Issue 98 - 9th June 2008

Monday 9 June 2008

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The Latest Housing Law News

Tenant Services Agency: The Housing Minister announced on 6 June 2008 that the new regulator of social housing to be established under the Housing Bill is to be known as the TSA rather than as OFTenant. She also announced details of recruitment for board members including tenants' representatives. For a copy of the press release, 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 second paper, Life in Affordable Housing?, click here.

Housing Bill: after four days in Grand Committee, the House of Lords had only reached Clause 17 in its debates on the Housing Bill. Four further days for deliberation have been allocated for later this month (see below).

The Latest Housing CaseLaw

2 June 2008
Peabody Trust v Reeve
[2008] EWHC ChD.
Some 10,000 Peabody tenants have a standard tenancy agreement which provides that the terms can only be varied by written agreement between the parties (save as to rent): clause 5(a). The Trust wished to modify the services provided under the tenancies but without having to secure written agreements from every tenant. It sought a declaration that it could rely on clause 5(b) which incorporated the unilateral variation provisions contained in Housing Act 1985 section 103. The High Court refused to grant the declaration. Clauses 5(a) and 5(b) were flatly contradictory. In those circumstances, the Court was required to adopt the construction most favourable to the tenant i.e. that only 5(a) was operative. In any event, Clause 5(b) was an "unfair" contractual term.

5 June 2008
South Cambridgeshire DC v Price
[2008] EWHC 1234 (Admin)
The defendant, a gypsy, bought green belt land and stationed his caravans on it. The site had no planning permission for such use and the council served an enforcement notice. The notice was upheld on appeal. Applications for planning permission were refused. The council applied for an injunction under Town & Country Planning Act 1990 s187B requiring the caravans to be removed. Neither the council nor the defendant could identify an alternative site. The High Court exercised its discretion to refuse an injunction given (a) the defendant's prospects of success with a fresh planning application and/or an appeal against a refusal of planning permission and (b) the absence of any alternative site.

This Week

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

Housing Law Events

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

1 July 2008
Recent Developments in Housing Law
A LAG training course.
For details, click here.

1 July 2008
Housing Law: the Legal Update
A Northern Housing Consortium conference in York.
For the details, click here.

3 & 4 July 2008
What Next for Homelessness
A Shelter Wales conference in Cardiff
For the details, click here.

4 July 2008
Housing Disrepair
A LAG training course.
For details, click here.


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