HMO licensing, the ‘fit and proper’ test and spent convictions

The Court of Appeal has provided clarity for the test of a ‘fit and proper’ licence holder for houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs), write Simon Kiely and Christian Grierson. Read more
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Nov 26, 2020

High Court rejects challenge to decision homeless man was not in priority need

Watford Borough Council has won a High Court case over its actions concerning a homeless man but the judge dismissed the local authority's submissions questioning the court’s jurisdiction to deal with the appeal.
Nov 25, 2020

Court of Appeal quashes “legally flawed” decision by review officer that applicant was not in settled accommodation in period after earlier finding of intentional homelessness

The Court of Appeal has found a review officer’s decision – that a homelessness applicant had not been in settled accommodation following an earlier finding of intentional homelessness – to be “legally flawed”.
Nov 25, 2020

Failure to comply with planning enforcement notice sees landlord ordered to pay £260k

A landlord who pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice has been handed a confiscation order of nearly £260,000.
Nov 23, 2020

42 Bedford Row bolsters public law children and housing teams

42 Bedford Row has bolstered its public law children and housing teams with the arrival of two barristers.
Nov 19, 2020

District council asked to reconsider how it allocates housing following Ombudsman investigation

East Lindsey District Council has been asked to review its housing allocations policy to ensure it meets its equality duties, following an investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Nov 19, 2020

Court of Appeal rules for council in dispute over single offer of accommodation

The London Borough of Bromley was entitled to decide it had discharged its duty to house a woman after she refused a single offer of accommodation, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Nov 19, 2020

Court of Appeal agrees to hear challenge to finding of intentional homelessness after eviction from ‘move on’ accommodation

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal in a case concerning eviction from ‘move on’ accommodation.
Nov 19, 2020

Judge finds £10.5m claim against council over refusal to allocate housing "totally without merit"

A case in which a man was at one point awarded compensation of £10.5m from a council for failing to house him has been thrown out as “totally without merit” by the High Court, with a civil restraint order imposed to prevent further litigation.
Nov 17, 2020

Social housing white paper proposes increased landlord accountability and expanded role for Housing Ombudsman

The social housing white paper released today will herald major reforms to complaints procedures, boost regulator powers and strengthen the Housing Ombudsman, the government has said.
Nov 17, 2020

Judicial review challenge to end after Government uses emergency procedure to formalise requirement for bailiffs not to enforce warrants and writs

The Government has issued a statutory instrument under emergency procedures to prevent, except in specified circumstances, bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) attending at a dwelling house to execute a writ or warrant of possession, execute a writ or warrant of restitution or deliver a notice of eviction.


November 26, 2020

Who is going to win the race to the bottom? Make sure it's not you

Rebecca Rees and Scott Dorling look at potential solutions to some of the significant issues facing the social and affordable housing sector.
November 26, 2020

Housing case law update - November 2020

The last month has seen the Court of Appeal and the High Court hand down a number of key rulings affecting the housing sector. Paul Lloyd, Charlotte Rawson and Jatinder Bhamber analyse the judgments.
November 26, 2020

An end to the water re-seller saga?

The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling leaving social landlords facing significant compensation bills for water overcharging. Does your water arrangement expose you to compensation claims? Virginia Cooper and Jason Tandy analyse the impact of the judgment.
November 26, 2020

Empty home strategies and homelessness

Lyndon Campbell examines why local authorities are using enforced sales to tackle homelessness.
November 20, 2020

Environmental sustainability as a governance priority for housing associations

Nathan Bradberry, Sarah Greenhalgh and Deborah Rowntree look at the National Housing Federation Code of Governance’s new requirement for boards of housing associations to set financially sustainable plans with specific consideration given to “carbon neutrality and environmental sustainability”.
November 13, 2020

"Late" review decisions and s.204 homelessness appeals

The Court of Appeal has considered the issue of “late” review decisions and section 204 (homelessness) appeals. Andy Lane and Riccardo Calzavara report on the outcome.
October 29, 2020

Death to confusion, clarity resurrected

The Court of Appeal has provied clarity on the correct process to follow in order to end the tenancy of a deceased tenant. Victoria Osler analyses the ruling.
October 27, 2020

Rebalancing the housing system

When it comes to building new communities, writes Ian Doolittle, does local authority housing hold the key?

