Government & Legislation: Last Week
On 31 May 2007 the Government published figures supplied by the three Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) schemes showing that 66,000 deposits have been protected under the new tenancy deposit rules. That is a rate of over 1,500 deposits per day. Over £58 million worth of deposits are now protected by the schemes. For further details click here
Also on 31 May 2007 the Housing Corporation announced a new requirement that the board of every housing association must have at least one tenant or leaseholder member. The announcement accompanied publication of People first - Delivering change through involvement setting out the Housing Corporation's expectations on resident involvement for housing associations. For a copy click here
On the same day Building for all: Identifying the need for supported housing in London, a joint report by the London Housing Federation, Mayor of London and the Housing Corporation, revealed that London has a serious shortage of specialist supported housing. This shortage is most acute for certain socially-excluded groups of people. These include people fleeing domestic violence, homeless people, people with drug and alcohol addictions or mental illness and young people leaving care. The report estimates that London needs 5,874 additional supported homes over the next 10 years. For a copy click here
On 30 May 2007 the Home Office announced that new powers for local authorities and police forces to fight anti-social behaviour in communities will be introduced in the Criminal Justice Bill 2007. The new powers will allow them to temporarily close and seal occupied houses. For the press release click here . The announcement followed publication of 'Strengthening powers to tackle anti-social behaviour' summary of responses to a Home Office consultation paper'. For a copy click here
The Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 place responsibility on both local housing authorities and fire and rescue authorities to enforce reasonable fire safety provisions within multiple occupied housing. To promote the efficient use of resources, a new fire safety protocol sets down a framework within which both authorities can establish effective working arrangements, thereby achieving the goal of improving fire safety. For a copy of the protocol click here. Provisional figures for deaths in fires show that last year domestic dwelling fire deaths fell by 10 per cent to 342. For details of the full figures published on 29 May 2007 click here
Last Week's Cases
Bistrović v Croatia (Application no. 25774/05)  31 May 2007. The government expropriated the claimants' farmland to build a motorway. It did not buy all their property with the result that they retained a farmhouse and courtyard which lay within 20 metres of the motorway and 5 metres of the exit road. The claimants argued that the retained premises were effectively worthless and sought compensation. When that was refused, they applied successfully to the European Court of Human Rights under ECHR Art 1 Prot. 1. The Court found that, by failing to establish all the relevant factors for establishing the compensation for the applicants' expropriated property, and by failing to grant indemnity for the decrease in the value of their remaining estate, the national authorities had failed to strike a fair balance between the interests involved and had failed to make efforts to ensure adequate protection of the applicants' property rights in the context of expropriation proceedings which involved the "ultimate interference" on the part of the State with these rights.
The Supreme Court of England & Wales was on vacation last week.
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
17 June 2007: How to run a Housing Judicial Review: A HLPA Intermediate training Seminar. For details click here:
21 June 2007: Eligibility for Social Welfare Assistance (repeat) Garden Court Chambers evening seminar. Click Here to book a place