Housing case law update - June 2020

Daniel Skinner and Natalie Hurst examine the latest housing-related cases in the Court of Appeal, High Court and Upper Tribunal. Read more
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  NEWS

Jun 29, 2020

Judge rejects application for interim relief after council offered unfurnished flat to claimant particularly vulnerable to COVID-19

A High Court judge has rejected an application for interim relief against a district council amid claims that an unfurnished one-bedroom flat was unsuitable accommodation for a claimant who was particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
Jun 29, 2020

London borough revises homeless prevention scheme after legal challenge

Lambeth Council is to revise one of its homeless prevention schemes, formerly known as Temp2settled, following a legal challenge amid claims it had resulted in families being removed from its social housing register.
Jun 29, 2020

Winckworth Sherwood advises social housing provider on £75m private placement

Winckworth Sherwood has advised Trident Group on its £75m private placement, in a deal that the law firm said “confirms the re-opening of the private markets to social housing providers”.
Jun 25, 2020

Property owners found guilty over illegal sub-division of building after ten year battle with council

Two joint property owners have been found guilty of illegally sub-dividing a building into seven substandard flats in a prosecution brought by the London Borough of Camden.
Jun 24, 2020

Social housing consortium names 22 firms to legal services framework agreement

The Central Housing Investment Consortium (CHIC) of social housing providers and local authorities has appointed 22 law firms to its latest four-year, multi-million pound legal services framework agreement.
Jun 18, 2020

High Court judge issues ruling over notification of ending of interim duty under section 188 of Housing Act 1996

The London Borough of Islington must pay costs in a homelessness case even though the claimant’s win was “to some degree ‘technical’”, the Administrative Court has ruled.
Jun 18, 2020

Social landlord fails in Upper Tribunal appeal over conditions for dispensing with normal consultation of tenants

Social landlord Aster Communities has lost an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) over consulting lessees about works whose cost could be recovered through the service charge.
Jun 18, 2020

Charity urges closure of “legal loophole” in housing of vulnerable children

A “legal loophole” has left hundreds of vulnerable children who face homelessness to fend for themselves in unregulated children’s homes, children’s legal charity Just for Kids Law has claimed.
Jun 16, 2020

Leaseholder pays social landlord £48k for unlawfully renting out his flat

A man who breached the terms of his lease by using his flat in Tower Hamlets as a holiday let has agreed to pay back social landlord EastendHomes nearly £50,000.
Jun 16, 2020

Council wins Upper Tribunal appeal over whether property was house in multiple occupation

The Upper Tribunal has allowed a borough council’s appeal over whether a property was a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

June 29, 2020

Gas safety certificates and possession proceedings

Sarah Salmon examines an important Court of Appeal ruling on section 21 notices and the service of relevant gas safety records.
June 29, 2020

The section 188(1) duty and the Homelessness Reduction Act

Toby Vanhegan looks at a recent High Court ruling on amendents introduced by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
June 29, 2020

Disrepair during COVID-19

Victoria Curran looks at how to take a pragmatic and common sense approach to housing disrepair during the coronavirus pandemic.
June 29, 2020

The COVID-19 “New Deal”​

Russell Harris QC explains how the delivery of housing association dwellings could be boosted at a stroke.
June 29, 2020

Private registered providers and the EIRs

The Upper Tribunal has confirmed private registered providers are not subject to the Environmental Information Regulations. Kate Dimes Letters and Andrew Latham look at the key points of the ruling.
June 29, 2020

Income-strip and housing supply

When it comes to boosting housing supply, is income-strip a potential solution? Paul McDermott looks at the advantages.
June 24, 2020

Homelessness and COVID-19

Catherine Rowlands, Andy Lane and Tara O'Leary consider the impact of the pandemic on homelessness with a focus on the rough sleeper initiative, the issues of priority need, intentionality and homelessness/threatened with homelessness, and the issues faced by front-line officers investigating cases and securing information.
June 18, 2020

Coronavirus and the duty to house

The High Court has found that local authorities are not obliged to provide furniture and white goods for unfurnished accommodation, writes Tom van der Klugt.

