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(How) Can Planning Speed Up Delivery? Part 2

In Part 1 of a two-part series, Ralph Kellas considered the expectations and challenges around build out and some of the reforms proposed to address it. He now considers the implications of slow build out for local authorities and what they, and the planning system more broadly, can do to speed up delivery. Read more
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Jan 15, 2020

Scottish housing association to appoint provider to £700k legal services contract

A Scottish housing association is to appoint a single provider to a legal services contract worth an estimated £700,000 over five years.
Jan 13, 2020

Social landlord to procure £1.8m legal services framework

A major housing association has launched the procurement of a legal services framework worth an estimated £1.8m.
Jan 09, 2020

Vulnerable people "refused fair hearing" in way some councils deal with appeals against housing benefit decisions: Ombudsman

Families face homelessness because of errors in the way some councils deal with appeals against decisions on housing benefit claims, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has warned.
Jan 09, 2020

Social landlord to take legal action over "unfair" assessment by regulator

A provider of homes for vulnerable adults is to seek judicial review later this month of an assessment issued by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) after the watchdog said its governance and financial viability were both inadequate.
Jan 08, 2020

Council secures injunction to ban proposed “tent city” homeless encampment

Leeds City Council has today (8 January) secured an injunction against a proposed homeless encampment which it claimed would create a “tent city” in a car park.
Jan 07, 2020

Proposals for changes to Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme "do not address fundamental issues of sustainability": Law Society

A Ministry of Justice consultation on proposed changes to the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS) fails to address the fundamental issues of sustainability, the Law Society has claimed.
Jan 07, 2020

Ombudsman hits out at council after housing benefit miscalculations lead to eviction of young family

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) has criticised the London Borough of Haringey after a young, single-parent family, including a disabled child, had to leave their home after the council miscalculated their housing benefits.
Jan 07, 2020

Council rapped over treatment of pregnant woman who was made homeless

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has agreed to consider service resources and “the changes it needs to make to work in line with the law” after a Local Government and Social Ombudsman investigation into how a pregnant woman, who approached the council for help when she was made homeless, was left in an unfurnished flat, miles from her support network.
Jan 06, 2020

Leeds Council seeks injunction to ban ‘tent city’ homeless camp

Leeds City Council is to seek an injunction over a homeless support group’s plans to organise an encampment in a car park.
Jan 06, 2020

Defendant who claimed to be ‘Freeman of the land’ fined £15k for planning breaches

A resident who claimed to be a ‘Freeman of the land’ has been fined £15,000 for refusing to remove an unlawfully built extension that covered the whole of his back garden.


January 17, 2020

Climate emergency #5: have you thought about Funding and Investment?

With local authorities seeking to deliver on some of their declared priorities to address the climate emergency, attention is turning to how to fund some of the ideas and initiatives, writes David Hutton.
January 10, 2020

(How) Can Planning Speed Up Delivery? Part 1

In the first of two articles Ralph Kellas examines the factors behind slow' build out rates and analyses proposed ways to tackle the issue.
January 10, 2020

Elephant, Dove, Old Oak, RICS

It is time to return to fundamentals when it comes to the delivery of social housing, writes Simon Ricketts, as he reviews recent developments in relation to two major projects.
January 03, 2020

The St Modwen test and deliverability

The Court of Appeal has clarified the St Modwen test for deliverability, writes Michael Bedford QC.
January 03, 2020

Governing in uncertain times

Victoria Jardine and Peter Hubbard assess the latest developments in relation to governance issues for social landlords.
December 20, 2019

Public authorities, statutory powers and village greens

Francis Taylor Building comments on a Supreme Court judgment on village greens that will prove hugely significant for landowning public bodies.
December 20, 2019

The Guildford Local Plan challenge: key issues for plan-makers

James Findlay QC and Robert Williams examine the High Court's recent dismissal of three statutory challenges to the adoption of the Guildford Local Plan.
December 17, 2019

Social landlords and water charges

A recent ruling in the High Court in a test case on water re-selling has led to claims that local authorities and housing associations could face having to refund millions of pounds to tenants. Simon Kiely and Anna Moon analyse the judgment.

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Jan 03, 2020

Ministry awards £4m to 100+ councils to help tackle criminal landlords and letting agents

More than 100 councils in England will share over £4m as part of a crackdown on criminal landlords and letting agents, the Housing Secretary has announced.
Jan 02, 2020

Council prosecution sees landlord fined £27k for multiple HMO breaches

A landlord in Luton has been ordered to pay £27,000 at a sentencing hearing after previously pleading guilty to illegally managing a house in multiple occupation.
Dec 31, 2019

Judge rules against council on meaning of 'needs' for Care Act assessment

An assessment carried out by a London borough did not constitute a discharge of its duties under the Care Act because it failed to include all the individual's needs, whether currently being met or not, a judge has ruled.
Dec 30, 2019

London borough defeats legal challenge over grant of planning permission for major redevelopment

