On 22 January 2008, Karen Buck MP tabled an Early Day Motion on the issue of retaliatory eviction in the private rented sector. The Motion is now available for other MPs to sign. For the text of the motion click here
On 23 January 2008, the Government announced the appointment of a team of academics to head an independent review of the Private Rented Sector. The review will report in the Autumn. For the details click here . For the review team's terms of reference click here:
On 22 and 24 January 2008, the Commons Public Bill Committee considering the Housing etc Bill 2008 reviewed a number of amendments proposed by Shelter, HLPA and others dealing with matters as diverse as Ground 8, tolerated trespassers, overcrowding, domestic violence and homelessness. The Committee's debates on the amendments can be accessed by clicking here
On 25 January 2008, Caroline Flint MP was appointed Housing Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government. Like her predecessor, Yvette Cooper MP, she will attend Cabinet meetings. For further details click here
On 25 January 2008, the magazine Inside Housing published a report reviewing the problems that tolerated trespasser status is causing for social housing providers. For more details click here
Those working with homelessness and other housing needs of ex-offenders may find useful the Reducing Re-offending: Housing and Housing Support Resource Pack 2008. The pack was published by the National Offender Management Service earlier this month. For details and to download the pack click here
Lewisham LBC v Bello and another  EWCA Civ,  All ER (D) 153 (Jan), 23 January 2008. On concluding a trial of preliminary issues between the council and certain defendants to possession proceedings, the judge made a possession order. The Court of Appeal set the order aside. The judge had failed to consider the defence of another defendant which had claimed a right to possession. A possession order ought not to have been granted until that defence had been dealt with.
R(Westminster CC) v The Rent Service  EWHC (Admin), 21 January 2008. Westminster has settled judicial review proceedings it brought against the Rent Service over the new "localities" to be used in London for housing benefit purposes under the new Local Housing Allowance. The council had earlier been granted an injunction in the proceedings. For a news report on the agreement reached click here
31 January 2008. National Homelessness Conference. A CAPITA training event. For details click here
13 February 2008. Recent Developments in Homelessness Law. An LSC training day (in London) with speakers from Garden Court Chambers. For details of this (and all other Specialist Support training) click here
28 February 2008. Public Sector Housing Law. A Jordans Training conference in London. For details click here
Housing Law Advice (for Free)
Free written or telephone advice on Housing Law matters is available to solicitors' firms and agencies holding LSC Contracts or Quality Marks from the team of specialist Housing Law Barristers at Garden Court Chambers. For full details click here.
Housing Law Training
Firms and agencies holding LSC Contracts or Quality Marks can send delegates to a host of reduced-cost specialist training sessions in a range of Housing Law subjects. The trainers include specialists from Shelter, One Pump Court, Doughty Street and Garden Court Chambers. For the full brochure of events click here.
Author: Jan Luba QC