2007] EWCA Civ, 20 April 2007 (noted on LAWTEL). The landlord claimed that a tenant had forfeit his lease for non-payment of rent. The judge refused to grant the tenant relief from forfeiture. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal. The tenant had shown that he could clear the arrears within a reasonably short timescale and relief on terms should have been granted.

Coming events

30 April 2007: Homelessness (Introduction and Practical Procedure). An introductory level training session for HLPA members. Click here for details

Garden Court Seminars

Due to the huge popularity of our housing seminars we are now running the following repeats:

"Eligibility" issues In Housing (repeat)
Tuesday 15 May 2007 from 18:30 to 20:00
Click Here to book a place

Private Law Possession Proceedings and Public Law Defences: How do they work? (repeat)
Thursday 14 June 2007 from 18:30 to 20:00
Click Here to book a place

Eligibility for Social Welfare Assistance (repeat)
Thursday 21 June 2007 from 18:30 to 20:00
Click Here to book a place





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