The High Court has this month rejected a legal challenge to Southwark Council’s grant of planning permission for a major redevelopment of a large site that includes the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre.
Dec 19, 2019

Director of lettings and property management agency jailed for two years over £230k fraud

The director of a lettings and property management agency who defrauded more than £230,000 from the landlords and tenants that were his clients has received a two-year prison sentence, following an investigation by Southampton City Council’s Trading Standards Service.
Dec 18, 2019

North East housing association names three firms to provide property and development legal advice

A social landlord in the North East with 34,000 properties under management has appointed three law firms to provide property and development legal services.
Dec 17, 2019

Scottish social landlord appoints two firms for legal services over 2019-2024

Govan Housing Association has named two law firms to provide legal services over the next five years.
Dec 16, 2019

High Court quashes decision by council to refuse to accept second homelessness application over failure to consider new medical evidence

A Deputy High Court judge has quashed a decision by a borough council to refuse a claimant’s second homelessness application, after it failed to take into account new medical evidence.
Dec 16, 2019

Parish council fails in Court of Appeal claim local planning authority misdirected itself in assessment of housing land supply

The Court of Appeal has rejected a parish council’s claim that Babergh District Council, when assessing the five-year supply of housing land, misdirected itself on the relevant policies in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Dec 16, 2019

Council prosecution sees landowners ordered to pay £14k over illegal hostel

The owners of an illegal hostel in Swanley have been ordered to pay £14,000 in fines and costs after being prosecuted for failing to comply with two planning enforcement notices.
Dec 13, 2019

Council acted unlawfully when assessing whether applicant was 'former relevant child'

The High Court has ruled that the London Borough of Ealing acted unlawfully in its assessment of whether applicant AB was a ‘former relevant child’ within the meaning of section 23C of the Children Act 1989.
Dec 12, 2019

Birmingham landlord fined £20k after breaching housing regulations

A Birmingham landlord has been fined nearly £20,000 after pleading guilty to failing to obtain a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence and to 13 breaches of HMO Management Regulations.
Dec 12, 2019

Trowers advises Legal & General Affordable Homes on housing management agreement

Law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised Legal & General Affordable Homes on the successful conclusion of its selection process for housing management partners.
Dec 11, 2019

Midlands housing group to set up £7.5m legal services framework

Midland Heart has begun the procurement of a legal services framework worth an estimated £7.5m.
Dec 10, 2019

Borough council sees off statutory challenges to adoption of Local Plan

A Planning Court judge has rejected s.113 statutory challenges brought by two parish councils and a local resident against Guildford Borough Council’s adoption of its Local Plan.
Dec 09, 2019

Supreme Court to hear appeal over arrangements by housing association to allocate properties only to members of religious community

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal over whether a charitable housing association’s arrangements for allocating housing, which amount to direct discrimination on the ground of religion, were lawful.
Dec 04, 2019

Court of Appeal rules as academic proceedings on discretionary housing payments and contributions

The Court of Appeal had dismissed as academic a case brought against the London Borough of Islington over its discretionary housing payments (DHP) policy and a requirement for a claimant to make a contribution to a shortfall in rent.
Dec 04, 2019

Council obtains injunction to secure affordable housing provision on development site

Shropshire Council has obtained an injunction to secure affordable housing provision on a housing development site, it has been reported.
Dec 02, 2019

Councils and housing associations "face multi-million pound refunds to tenants" after water re-selling test case in High Court

Local authorities and housing associations could face having to refund millions of pounds to tenants after a council lost a test case in the High Court on water re-selling, it has been claimed.
Dec 02, 2019

Council secures £400k+ confiscation order against landlord over house in multiple occupation with 15 tenants

Joint action by Hillingdon Council’s planning enforcement and trading standards teams has seen a Hayes landlord ordered to pay more than £430,000 after she turned her property into an illegal House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
Nov 29, 2019

Council submits £130m claims in High Court bid to recover costs under housing estate maintenance PFI

Camden Council has submitted claims to the High Court to recover costs from the contractor PFIC (Partners for Improvement in Camden) and its principal subcontractors, who previously had responsibility for refurbishment and maintenance of the Chalcots Estate, under a private finance initiative agreement.
Nov 28, 2019

Resident fails in Court of Appeal challenge to anti-social behaviour injunction

A resident of a housing association in London has failed in a Court of Appeal challenge over an injunction restraining him from committing anti-social behaviour.
Nov 27, 2019

Battle over Cabinet decision to retro-fit sprinkler systems on tower blocks at cost of £19m heads to Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has given a local resident permission to appeal a High Court ruling on the lawfulness of a decision by the Cabinet at Birmingham City Council to fund – at a cost of £19m – the retro-fitting of sprinkler systems to all the tower blocks it owns.
Nov 27, 2019

Council planning board removes clause from s106 agreement restricting future occupants from bringing claims over noise after receiving advice move was unlawful

­­The Planning Board at the Royal Borough of Greenwich has removed a clause from a s106 agreement that was intended to restrict future occupants of a housing development from pursuing claims for nuisance or damages over noise, after receiving legal advice suggesting it was unlawful.
Nov 26, 2019

Camden Council obtains first rogue landlord banning order in London

Camden Council is reported to have obtained London’s first rogue landlord banning order against a man who repeatedly placed tenants’ lives at risk through letting unsafe housing.


