Social housing tenants to gain powers against rogue landlords – The Guardian

Posted August 14th, 2018 in housing, landlord & tenant, news, parliamentary papers by sally

‘Social housing residents will be empowered to take on rogue landlords under the government’s new strategy, but campaigners have criticised the document which offers no new funding.’

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The Guardian, 14th August 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Service not included – Nearly Legal

Posted August 10th, 2018 in fees, housing, licensing, local government, news by sally

‘The issue was the level of fees charged by LB Richmond on Thames for an HMO licence. LB Richmond maintained that the fee level could be set at a level designed to cover not only the costs of processing his application but also to contribute towards the costs of LB Richmond running its HMO licensing scheme more generally, including enforcement. Mr G, the landlord, maintained that the fee could only be set at a level covering the costs of processing the application.’

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Nearly Legal, 9th August 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Equality Act and ‘reasonable to remain’ – Nearly Legal

Posted August 10th, 2018 in disabled persons, equality, homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘Ms L “suffers from a number of both physical and mental problems. She is wheelchair bound and is confined to bed for large portions of the day. She requires 24-hour care, including intimate care which for the time being is provided by her former partner.” She had the tenancy of a housing association property – a two bedroomed bungalow in sheltered accommodation, which was adapted for her needs.’

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Nearly Legal, 9th August 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

R (Gaskin) v Richmond upon Thames LBC – Arden Chambers

Posted August 9th, 2018 in fees, housing, landlord & tenant, licensing, news by sally

‘The Administrative Court has held that a person who owns, and lets out rooms in, a House in Multiple Occupation (“HMO”) provides a service for the purposes of EU Directive 2006/123/EC (the “Directive”) and the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, SI 2009/2999 (the “Regulations”), and that the HMO licensing scheme under Part 2, Housing Act 2004 is an “authorisation scheme” for the purposes of the Directive and Regulations. The decision of the CJEU in R (Hemming t/a Simply Pleasure) v Westminster CC [2017] 3 WLR 317, therefore applies to the fees that may be charged on a Part 2 licensing application, so that where a local authority demanded payment on application of an upfront fee which covered not merely the costs of processing the application, but also the costs of administering and enforcing the scheme, the fee was unlawful.’

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Arden Chambers, 31st July 2018

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

R (Sambotin) v Brent LBC – Arden Chambers

Posted August 9th, 2018 in disabled persons, homelessness, housing, judicial review, news, statutory duty by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a local authority in which they had sought to withdraw a concluded decision as to what duty was owed to a homeless person; such a decision could only be withdrawn in cases of fraud or fundamental mistake of fact, neither of which were present.’

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Arden Chambers, 31st July 2018

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

Council and police ordered to pay £52k to claimant over housing of sex offender – Local Government Lawyer

Posted August 9th, 2018 in children, housing, local government, news, police, sexual offences by tracey

‘Leicester City Council and the Chief Constable of Leicestershire have been ordered by the High Court to pay in all £52,000 to a claimant JW after a level 3 sex offender was housed near to the children’s home in which he lived.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 8th August 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Kamara v Southwark LBC; Leach v St Albans City & District Council; Piper v South Bucks DC – Arden Chambers

Posted August 7th, 2018 in homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has held that reg.8(2) of the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations 1999/71, does not require a local housing authority to specify in a “minded-to” letter that an applicant may make representations to the reviewer orally at a face-to-face meeting.’

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Arden Chambers, 12th July 2018

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

“No DSS”: Can landlords and letting agents lawfully bar benefits tenants? – Employment and Discrimination Blog

Posted August 7th, 2018 in benefits, housing, landlord & tenant, news by sally

‘Private landlords and letting agents frequently advertise their properties stating that they will not rent to housing benefit tenants (for some outdated reason, still often referred to as “DSS” tenants).’

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Employment and Discrimination Blog, 25th July 2018

Source: employmentblog.practicallaw.com

Allocations and Equality Act – Nearly Legal

Posted August 6th, 2018 in equality, housing, local government, news, race discrimination, refugees by sally

‘R(Gullu) v LB Hillingdon [2018] EWHC 1937 (Admin)

This was another challenge to LB Hillingdon’s policy of requiring 10 years residence in borough for admission to the housing register. It follows after TW, SW, and EM, R (On the Application Of) v London Borough Of Hillingdon (2018) EWHC 1791 (our note here) which found that Hillingdon’s policy unjustifiably discriminated against Travellers. But with a very different outcome.’

