Landlord ordered to pay more than £33k in fines and costs over failure to license property – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 18th, 2021 in fines, housing, landlord & tenant, licensing, local government, news by tracey

‘Merton Council has successfully prosecuted a landlord and his associated property agency for letting unsafe properties and operating in an unlicensed manner.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 15th October 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Recovering commercial rent during the pandemic – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 15th, 2021 in coronavirus, debts, landlord & tenant, leases, local government, news, rent, set-off by tracey

‘Clare Hartley and Chloe Postlethwaite analyse the latest favourable ruling for landlords in relation to commercial rent recovery during Covid-19, a judgment that confirms landlords can currently still rely on the court route notwithstanding the UK Government’s plans for arbitration next year.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 15th October 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Disabled woman to take DWP to court over ‘immoral’ automatic benefit deductions – The Guardian

‘A disabled woman is to challenge the Department for Work and Pensions in court over what she calls its “immoral” policy of allowing landlords and utilities companies to automatically make deductions from monthly benefits payments without the claimant’s consent.’

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The Guardian, 15th October 2021

Source: www.theguardian.com

Rent Repayment Orders – not ALL the rent – Nearly Legal

Posted October 12th, 2021 in houses in multiple occupation, landlord & tenant, licensing, news, rent, repayment by sally

‘The RRO application was by the six former tenants of an unlicensed HMO. Conditions at the property had also meant they asked the local authority EHO to inspect, which resulted in (a) the tenants being informed the property was not licensed, (b) a “Preliminary Improvement Notice” listing a number of defects to be remedied, including two category 1 HHSRS hazards (fire safety and excessive cold), and Cc) a finding that one of the bedrooms was too small for the licensing scheme. (The landlord, self described as a “professional landlord” with a “modest portfolio” of properties, did apply for a licence in February 2020, shortly before the tenants left in March 2020, but the application was rejected on the room size and the lack of remedial works).’

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Nearly Legal, 11th October 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

A tale of two judges – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted October 11th, 2021 in coronavirus, county courts, judges, landlord & tenant, leases, news, rent by sally

‘Solicitors often warn clients that the views of the judge can make a difference to the outcome of their case, especially at first instance. Two county court judgments on the issue of whether a commercial lease renewed under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 should contain a ‘Covid clause’ are the perfect illustration of this.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 11th October 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Bedrooms – hypothetical rather than actual. Bedroom tax and actual use. – Nearly Legal

Posted October 4th, 2021 in appeals, benefits, housing, landlord & tenant, news by tracey

‘The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Hockley & Anor (2019) EWCA Civ 1080. A quick note because I somehow missed this at the time. The Court of Appeal overturned the Upper Tribunal decision on whether assessment of entitlement to bedrooms for the bedroom tax was connected to the actual occupiers and their actual or potential use of the rooms. (Here there were two children and two bedrooms, neither of which could accommodate two children.)’

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Nearly Legal, 3rd October 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Possession – more change in England – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 4th, 2021 in housing, landlord & tenant, local government, news, repossession by tracey

‘From the beginning of this month, there has been yet more change on the possession front. Suzanne Gregson examines the latest position.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 4th October 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

No case to answer: prosecution under s. 82 Environmental Protection Act 1990 dismissed – Local Government Lawyer

‘Sarah Salmon reports on how a social landlord successfully defended a private prosecution brought by an occupier of one of its properties under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 1st October 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Housing disrepair claims and costs – Local Government Lawyer

Posted September 20th, 2021 in costs, housing, landlord & tenant, local government, news, repairs by tracey

‘Social landlords who do not challenge costs are potentially overpaying by tens of thousands of pounds in some of these matters. Alex Bagnall explains how they can secure significant reductions.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 17th September 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Claimant wins Upper Tribunal appeal over tenancy agreement and housing benefit – Local Government Lawyer

Posted September 17th, 2021 in appeals, benefits, housing, landlord & tenant, local government, news by tracey

‘The London Borough of Sutton has lost a case in the Upper Tribunal over whether a tenancy arrangement was a sham to increase housing benefit.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 16th September 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Injunction for re-entry and balance of convenience. – Nearly Legal

Posted September 15th, 2021 in appeals, housing, injunctions, landlord & tenant, mental health, news, repossession by tracey

‘Mahandru v Nielson (2021) EWHC 2297 (QB). An appeal of a County Court decision to refuse an interim injunction for re-entry in a claim for illegal eviction.’

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Nearly Legal, 12th September 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Cancelling a debt moratorium – some issues – Nearly Legal

Posted September 15th, 2021 in civil procedure rules, debts, housing, landlord & tenant, mental health, news, repossession by tracey

‘Axnoller Events Ltd v Brake & Anor (mental health crisis moratorium) (2021) EWHC 2308 (Ch). I’m not going into any detail on the background to this judgment. It forms part of what has been by any measure truly epic litigation, which has yet to culminate in a possession trial on one property and an eviction trial on another property (with the parties’ roles reversed). If you have several days to spare, the many and varied previous judgments are worth a read, not least as offering intermittent lessons in how not to litigate. However, this is the first judgment dealing with debt moratoria and applications (or claims) to cancel a moratorium under the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 so it is of considerable interest.’

