Issue 59 - 21st May 2007

Monday 21 May 2007

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Government & Legislation: Last week

On 16 May 2007 Meg Munn MP, a minister at Communities & Local Government, set out the Government's latest thinking on accommodation provision for gypsies and travellers in a conference speech. For a copy, click here. On the same day she issued two consultation papers: Draft Guidance on the design of sites for Gypsies and Travellers (click here for a copy ) and Draft Guidance on the Management of Gypsy and Traveller Sites (click here for a copy ). The department also issued a new publication Local authorities and Gypsies and Travellers: a guide to responsibilities and powers (click here for a copy )

On 18 May 2007 the Government issued a new Guide to Student Accommodation explaining the rights of students in their dealings with landlords and letting agencies in the light of the new provisions of the Housing Act 2004. For a copy of the guide click here

Last week's Cases

Birmingham CC v Walker [2007] UKHL 22, 16 May 2007. Mr Walker's mother and father had been granted a joint tenancy by the council in 1965. In 1969 the father died and the tenancy continued in the mothers sole name. In 2004, when she died, Mr Walker claimed the right to succeed to the tenancy. The council said that when the mother became a sole tenant on the death of the father that counted as a "succession" because of Housing Act 1985 section 88(1)(b). The House of Lords held that the definitions of "successor" in the legislation could only apply to events occurring after the introduction of the concept of secure tenancies in 1980. The mother was not a "successor" and Mr walker was entitled to the tenancy. For the full judgment click here

Birmingham CC v Doherty, House of Lords, 17 May 2007. An appeal committee has granted Mr Doherty leave to appeal to the House of Lords. The appeal will provide the third opportunity this decade for the House to consider the interrelationship between Article 8 of Schedule 1 Human Rights Act 1998 and domestic rules relating to possession of land. For the Court of Appeal judgment in the case click here . For the House of Lords minute, click here

R(S) v Sutton LBC [2007] All ER (D) 327 (May), 18 May 2007. The claimant was a 17 year old girl estranged from her mother and engaged with the criminal justice system. She was granted bail on condition she reside with her father but after only two days that placement failed and her father said that she could no longer stay with him. After a period in custody she faced discharge from detention with no accommodation to go to and applied to the council. It assessed her but decided that she did not meet the conditions for the provision of accommodation under section 20 Children Act 1989. In judicial review proceedings the High Court held that the council's assessment had been defective. The judge considered the recently published and extremely important decision of the High Court on the interface between sections 17 and 20 in R(H) v Wandsworth LBC [2007] EWHC 1082 (Admin). For more about that case click here


Coming Events

30 May 2007: Mortgage Arrears and Undue Influence. A HLPA Intermediate Training Seminar. For details click here

7 June 2007: Housing Allocation and Homelessness. Two half-day London seminars from Jordans. For details click here

14 June 2007: Private Law Possession Proceedings and Public Law Defences: How do they work? (repeat). Garden Court Chambers evening seminar. Click Here to book a place

21 June 2007: Eligibility for Social Welfare Assistance (repeat) Garden Court Chambers evening seminar. Click Here to book a place

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