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Nov 16, 2020

Construction companies lose Court of Appeal challenge over expert determination

A consortium of construction companies has failed in an appeal over a High Court judge’s dismissal of its claim for a declaration that the decision of an independent expert in relation to a revised section 106 agreement was not conclusive and binding on the parties.
Nov 16, 2020

Ministry issues notice on plans for urgent procurement of housing possession mediation services pilot

The Ministry of Justice has given notice of its intention to procure, in conjunction with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, a dedicated mediation service to engage with housing progression claims as they progress through court.
Nov 16, 2020

Ministry of Justice faces judicial review over requirement on bailiffs not to enforce evictions

The Ministry of Justice has been hit with a judicial review challenge over the ongoing refusal to enforce warrants and writs by bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs).
Nov 12, 2020

Judge finds decision by London borough to accommodate disabled man in Wolverhampton unlawful

Central London County Court has found that a change to the wording of the Homelessness Code of Guidance did not affect a council’s need to consider whether alternative accommodation closer to its area was available to an applicant.
Nov 12, 2020

Regulator criticises Scottish council over weaknesses in provision of temporary accommodation

Glasgow City Council has improved its homelessness service but still should address weaknesses in its temporary accommodation provision, the Scottish Housing Regulator has said in an inquiry report.
Nov 10, 2020

Civil Procedure Rules to be amended so that district judges can hear breaches of Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions

The Civil Procedure Rules are to be amended “to correct three unintended effects” of changes that came into force at the beginning of October.
Nov 09, 2020

Property company loses bid to keep affordable housing after Supreme Court rejects application to modify restrictive covenants

The Supreme Court has rejected a property company’s bid to modify restrictive covenants so that 13 affordable houses built in breach can remain in place.
Nov 09, 2020

No bailiff enforcement action until 11 January 2021 save in “most egregious cases”: MHCLG

Evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs until 11 January 2021 at the earliest, “except for the most egregious cases” such as anti-social behaviour, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced.
Nov 06, 2020

Court of Appeal rejects challenge to £31m decision by city council to retrofit sprinklers to tower blocks after Grenfell

Birmingham City Council has defeated a Court of Appeal challenge over whether it failed to take account of legally relevant matters when on 24 May 2018 it confirmed its decision to retrofit sprinklers in its tower blocks following the fire at Grenfell Tower in London.
Nov 06, 2020

High Court judge grants permission for judicial review challenge over refusal to accommodate asylum seeker during COVID-19

The High Court has granted permission for a judicial review of Brighton and Hove City Council's refusal to accommodate a street homeless former asylum seeker during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Nov 05, 2020

Administrative Court allows appeal by tenant on extending time for service of notice of appeal in ASB case

A Plymouth woman has successfully appealed over a closure order imposed on her home after complaints of anti-social behaviour.
Nov 02, 2020

Judicial review regime “fit for purpose” says LLG in submission to independent review

LLG broadly considers the current judicial review regime as fit for purpose, the membership group has said in its response to a call for evidence from the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL).
Oct 27, 2020

Trowers & Hamlins advises social landlord on 145-home stock transfer to council

Law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised Your Housing Group on the sale of 145 affordable homes to East Riding of Yorkshire Council under a stock transfer agreement.
Oct 27, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds ruling that council overcharged tenants for water

The Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames has lost its appeal to the Court of Appeal over a High Court ruling that it overcharged tenants for water.
Oct 23, 2020

Housing Ombudsman issues report on cases of severe maladministration in 2019/20

The Housing Ombudsman has named the five social landlords involved in cases where it found severe maladministration in 2019/20.
Oct 21, 2020

Council offers to plant trees equivalent to legal costs if protesters end action

The London Borough of Islington has offered to plant trees to a value equivalent to the legal costs it would incur in moving protesters if they voluntarily stop occupying a copse due to be felled.
Oct 21, 2020

Devonshires promotes two housing solicitors to partner

Law firm Devonshires has promoted two housing solicitors to partner in its latest round of promotions.
Oct 21, 2020

Judge gives permission for judicial review challenge over suitability of NASS accommodation for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

The High Court has agreed to hear a judicial review challenge over the suitability of NASS [National Asylum Support Service] accommodation for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, it has been reported.
Oct 21, 2020

North Yorkshire housing association to set up next legal services panel

A North Yorkshire housing association is to procure its latest panel of legal services providers to supplement its in-house service.
Oct 20, 2020

Government issues National Statement of Expectations for supported housing

The Government has published a new National Statement of Expectations, setting out "what it expects to see in standards, quality and value for money in supported housing and how this can be achieved by bringing together best practice across the sector".
Oct 16, 2020

Supreme Court rejects appeal over allocation of housing to members of religious group

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed an appeal over the lawfulness and proportionality of a housing charity’s policy of allocating social housing primarily to members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Hackney and in particular the Haredi community.
Oct 15, 2020

High Court upholds refusal by judge to admit witness statement from council officer in eviction proceedings brought by housing association

The High Court has dismissed an application to overturn a judge’s refusal to allow tenants to rely on a witness statement from a council officer in eviction proceedings brought by a housing association.
Oct 14, 2020

Major North West housing provider to re-procure £6m legal services panel

Onward Group, one of the largest social landlords in the North West, is to re-procure its panel of legal services providers for a framework agreement worth estimated £6m.
Oct 12, 2020

North West social landlord names 12 firms to £13m legal services framework

Regenda, a social landlord that owns or manages around 13,000 properties across the North West, has appointed 12 firms to a £13m legal services framework.
Oct 06, 2020

Welsh social landlord to procure legal services framework

The largest social housing provider in North Wales has launched the procurement of a four-year legal services framework.