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  MORE NEWS

Jun 15, 2020

Councils call for suspension of No Recourse to Public Funds condition

The Local Government Association has called for the suspension of the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) “so that all vulnerable individuals are entitled to receive support during the coronavirus crisis”.
Jun 11, 2020

Council wins appeals over reduction of penalties for unlicensed flat rentals

The London Borough of Waltham Forest has won two appeals over reductions made by the First-Tier Tribunal to penalty notices for unlicensed flat rentals.
Jun 11, 2020

Upper Tribunal orders re-hearing in dispute over penalties imposed after fire safety inspections at flats

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has overturned two penalties imposed by the London Borough of Croydon over fire safety inspections of private flats.
Jun 10, 2020

Law firm advises social housing provider on £23m modular housing partnership

TLT has advised social housing provider Stonewater on a multi-million pound deal with modular housing firm ilke Homes to deliver 120 new affordable homes in Herefordshire.
Jun 08, 2020

Housemark data reveals increases in ASB, arrears and non-emergency repairs

Social landlords saw a 30%+ increase in reports of anti-social behaviour in April, COVID-19 impact monitoring by Housemark has suggested.
Jun 05, 2020

Evictions to be suspended for further two months, says Secretary of State

The government is to suspend evictions from social and private rented accommodation by a further two months, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has said.
Jun 05, 2020

Master of Rolls sets up working group as concerns expressed about end to stay on housing possession claims

The Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, has established a cross-sector working group to address concerns about the consequences of the current stay on housing possession claims ending.
Jun 04, 2020

High Court judge hands down ruling on secure flexible tenancies and possession during fixed term

A landlord cannot determine a flexible tenancy prior to the expiry of its fixed term without a forfeiture clause even in the event of default by the tenant, the High Court has ruled.
Jun 04, 2020

Manchester City Council eyes bringing management of homes back under direct control

Manchester City Council is to consult tenants on bringing management of their homes back in-house in the face of dissatisfaction with the performance and governance of its arm’s-length management organisation (ALMO).
Jun 02, 2020

Council nets permission for High Court challenge to decision by inspector over Local Plan and duty to cooperate

The High Court has granted Sevenoaks District Council permission to bring judicial review proceedings on all grounds over a decision of the planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to examine the Sevenoaks District Local Plan.
May 28, 2020

Winckworth Sherwood bolsters social housing banking and finance team

Law firm Winckworth Sherwood has strengthened its housing finance team with the appointment of two senior finance lawyers.
May 28, 2020

Housing lawyers group hits out at plans for resumed possession hearings in London

The Housing Law Practitioners Association (HLPA) has condemned proposals for resumed possession hearings in London courts as “unconscionable” and “naïve”.
May 28, 2020

London borough wins High Court battle with tenant on banding and overcrowding

The London Borough of Southwark was entitled to conclude a family was not in the highest category of overcrowding because it had voluntarily moved into accommodation that would become statutorily overcrowded as its children grew older.
May 28, 2020

Court of Appeal says coronavirus stay also covers appeals against possession orders

The suspension of possession proceedings due to the COVID-19 outbreak applies to appeals as well as new cases, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
May 26, 2020

Lincolnshire social landlord to set up £500k legal services framework

The Lincolnshire Housing Partnership (LHP), which manages 12,700 homes on the east coast of the county, is to establish a multi-provider legal services framework agreement worth an estimated £500,000.
May 26, 2020

Woman who makes involuntary sounds fails in judicial review challenge over noise abatement notice

A 67-year-old retired primary school teacher who has a neurological disorder that causes her to make involuntary sounds and noises has failed in a judicial review challenge over a noise abatement notice.
May 26, 2020

Major social landlord issues notice on plans for legal services framework worth up to £24m

A2Dominion Housing Group has given notice of its intention to tender for the provision of a legal services framework worth between £10m and £24m over a four-year term.
May 26, 2020

Secretary of State quashes decision letter approving controversial development after allegation of “apparent bias” in favour of developer

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has agreed to a redetermination of a 1,524-unit housing development proposal for the former Daily Telegraph/Daily Express printworks site in East London following legal action from Tower Hamlets Council and the Greater London Assembly (GLA).
May 13, 2020

Judge rejects challenge to decision to send draft neighbourhood plan to referendum

Mendip District Council was right to accept the recommendations of an examiner into the draft neighbourhood plan for the village of Norton St Philip and allow this to proceed to a referendum, the High Court has ruled.
May 13, 2020

Clarke Willmott appoints joint heads of social housing team

National law firm Clarke Willmott has appointed Vicky Kells and Lindsay Felstead as joint heads of its social housing team.
May 13, 2020

Government to ease requirements on publicity and consultation in latest measures to help planning system operate during COVID-19

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced further, temporary measures to make it easier to operate the planning system during the coronavirus outbreak.
May 12, 2020

Court of Appeal rejects challenge over lawfulness of PD51Z staying possession proceedings: report