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Nearly Legal, 12th September 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

First Tier Tribunal wrongly struck out landlord penalty appeal after solicitor failed to pay hearing fee, Upper Tribunal rules – Local Government Lawyer

‘A private landlord will have her appeal of a £7,000 penalty for failure to license a house in multiple occupation (HMO) decided by a different judge after it was initially refused by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) because her solicitor failed to pay the hearing fee on time, the Upper Tribunal has ruled.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 7th September 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Late service charge demands and the importance of contemplating forfeiture for recovering legal costs – Nearly Legal

Posted September 6th, 2021 in appeals, costs, housing, landlord & tenant, leases, news, service charges by tracey

‘This was a second appeal to the Court of Appeal from the Upper Tribunal on two issues arising from long running litigation between the freeholder, West India Quay and the head lessee, East Tower Apartments (ETAL) on the arrangements for and charging for utilities for the residential parts of the building (a 33 storey tower, including a hotel). The initial proceedings brought by ETAL had gone through the FTT and the Upper Tribunal and had resulted in a significant reduction in charges. For our purposes, the relevant part of these decisions where that ‘Switch 2) – the utility provider – had levied “standing charges” (actually costs for reading meters and preparing bills) from 2008 onwards. The freeholder had included these charges in the utility charge to the lessee. The FTT had found that they were not recoverable, as there had never been “a contractually valid demand for them as service charges, and it was not open to the Landlord to “re-allocate” them as general service charge.”’

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Nearly Legal, 5th September 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Costs and costs of repairs – Nearly Legal

‘An interesting, though non-binding, county court decision on the issue of costs of a disrepair claim that settled pre-allocation.’

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Nearly Legal, 30th August 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Who manages the managers? – Tribunal appointed manager behaving badly – Nearly Legal

Posted August 31st, 2021 in agency, fiduciary duty, landlord & tenant, news, service charges, tribunals by sally

‘A cautionary tale of a Tribunal appointed manager behaving badly and a reminder that the appointed manager’s duty is to carry out what is in the order appointing them, and that they answer to the Tribunal as an officer of the Tribunal.’

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Nearly Legal, 30th August 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Property guardians, possession claims and appearance of a defence for CPR 55.8 – Nearly Legal

Posted August 27th, 2021 in appeals, civil procedure rules, housing, landlord & tenant, news, repossession by tracey

‘Global 100 Ltd v Kyselakova & Ors (2021) EW Misc 13 (CC). This is the judgment in an appeal to a Circuit Judge – HHJ Luba QC – from a possession order made by a District Judge at the first hearing of the possession claim. The issues involved the threshold for “circumstances where the defendant had disputed the claim on grounds that appeared to be substantial.” for the purposes of CPR 55.8, (which is of broad application to all residential possession claims) as well as putative defences to the claim.’

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Nearly Legal, 25th August 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

A closed mind and a failed possession claim – Nearly Legal

‘Tower Hamlets LBC v Ali, County Court at Clerkenwell & Shoreditch. 21 July 2021. Tower Hamlets (“TH”) brought a claim for possession against Mr Ali after his mother, a secure tenant, died. His mother was herself a successor and, accordingly, he was not entitled to succeed under section 87 of the Housing Act 1985. He applied to succeed under TH’s discretionary policy for failed successors which stated that TH would grant a new tenancy to an occupant where they had lived with the tenant for 12 months before the tenant’s death, and they occupied the property as their only or principle home.’

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Nearly Legal, 16th August 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Landlord ordered to pay more than £21,000 after council prosecutes him for unlicensed house in multiple occupation – Local Government Lawyer

Posted August 11th, 2021 in costs, fines, housing, landlord & tenant, licensing, local government, news by tracey

‘A private landlord operating an unlicensed and overcrowded property in Kensal Green has been told to pay more than £21,000 in fines and costs by Willesden Magistrates’ Court.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 10th August 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

The Queen (o.a.o Rayner) v Leeds Magistrates Court: closure orders, legal aid reviews and adjournments – Nearly Legal

‘In this recent judicial review (2021) EWHC 1964 (Admin) H.H. Judge Gosnell addressed interesting questions around closure orders, adjournments, Article 6(1) rights, and the refusal of the Magistrates Court to state a case. He declined to grant relief because the issue had become academic, but if that had not been the case he would have found for the Claimant. Leeds City Council, the Claimant’s landlord, were an Interested Party in the JR, took a neutral position and were not represented. Leeds District Magistrates Court, the Defendant, did the same, the usual approach where a court is challenged.’

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Nearly Legal, 8th August 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk