Issue 78 - 26 November 2007

Monday 26 November 2007

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The Last Week

On Monday 19 November 2007 the Housing Corporation published Tenure: Good Practice Note 14 to enable housing associations to comply with the law relating to occupancy agreements and the Housing Corporation's requirements contained in the Regulatory Code and related Circulars. The Note covers the circumstances in which associations are permitted to grant licences and shorthold agreements rather than full assured tenancies but re-states the Corporation's guidance that "for all occupancy agreements possession action should not be taken until all other interventions to resolve the problem have been exhausted" (p17). For a copy of the note click here

Tuesday 20 November 2007 saw the publication of a consultation paper on the detail of the new set of performance indicators that will measure local authority housing and other services from April 2008. Most of the housing-related National Indicators are in Annex C4. The consultation closes on 21 December 2007. For a copy of the paper click here

The same day, the Government issued for consultation its draft statutory guidance about the new duties imposed on local authorities by the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. The draft guidance suggests that authorities should incorporate their housing strategies and homelessness strategies into new Sustainable Community Strategies. The consultation closes on 12 February 2008. For a copy of the consultation paper click here

On Thursday 22nd November the Housing Corporation published two research reports on housing association roles in tackling homelessness and facilitating local authority nominations for tenancies. For a copy of the York University research Tackling Homelessness: Housing Associations and Local Authorities Working in Partnership click here
Tackling Homelessness: Efficiencies in Lettings Functions click here

Last Week's Cases

Cawsand Fort Management Co Ltd v Stafford [2007] EWCA Civ 1187, 20 November 2007. A group of long leaseholders applied to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal to appoint a manager for their homes under Part 2 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987. The freeholder challenged the LVT decision on the ground that it gave the manager powers over not only the flats and buildings but also over other parts of the premises such as amenity areas in the grounds. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal. The LVT had power to appoint a manager to deal with matters "in relation to" the tenanted flats and that included dealing with parts of the premises the tenants could use. For the full judgment click here

Leeds CC v MacDonald [2007] EWCA Civ, [2007] All ER (D) 306 (Nov), 20 November 2007. The council obtained an anti-social behaviour injunction under Housing Act 1996 s153A prohibiting the defendant from engaging in behaviour capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to his neighbours. Three months later, he held two noisy gatherings in his flat and was a passenger in a car being driven erratically and endangering residents. Having admitted those breaches, he was committed to prison for 6 months suspended for 2 years. The Court of Appeal upheld that sentence. There had been an early breach. The injunction had been virtually ignored. The judge had been justified in passing a sentence which gave a strong warning.

Jain v Trent SHA [2007] EWCA Civ 1186, 22 November 2007. In exercise of its statutory powers, a health authority applied (without notice) to a magistrate for an emergency order closing down a private residential care home. Having obtained the order, officers attended (without notice) at the home with a fleet of ambulances and took away all the residents. The owners' business collapsed. A High Court judge found that the authority had acted irrationally and that it had been guilty of negligent performance of its duties. He directed an assessment of compensation. The Court of Appeal held (by a majority) that the authority had owed no duty of care in the exercise of these powers and set aside the judgment. For the full report click here

This Week

29 November 2007. The Roof Conference. A conference on Homelessness to be held in London. For the details click here:

30th November 2007. Service charges in Wales. New regulations commence the service charge and administration charge provisions of the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 s153 in Wales. For the Commencement Order click here
For the Regulations setting out the details click here

Next Week

4 December 2007. Housing Management Conference 2007. A Lime Legal Conference in Manchester. For details click here

5 December 2007. Regulating and Developing the Private Rented Sector. A Lime Legal Conference in London. For details click here

5 December 2007. Housing Disrepair. A Legal Action Group Training Course. Click here for details

7 December 2007. Housing Management Conference 2007 A Lime Legal Conference in London. For details click here

7 December 2007. Social Housing Law Association Second Annual Conference. For details click here

Later this Month

12 December 2007. Introduction to Housing Law. A Legal Action Group Training Course. Click here for details

13 December 2007. Housing Law Practitioners Association Annual Conference. For details click here

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.


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