The Court of Appeal has upheld the lawfulness of Practice Direction 51Z, the Housing Law Practitioners Association (HLPA) has reported.
May 07, 2020

Devonshires acts for social landlord on £540m debt restructuring

The banking team at law firm Devonshires has advised GreenSquare Housing Group on a £540m debt restructuring.
May 07, 2020

Upper Tribunal allows appeal by owner over order to demolish damaged house

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has overturned an order by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) that a damaged house must be demolished.
Apr 28, 2020

Ministry issues non-statutory guidance for social landlords on allocations and transfers during COVID-19, urges pause to non-essential activity

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has published non-statutory guidance designed to support social landlords in England with allocations and transfers during the coronavirus outbreak.

  MORE FEATURES

June 12, 2020

Varying a s106 obligation

In the first in a series of articles to be published by a group of Landmark barristers over the coming weeks, Kate Olley looks at the variation and enforcement of s106 obligations.
June 10, 2020

Civil Penalty Notices

Vilma Vodanovic and Alice Richardson examine Civil Penalty Notices. These are part of the range of enforcement measures available to Local Authorities against private residential landlords. The session explores appeals for such Notices in the First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber, including an explanation of the process and useful tips.
June 10, 2020

Improvement Notices & the First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber

James McHugh and Morgan Brien examine Improvement Notices in relation to Landlords, Local Authorities and their advisers.
June 10, 2020

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Alice Richardson and Morgan Brien examine Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The webinar will be of interest to a wide range of Landlords, as well as Local Authorities and their advisers.
June 10, 2020

First-Tier Tribunal, Property Chamber Appeals – practice and procedure

Housing and Property Litigation barristers Vilma Vodanovic and Tom Tyson examine the Appeals process in the First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber.
May 29, 2020

Planning and re-starting the housing market

Simon Randle, Vivienne Sedgley and Katharine Elliot analyse government measures to restart the housing market and how they impact on the planning system.
May 29, 2020

The no-nonsense guide to biodiversity net gain

Jonathan Easton and Constanze Bell break down the need-to-know aspects of biodiversity net gain (BNG) in their "no-nonsense" guide on the issue.
May 28, 2020

Housing in lockdown: avoid the pause button

Tom Lawal reviews the number of ways COVID-19 can effect the progression and outcome of housing cases and how practitioners can continue to engage in effective case management during this challenging period.
May 28, 2020

Flexible tenancies and possession

When to serve an NSP, NTQ, NST, BN or FN – nobody said housing law was easy! Jon Holbrook looks at the issues arising out of flexible tenancies.
May 28, 2020

Housing case law update - May 2020

Michael Owen, Helen Gascoigne and Tom Bradbury round up the latest rulings from the High Court and the Supreme Court.
May 28, 2020

Environmental, Social and Governance – A sector wide opportunity

Why should Registered Providers be focusing on ESG? Deborah Rowntree explains.
May 28, 2020

Committal applications during COVID-19

Clare Jones and Sian Evans analyse the courts' approach to committal applications during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 28, 2020

Homelessness and domestic violence

Andy Lane and Rowan Clapp examine government proposals of support for survivors of domestic violence who are facing homelessness.
May 28, 2020

Recent developments in additional and selective licensing

Tara O'Leary discusses some of the implications of the COVID-19 emergency for licensing litigation and summarises several important decisions which have emerged during a very productive period at the courts and tribunals.
May 28, 2020

Social landlords and relaxation of the lockdown

What does the easing of the lockdown mean for providers of social housing? John Murray explains.
May 28, 2020

COVID-19: Responsible contracting behaviour

Katrina Day and Lee Clarke summarise key recommendations from the Government on contracting and how they might impact on housing providers' relationships with contractors.
May 26, 2020

The interface between statutory nuisance and disability discrimination

A 67-year-old woman with a neurological disorder that causes her to make involuntary sounds and noises has failed in a judicial review challenge over a noise abatement notice. Charles Holland examines the judgment.
May 19, 2020

Appeals in the First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber

Vilma Vodanovic and Tom Tyson provide practical, step by step guidance on the appeals process, explaining the procedure, the distinctions from the civil courts and gives tips from both the Appellant and Local Authority's perspectives.
May 11, 2020

Unlicensed HMOs and liability

A London borough recently successfully defended two claims for judicial review of decisions it made against directors of property companies operating, and owners of property, in its area. Simon Kiely, Aleksandra Wolek and Christos Paphiti explain how the ruling will help local authority housing departments and prosecutors.