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Nearly Legal, 5th August 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Council defeats High Court challenge over development at historic railway yard – Local Government Lawyer

Posted August 2nd, 2018 in historic buildings, housing, local government, news, planning, railways by tracey

‘Historic England has failed in a challenge to Milton Keynes Council over its decision to allow a development on part of a historic railway yard.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 1st August 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Grenfell Tower: Sentences for gross negligence manslaughter could increase after investigation into deadly fire – The Independent

‘Sentences for gross negligence manslaughter, which is being considered by investigators looking into the Grenfell Tower fire, could be increased under new advice given to judges.’

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The Independent, 31st July 2018

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Council defeats challenge to prioritisation of residents with 10 years in borough – Local Government Lawyer

Posted July 30th, 2018 in housing, local government, news, race discrimination, refugees by sally

‘A London borough has successfully defended a High Court challenge to the prioritisation under its housing allocation scheme of those people who have been resident in the borough for 10 years.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 27th July 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

When help with wood pellet fuel means no right to buy – Nearly Legal

Posted July 26th, 2018 in housing, local government, news, right to buy, tribunals by sally

‘Paragraph 11 of Schedule 5 to Housing Act 1985 provides that a property is exempt from the Right to Buy where:

11.—

(1) The right to buy does not arise if the dwelling-house—

(a) is particularly suitable, having regard to its location, size, design, heating system and other features, for occupation by elderly persons, and

(b) was let to the tenant or a predecessor in title of his for occupation by a person who was aged 60 or more (whether the tenant or predecessor or another person).’

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Nearly Legal, 25th July 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Council wins rare appeal to Upper Tribunal over Right to Buy exemption – Local Government Lawyer

Posted July 19th, 2018 in appeals, elderly, housing, local government, news, tribunals by tracey

‘Milton Keynes Council was won a rare appeal under the right to buy legislation in a dispute over whether the property in question was particularly suitable for occupation by elderly persons.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 19th July 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Leasehold law set for radical reform – Law Commission

Posted July 19th, 2018 in housing, Law Commission, leases, press releases by tracey

‘Radical new proposals to provide a fairer deal for leasehold homeowners have been announced by the Law Commission. Following hot on the heels of plans by the Government to ban the sale of houses on a leasehold basis, the independent legal body is outlining a range of measures to help existing leasehold homeowners buy the freehold of their houses.’

Full press release

Law Commission, 19th July 2018

Source: www.lawcom.gov.uk/

Judge rules residence qualification in allocation policy of council to be unlawful – Local Government Lawyer

Posted July 17th, 2018 in housing, illegality, local government, news by tracey

‘A residence qualification set by Hillingdon Council stating that only households with at least 10 years’ continuous residence in-borough could qualify to join the three-welfare-based bands of its housing register was unlawful, a High Court judge has ruled.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 16th July 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

What’s another decade? – Nearly Legal

Posted July 16th, 2018 in housing, judicial review, local government, news by tracey

‘TW, SW, and EM, R (On the Application Of) v London Borough Of Hillingdon (2018) EWHC 1791. This was a judicial review of Hillingdon’s allocation scheme and in particular, the thresholds for eligibility for inclusion on the housing list set by Hillingdon.’

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Nearly Legal, 15th July 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

A question of authority – settled accommodation – Nearly Legal

Posted July 12th, 2018 in homelessness, housing, local government, news, Supreme Court by sally

‘Doka v Southwark concerned what could amount to ‘settled accommodation’ for homelessness matters, and specifically for ‘breaking the chain’ of intentional homelessness.’

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Nearly Legal, 11th July 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Homelessness and capacity – Nearly Legal

Posted July 4th, 2018 in homelessness, housing, local government, mental health, news, statutory duty by sally

‘In WB v W DC (2018) EWCA Civ 928, the Court of Appeal revisited the question of whether a person without capacity to make choices about their accommodation can make an application for homelessness assistance. The House of Lords in R v Tower Hamlets LBC ex p Ferdous Begum (1993) AC 509 (linked with Garlick, in which it was argued that an application could be made by minors) held that a person had to have capacity to “comprehend or evaluate” an offer of accommodation and could not be treated as a person in priority need. As Lord Griffiths put it, “In my view it is implicit in the provisions of the Act that the duty to make an offer is only owed to those who have the capacity to understand and respond to such an offer and if they accept it to undertake the responsibilities that will be involved.” There is a personal element to this issue – Ferdous Begum and Garlick were cases which first captured my academic interest in homelessness law back in 1992, mainly because the decision seemed wrong discursively (even then) and also because of the real difficulties which occur in practice in the distinction between homelessness and care duties.’

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Nearly Legal, 3rd July 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Government defeated over housing legal aid – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted June 25th, 2018 in housing, judicial review, legal aid, news by sally

‘The government’s legal aid reforms suffered a new blow today when a High Court judge quashed controversial changes in the way it procures duty contracts for housing. The court was ruling on a judicial review brought by the Law Centres Network (LCN), heard over two days last month.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 22nd June 2018

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk