***** STOP PRESS****
Tuesday 6th May 2008 is the last date for applications for Housing Law tenancies at Garden Court Chambers.
See the end of this bulletin for details.
The Latest Housing Law News
The Housing Bill: on 28 April 2008 the Housing and Regeneration Bill completed its second reading in the House of Lords. To read the debate click here. The Bill will now move to a clause-by clause review in Committee starting on 13 May. The next week represents the last major opportunity for amendments to be put down for debate. To see the latest amendments as they are printed for discussion click hereFor the up-to-date version of the Bill that the Committee will be considering click here
Housing associations as "public bodies": on 28 April 2008 the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee on Human Rights called upon the Government to accept an amendment to the Housing Bill that would deem provision of social housing to be a "public function" for the purposes of the Human Rights Act 1998. Its 17th report sets out (at pp15-20) the case for change. It also invites the Government to take the opportunity presented by the Bill to repeal section 185(4) Housing Act 1996 - the only provision of Housing legislation which has been declared incompatible with Convention Rights by a domestic court. For a copy of the report click here.
The Latest Housing CaseLaw
28 April 2008
Hutton-Czapska v Poland
The European Court of Human Rights (Grand Chamber) has approved a friendly settlement of this test case concerning the disproportionate impact of rent control and security of tenure provisions on private landlords in Poland and the consequent infringement of their rights under Article 1 Protocol 1. The Court used its "pilot judgment" procedure to secure a settlement that not only covered the individual case and all other similar cases before the Strasbourg Court but set out the law reforms already undertaken and being undertaken in Poland to re-organise the country's laws on private and social renting. For a copy of the judgment click here.
28 April 2008
Complaint Against Cardiff City Council
Mr F was given notice to leave his assured shorthold tenancy and told that the landlord proposed to undertake extensive renovation works on the building containing his flat. He was left in occupation with works going on around him and complained that the council had not dealt properly with his application for housing assistance. The Public Service Ombudsman for Wales found that there had been undue delay in addressing Mr F's housing problem and that there was a failure to carry out enquiries as to his home circumstances which could have led to his being accepted as homeless or threatened with homelessness at an earlier stage. As a person in priority need he could have been offered temporary accommodation while the Council conducted its statutory enquiries.
The ombudsman recommended that the Council should apologise to Mr F, pay him £1,500 and introduce improved procedural guidance and training for its staff. For a copy of the report click here
29 April 2008
Lewisham LBC v Malcolm
The House of Lords has concluded the hearing of Lewisham's appeal in this important case concerning the interface between the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and housing legislation. The judgments will be delivered in due course.
2 May 2008
Leeds CC v Fawcett
 EWCA Civ,  All ER (D) 39 (May)
The defendant was a council tenant who had had a drink problem. After a violent assault on a neighbour he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment. On his release on licence to live elsewhere, the council obtained an interim ASBO excluding him from the area where he had lived. He was recalled to serve the rest of his sentence. On his final release, the council applied for and were granted a full ASBO again excluding him from the area in which he had lived and in which his partner still lived. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against that order. The county court had reviewed all the evidence and reached a decision that contained no error of law.
Housing Law Events
21 May 2008
Social Housing Law & Practice Conference 2008.
A Lime Legal Conference. For details click here
21 May 2008
Homeless Young People & Housing.
The HLPA Members' meeting in London. For details click here
Garden Court Housing Tenancies
We seek two barristers to join our excellent and thriving Housing Team.
Candidates must be housing specialists committed to practising within the principles and ethos of chambers. Knowledge and experience of community care law an advantage. We seek suitable candidates above eight years call and above three years call.
The closing date for applications is Tuesday 6 May 2008.
Applications from ethnic minorities and women candidates are particularly welcome. We seek to operate a fair recruitment policy.