Issue 9 - 13th March 2006

Monday 13 March 2006

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Government and legislation

Homelessness: the statistics for England for the last quarter of 2005 were published today. They record the first drop below 100,000 in the number of households in temporary accommodation since September 2004. Click here for the full details.

Overcrowding: on 8 March 2006 the Minister for Housing announced the government's intention to begin consultation later this year on reform of the outdated 'statutory overcrowding' test. Click here for further information.

In London, where the problem is particularly acute, current action to address overcrowding is outlined in the Association of London Government's (ALG) Housing Steering Executive Group paper Overcrowding Strategy available by clicking here .

On 8 March 2006 the ALG published a 10 point programme on the issue. Click here for further information.

Cases

Lambeth LBC v Kay, Leeds CC v Price [2006] UKHL 10, 8 March 2006. Click here for a synopsis of this crucial House of Lords decision on Housing and Human Rights and to find a link to the full judgment.

Tower Hamlets LBC v Deugi [2006] EWCA Civ 159, 7 March 2006. Homeless applicant appeals to county court against initial decision on eligibility because review not concluded in time. Attempt by authority to withdraw decision, after appeal lodged, fails. Judge varies decision to one that full housing duty owed. Court of Appeal allows a second appeal in part. The judge ought not to have dealt with intentional homelessness which the earlier decision did not address.

Griffiths v St Helens Council [2006] EWCA Civ 160, 7 March 2006. Homeless applicant owed full housing

duty, offered and refused private sector assured shorthold tenancy brokered by the council. Court of Appeal decides that authorities can offer ASTs but should make it clear whether the AST is being offered (1) as a method of performing the duty, which will continue after the AST terminates or (2) as a method of securing the authority's final release from the duty (i.e. as a 'qualifying' AST). Click here for the transcript.

Marlborough Park Services Ltd v Rowe [2006] EWCA Civ, 7 March 2006,[2006] All ER (D) 91 (Mar). Offers useful guidance on the extent of repairing covenants which are confined to 'structural repairs' or 'repairs to the [main] structure'.

Barnet Primary Care Trust v X [2006] All ER (D) 65 (Mar), 6 March 2006, 06/TLQ/0075. Successful application in the High Court to remove defendant from a hospital ward he had been occupying since May 2003 as he no longer needed medical treatment. He could not return home due to ongoing renovation works but places in residential care homes were available.

Articles

  • J.Shepherd and D.Preston Housing Law Update [2006] 150 Solicitors Journal 293
  • M.Cunningham Squatter's rights and wrongs [2006] 114 Adviser 9
  • O. Powis Affordable Homes [2006] 114 Adviser 7

Free housing law seminars

29 March 2006 - Gypsy Law Update

10 May 2006 - Tolerated Trespassers andRestoring Tenancies

24 May 2006 - Housing Allocations

Click here for further information

Other notable dates

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

24 March 2006: Jan Luba QC and Andrew Arden QC speak at Social Housing Law & Practice Conference.

29 March 2006: Homelessness & Lettings Law & Practice Conference 2006.

Click here for further information on these two conferences.

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