December 17, 2019

Housing benefits, human rights and possession claims

Public sector and private sector landlords need to know about a recent housing benefit ruling from the Supreme Court, write Karl Anders and Deborah Brown.
December 17, 2019

Assessment of housing needs

John Murray considers a recent case in which the Court reviewed London Borough of Haringey's assessment of a homelessness application.
December 17, 2019

Investing public money in district heating

Steve Gummer and Catherine Maddox analyse an important recent decision from the European Commission that will be helpful to authorities considering district heating schemes.
December 17, 2019

Strasbourg and the 'bedroom tax'

Alex Ewing considers an important ruling from the European Court of Human Rights on the so-called 'bedroom tax' that could have potentially significant implications for the way in which discrimination cases are approached in the future.
December 13, 2019

Granting assured and assured shorthold tenancies

This practice note from LexisNexis explains the criteria for assured tenancies (AT) and assured shorthold tenancies (AST) and the exceptions to those criteria, the main terms of AT and ASTs, the position regarding succession, and summarises a landlord’s obligations in respect of energy efficiency, gas safety and other health and safety obligations, right to rent and tenancy deposits.
December 06, 2019

Climate emergency #4: have you thought about Retrofitting?

Maxim Laithwaite, David Hutton and Nathan Bradberry analyse how local authorities and registered providers can use retrofitting to help deliver on climate emergencies.
December 06, 2019

Climate emergency #3: have you thought about New Housing?

In the latest of a series of articles on how local authorities can respond to a climate emergency, Maxim Laithwaite and David Hutton consider the opportunities provided by new housing?
December 05, 2019

Assignment and succession of tenancy

Morayo Fagborun Bennett looks at the circumstances in which social housing tenancies can be transferred to another tenant.
November 29, 2019

Powers to control anti-social behaviour under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

This guidance note provides a comprehensive and up to date overview of powers to control anti-social behaviour under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Reform of anti-social behaviour powers (2014), Part 1 Civil Injunctions and Part 2 Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).
November 21, 2019

Heat networks – climate emergency medicine?

Many local authorities have declared a “climate emergency”, sometimes committing to carbon neutrality within particular timescales in their authority areas. One of the issues that is often in the “difficult” box is gas heating, which currently largely relies on individual boilers. Heat networks can be a part of the solution, writes Richard Brooks.
November 15, 2019

Objectively assessed need within the Local Plan process

The Court of Appeal has dismissed legal challenges to the Waverley Local Plan. Wayne Beglan explains why.
November 14, 2019

Housing case law update: succession rules, 'vulnerable persons' and what constitutes suitable accommodation

From succession rules to paying upfront for remedial work, Christopher Skinner, Natalie Hurst and Victoria Smith round up the latest housing law cases.
November 14, 2019

Spent convictions, underlying conduct and the 'fit and proper person' test

James Findlay QC and Riccardo Calzavara report on an Upper Tribunal ruling on spent convictions and the ‘fit and proper person’ test for holding a property licence under the Housing Act 2004.
November 14, 2019

Is an old version of the prescribed section 8 notice still useable?

Michael Grant discusses a recent County Court case concerning service of an outdated version of the prescribed Section 8 notice.
November 14, 2019

Social housing restrictions – is Homes England consent required or not?

Tanya Edmonds looks at the uncertainty around Land Registry restrictions when social housing providers dispose of land.
November 14, 2019

Collateral warranties – time is of the essence!

Social housing providers should particularly be aware of a recent case in the context of subcontractor and novated consultant warranties in their favour. Zoe Stollard and Priscilla Hall discuss how, without careful drafting, the benefit of a later collateral warranty may expire at the same time as the earlier underlying Building Contract.
November 14, 2019

Homelessness reviews and temporary accommodation

John Murray considers a recent case in which the Court reviewed a London borough's refusal to provide an applicant with temporary accommodation pending an outcome of his s.202 Housing Act 1996 review.
November 14, 2019

The importance of bringing a homelessness appeal in time…

Adrian Davis examines Mr Justice Stewart’s decision in the High Court in which he dismissed an appeal against a county court judge’s refusal to extend time for bringing a homelessness appeal under section 204(2A) of the Housing Act 1996.
November 14, 2019

Housing disrepair, ADR and letters of claim

Elizabeth England examines issues around ADR, the failure to respond to a Letter of Claim and the Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Disrepair claims.
November 08, 2019

Unoccupied properties and immunity from enforcement action

A London borough recently succeeded in an important High Court challenge to the Secretary of State’s approach to immunity from enforcement action. Charles Streeten explains why.
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