October 27, 2020

Housing Ombudsman's oversight operations overhauled

September marked the start of the Housing Ombudsman's new powers. What effect will this have on registered providers? Digby Morgan reports.
October 26, 2020

Housing case law update - October 2020

Daniel Skinner, Rebecca Asady and Natalie Hurst analyse the latest cases from courts in England and Wales and Ombudsman rulings that are relevant to the housing sector.
October 26, 2020

Key considerations for stock transfer deals during the COVID-19 pandemic

With large numbers of homes expected to change hands over the coming 12–18 months, Susie Rogers and Wilson Tang consider what housing providers need to do to factor the current COVID-19 pandemic into their planning process.
October 22, 2020

Social housing allocations and the Equality Act 2010

The Supreme Court has upheld a practice of restricting allocations of social housing stock to members of a particular religious community, rejecting the argument that this constitutes unlawful direct discrimination. Alexander Campbell analyses the judgment.
October 22, 2020

Committal changes and anti-social behaviour

Committal changes have been causing problems for breaches of Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 injunctions. Sarah Salmon considers the rules.
October 15, 2020

Building Safety Charges – five things you need to know

Douglas Rhodes sets out some key points for local authority landlords ahead of major reforms to the law of service charges.
October 15, 2020

The New Shared Ownership Scheme

The Government’s proposed changes to the shared ownership scheme provide more questions than answers, write Hugo Stephens and Louise Leaver.
October 08, 2020

The importance of clarity in local authority prosecutions

A council recently lost an appeal over a £200 confiscation order in a housing case when the benefit was said to be several hundreds of thousands of pounds. Gary Pons looks at the reasons why.
October 08, 2020

Lessons to learn – RSH annual consumer review 19-20

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) issued its annual consumer review on 22 September 2020. Its 8th report covers the year 19–20 which saw them serve 15 regulatory notices - the highest number ever. Helen Tucker reviews the main lessons to learn and actions to take when things go wrong.
September 30, 2020

The resumption of Part 55 CPR possession cases

Raghav Trivedi provides an outline of practice and procedure in light of the resumption of Part 55 CPR possession cases.
September 28, 2020

Shared ownership reform

What do the new proposals on shared ownership mean for tenants and registered providers? Nalton Stembari, James Chaplin and James Howard explain.
September 28, 2020

Housing Case Law Update - September 20

Michael Owen and Clive Adams analyse the latest housing law judgments from the High Court and highlight two recent reports from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
September 27, 2020

Possession - after the stay

Following the end of the possession stay on 21 September, Helen Tucker and Rebecca Sembuuze discuss the most recent guidance, priority cases and what to expect in court.
September 25, 2020

Housing disrepair for local authority landlords - a practical guide

The following LexisNexis Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Alexander Bastin of Hardwicke, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information for local authorities covering all aspects of dealing with disrepair issues.
September 24, 2020

Working with Planning Reform: Part 2

The Government has published its long awaited White Paper Planning for the Future. While we should embrace reform, what are the issues? In the second article in a two-part series the planning law team at Dentons looks at more of the main themes including s.106 agreements, removal of CIL and the consequences for local planning authorities.
September 23, 2020

Extra-Care schemes after the Rectory Homes decision

John Pugh-Smith looks at the potential to avoid further muddle and misunderstanding in relation to Extra-Care schemes, following the High Court's ruling in the Rectory Homes case.
September 14, 2020

The LLG Grapevine 14th September

Deborah Evans, Dennis Hall and Helen McGrath discuss the EU Withdrawal Agreement, obesity, council audits, The Housing Ombudsman Annual Report, disqualification of non-compliant bids, employment law considerations of working from home, and more.
September 10, 2020

Possession Notices – all change once more!

Alex Loxton sets out the government's proposed changes to the notice periods to be given to tenants when seeking possession of a property.
September 10, 2020

Homelessness application: Interim relief, suitability and housing benefit

Clare Cullen considers a recent High Court decision to adjourn a case considering the suitability of interim accommodation where further information was required.
August 31, 2020

Housing Case Law Update - August 2020

Christopher Skinner, Helen Gascoigne and Elena-Lucia Stoian discuss important new housing law cases from June and July 2020.