Housing News: The Last Week
On Monday 24 September 2007 the Government published a new guide for tenants of student accommodation in the private sector about fire safety and their rights. For a copy click here
On Thursday 27 September the Mayor of London published two reports that aim to help increase the supply and choice of accessible homes available to disabled Londoners. The first report 'Wheelchair accessible housing' provides best practice guidance for planners and developers on designing wheelchair accessible homes as well as how to design new homes that are easily and cheaply adapted for the future needs of a wheelchair user. The second report 'Housing choice for disabled Londoners' sets out what must be done by social landlords and other stakeholders to deliver London's Accessible Housing Register and to ensure that disabled Londoners have information, access to and greater choice in housing that meets their specific needs. For copies of the reports click here
Last Week's Cases
Gill v Leeds CC  EWHC (QB),  All ER (D) 143 (Sep), 24 September 2007. Ms Gill left her privately rented flat when the rent became unaffordable. She applied as homeless but, pending a decision on that application, began to live in a caravan on council land which was not an authorised site. The council sought possession. The judge rejected a defence that the decision to seek eviction had been unreasonable in the circumstances. The High Court dismissed an appeal by Ms Gill.
R(L) v Nottinghamshire CC  EWHC (Admin),  All ER (D) 158 (Sep) 26 September 2007. A teenage girl was ejected from her mother's home and sought the assistance of social services. Her mother told the council that she would not have her daughter back as the daughter had assaulted her. The council provided bed and breakfast accommodation recording that it was exercising its powers under Children Act 1989 section 17. On a judicial review the judge held that, despite the label the council it had put on the arrangement and that it had not conducted a full assessment, the girl had met the conditions under Children Act 1989 section 20 and was to be treated as having been provided with accommodation under that provision.
Sandwell BC v Preece  EWCA Civ  All ER (D) 174 (Sep), 28 September 2007. A council tenants' former partner kept calling at her property banging on her door and windows and causing nuisance to neighbours. The council obtained an anti-social behaviour injunction. The order was repeatedly breached with the courts impose increasingly lengthy sentences for contempt. A month after a suspended order for 4 months imprisonment had been made he went to the property again and neighbours complained of hearing raised voices. A judge ordered him to serve the original 4 months in custody followed by an additional 9 months for the further breach. The Court of Appeal reduced the total from 13 months to 8 months as there had been no violence involved in the breaches.
4 October 2007. Service Charges & Accounts for Leaseholders. Are amendments needed to sections 152 and 156 of the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 in relation to landlord's accounts to tenants for service charge expenditure, etc? The Government's consultation on that question ends this week. Click here for the details
Specialist Housing Advice (for Free)
Firms and agencies holding LSC Contracts or Quality Marks can obtain free written or telephone advice on Housing Law matters from the team of Specialist Housing Barristers at Garden Court Chambers from now until at least April 2008. For full details click here
Specialist Housing Law Training
Firms and agencies holding LSC Contracts or Quality Marks can send delegates to a host of reduced-cost specialist training sessions this Autumn/Winter in a range of Housing subjects. The trainers include specialists from Shelter, One Pump Court, Doughty Street and Garden Court Chambers. For the full brochure of events click here
Coming Later this Month
17 October 2007. Tenancy Agreements. A Chartered Institute of Housing Conference. Click here for details
17 October 2007. Housing & support for migrants. A Legal Action Group training Event. Click here for details.
23 October 2007. Homelessness. An Advanced HLPA Seminar covering latest developments for members. Click here for details.
29 October 2007. Possession Proceedings and Rent Arrears. A Garden Court Chambers seminar (provided by the LSC) in Manchester. Click here for the details
30 October 2007. Anti Social Behaviour in Social Housing. A Lime Legal Conference. Click here for details
31 October 2007. Successful Housing Litigation. A Jordan Publishing Conference. Click here for the details