Issue 97 - 2nd June 2008

Monday 2 June 2008

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The Latest Housing Law News

Rent arrears and Ground 8: The Government is coming under increasing pressure to amend the Housing Bill so as to prevent housing associations from using Ground 8 (rent arrears) - a mandatory ground for possession of an assured tenancy. The Citizens Advice Bureaux service has just published an evidence paper, Unfinished Business, making a powerful case for change. For a copy, click here.

Rented Housing Overview: The House of Commons Committee which oversees the work of the Department for Communities & Local Government has just published its report on the state of private and social renting in England: The Supply of Rented Housing. The paper goes far beyond a consideration of "supply" issues to embrace an up-to-date review of quality, overcrowding, lettings policies, housing benefit and much more. For a copy, click here.

Housing Grants: on 22 May 2008 the rules relating to the scope of, and entitlement to, Disabled Facilities Grants and other housing grants were amended by regulations. The changes are explained in a letter sent by the Government to the Chief Executives of all Housing Authorities in England. For a copy of the letter, click here.

Compensation for Disrepair: malpractice by "claims farmers" in this field has been addressed in the first report on the impact of Claims Management regulation. The malpractice has been tackled, according to the head of regulation who also reports that local authorities are giving claims more rigorous scrutiny so that they are not "seen as a soft touch". Housing disrepair is covered in Chapter 12 of the report. For a copy, click here.

Mobile Home Owners: the residents of park sites will have their disputes with site owners regulated by tribunals rather than courts under proposals made by the Government. The shift in jurisdiction is proposed in a consultation exercise which closes on 22 August 2008. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.

Affordable Housing: the Housing Corporation is publishing a series of 8 briefing papers setting out some of the statistical and research material available on the issues relating to affordable housing. For a copy of the first paper, Who Lives in Affordable Housing?, click here.
First time buyers: the organisation 'English Partnerships' has just published the First Time Buyers' Initiative Buyers' Guide. The booklet sets of the terms of the Government's latest house purchase assistance scheme. For a copy, click here.

The Latest Housing CaseLaw

19 May 2008
R(C) v Lambeth LBC
[2008] EWHA Admin, [2008] All R (D) 277 (May)
The claimant, a care leaver, had been placed in accommodation by the council but was subject to a serious sexual assault there and left. When she turned 21, the council claimed that its duties towards her had ceased. In response to a claim for judicial review the council agreed to provide other accommodation. The High Court decided that the council owed a continuing obligation (under Children Act 1989 section 23C) to assist the claimant with respect particularly to enabling her to participate in training and education.

21 May 2008
Kirklees Council v Davis
[2008] EWCA Civ, [2008] All ER (D) 289 (May)
Following complaints of antisocial behaviour by the defendant, comprising insults, abuse and threats directed against his neighbours, a judge granted an anti-social behaviour injunction with a power of arrest. The defendant's immediate response was to swear at and insult one neighbour (threatening to kill her) and to throw a brick at the house of another. On a committal application, the defendant was initially remanded in custody but released on bail two weeks later when the injunction was enlarged to exclude him from part of an estate on which he had lived with his partner. Three weeks later he was found inside the exclusion zone. The judge committed him to prison for 3 months. The Court of Appeal upheld that sentence but reduced it by the short period for which the defendant had been remanded in custody.

This Week

3 June 2008
Housing Bill
The House of Lords will re-convene in Grand Committee to consider amendments to the Housing Bill. For details of the latest amendments proposed for debate click here.

3 June 2008
The Courts
The Legal Term re-opens with sittings in the Court of Appeal and High Court

Housing Law Events

18 June 2008
Housing & Anti-Social Behaviour Conference 2008.
A Jordans Conference. For details click here.

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