Issue 6 - 20th February 2006

Monday 20 February 2006

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Government & Parliament


Following concern, arising from recent legal advice, that the Board of the Housing Corporation did not have power to delegate its decision-making functions and powers (thereby calling into question the legality of many of its decisions) the Government promised on 14 February 2006 to introduce remedial legislation at the earliest opportunity: Click here for further info.

House of Lords:

Riverside HA v White. On 14 February 2006 the House of Lords granted the housing association landlord leave to appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the validity of its rent increase notices. Click here for the Court of Appeal transcript.

Court of Appeal:

Secretary of State for Work & Pensions v Selby DC [2006] All ER (D) 154 (Feb). 13 February 2006. Tenant receiving HB takes up 'trial placement' in residential care. Decides to stay and gives landlord 4 weeks notice. HB cut from date of decision to stay. Court of Appeal holds that tenant was entitled to HB up to expiry of NTQ.

Bhakta v Sec of State for Work & Pensions [2006] EWCA Civ 65, 15 February 2006. Latest judicial consideration of the application of the 'habitually resident' test for benefit purposes. Click here for the transcript

Kensington & Chelsea RLBC v Richmond [2006] EWCA Civ 68, 15 February 2006. Suspended possession order on nuisance grounds against secure tenants expressed to expire after 1 year but with permission to council to apply for 'extension'. Extension sought and granted for 6 months. Contended that this order had the effect of reviving old tenancy or creating new one. Appeal dismissed. Click here for the transcript.

Stephens v Kerr [2006] All ER (D) 186 (Feb), 15 February 2006. Litigation between Rent Act statutory tenant and landlord. On preliminary issue, judge held that statutory tenancy had not been lost by an alleged failure by tenant to be continuously resident. Landlord's appeal dismissed.

High Court:

R(Burrell) v Lambeth LBC [2006] All ER 167 (Feb) 14 February 2006. Secure tenant exercised right to buy in Oct 2001 but did not complete. Council gave a succession of notices requiring completion under HA 1985 s141, the last expiring in January 2004. Judicial review claim, challenging refusal to further extend time to complete, dismissed.

Singh v Camden LBC [2006] All ER (D) 184 (Feb). 15 February 2006. Rent Act statutory tenant moved out temporarily for landlord to undertake works. While the tenant was absent, the landlord sold the property and the tenant was unable to return. Tenant sued to housing advice service of the Council contending it had been negligent in its dealings with him. Claim dismissed. The council had not accepted such special responsibility for advising the tenant as would give rise to a duty of care.

Smith v Abbott [2006] All ER (D) 238 (Feb) 17 February 2006. Private homeowner. Builder begins relationship with her daughter who becomes pregnant. Builder agrees to carry out work on the home. Claimed that he did so in expectation of beneficial interest in the property or proceeds of sale. Claim dismissed.


Complaint against Barnet LBC Investigation 03/A/08718. 16 February 2006. Recommendation of £2650 compensation for maladministration associated with processing of application for a disabled facilities grant

Free housing law seminars:

29 March 2006 Gypsy Law Update

26 April 2006 Tolerated Trespassers and Restoring Tenancies

24 May 2006 Housing Allocations

Click here for further info.

Other dates for the housing lawyer's diary

28 February 2006: Public Sector Housing Law Conf. Click here for futher info.

1 March 2006: Housing Disrepair. LAG training. Click here for further info.

15 March 2006: Human Rights & Housing. HLPA meeting London: Click here for further info.

24 March 2006:Social Housing Law & Practice Conference and,

29March 2006: Homelessness and lettings Law & Practice. Click here for further info.

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