Implementing a compulsory purchase order

Simon Bell considers the lessons for local authorities and claimants from a recent High Court challenge to a council's decision to execute a general vesting declaration. Read more
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Jul 22, 2021

High Court criticises Magistrates Court for failure to state a case in closure order dispute

Leeds District Magistrates Court erred by deeming an application frivolous and refusing to state a case for the opinion of the High Court, a judge has ruled.
Jul 22, 2021

Select committee calls on Government to pause any further extensions of permitted development rights pending review

The Government should pause any further extensions of permitted development rights (PDRs) for change of use to residential and conduct a review of the role of such PDRs in the wider planning system, MPs have said.
Jul 21, 2021

Cornerstone Barristers bolsters housing and local government teams with arrival of Sarah Salmon

Sarah Salmon, a specialist in local government, housing and property law and chair of the Social Housing Law Association, has joined Cornerstone Barristers.
Jul 20, 2021

Ministry issues revised National Planning Policy Framework, establishes Office for Place

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued a revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework and a new National Design Code.
Jul 20, 2021

Campaign group calls for public register of algorithms used by councils, files complaint with Information Commissioner

Campaign group Big Brother Watch has hit out at councils’ use of algorithms, claiming that most of those it had uncovered were “secretive, unevidenced, incredibly invasive and likely discriminatory”.
Jul 13, 2021

Mayor of London to offer boroughs ‘Right to Buy-back’ funding to boost supply of council homes

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is to offer boroughs funding to purchase homes previously sold through the Right to Buy.
Jul 08, 2021

Judge allows appeal by landlord over failure to apply for licence for house in multiple occupation, criticises handling of sub-tenants case by council

The First Tier Tribunal (FTT) was wrong to ignore a landlord’s claim that she had a reasonable excuse for failing to apply for a licence for a house in multiple occupation (HMO), the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has ruled.
Jul 07, 2021

Volume of laws makes it impossible for local authorities to enforce them, warn private landlords

Private landlords have complained that there will be 168 pieces of legislation governing their relations with tenants once the new Building Safety Bill passes through Parliament.
Jul 07, 2021

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal over granting of possession despite admitted failure to undertake public sector equality duty assessment

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal a Court of Appeal ruling that meant a housing association could take possession of a property despite the social landlord not undertaking an assessment under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) before issuing the claim for possession, it has emerged.
Jul 07, 2021

Housing Ombudsman issues guidance for board members and councillors on their role in complaints handling

The Housing Ombudsman has issued new guidance on the effective involvement of board members and councillors in the promotion of a positive complaints culture within their organisations.


July 22, 2021

How to ensure better protection for tenants around the country

Shona Ali looks at worrying recent trends in relation to illegal evictions and sets out what local authorities can do to combat the problem.
July 20, 2021

Housing Ombudsman Podcast: Relaxing the rules and returning to the New Normal

In the first episode of the Housing Ombudsman's new podcast, Richard Blakeway, Verity Richards and David Simmons discuss the complaints they have seen that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
July 15, 2021

The housing possessions backlog and Nightingale Courts: a simple solution?

Natalie Foster explores the potential role of ‘Nightingale Courts’ and extended operating hours in unclogging the housing possessions backlog – and ensuring that the wheels of justice keep turning.
July 08, 2021

Introduction of the Building Safety Bill

Lorna Kenyon offers some initial thoughts on the scope of the Building Safety Bill.
July 08, 2021

The New Model for Shared Ownership Lease: a decade of repair costs for landlords

Mark Foxcroft looks at the impact on registered providers of the 10-year repair-free period under the Shared Ownership model.
July 07, 2021

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021: What does it mean for social housing providers?

The Domestic Abuse Act (“DAA”) received royal assent on 29 April 2021 following a much-delayed journey through Parliament. The Act will have important ramifications for social housing providers – including changes for homelessness under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 which came into effect on 5 July 2021. Tara O’Leary provides a summary of what to expect.
July 07, 2021

Electronic execution: how to save time and money sealing your property documents

A new era of paperless property deals is upon us following the Land Registry’s landmark decision in July 2020 to accept e-signed documents for registration, writes Sandy Munroe.
July 07, 2021

Housing case law update - June 2021

Daniel Skinner, Sarah Christy and Laura Waby round up the latest judgments of interest to housing associations and local authorities.

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Jul 06, 2021

High Court to hold case management conference for claims arising out of Grenfell fire

A case management conference will be held tomorrow for the High Court claims being brought by victims of the Grenfell fire.
Jul 05, 2021

Social housing provider to appoint solicitors to £8m framework supporting development directorate

A leading social housing provider is to appoint solicitors to an £8m framework supporting its development directorate.
Jul 01, 2021

Winkworth Sherwood advises on £70m private placement for London housing association

Law firm Winkworth Sherwood has advised Prudential Trustee Company Limited on a £70m Private Placement due in 2043 and 2051 by social housing provider Local Space.
Jun 30, 2021

Housing Ombudsman reaches 350 decisions on complaints against landlords in first three months

The Housing Ombudsman has published details of more than 350 individual decisions to its online casebook on complaints made against landlords since the database's conception in March this year.
Jun 28, 2021

Campaigners expected to drop judicial review bid against Welsh council’s second home premium

A campaign in Wales to fund a judicial review into Gwynedd Council's decision to double the council tax charge on holiday homes appears to have been dropped, according to a report from the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Jun 24, 2021

ACS eyes expansion after record financial year, pays staff 5% bonus

Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) has said it plans to accelerate recruitment after posting record annual turnover of £22.3m for its 2020/21 financial year, with profits also rising 15% to £5.38m.
Jun 24, 2021

Housing Ombudsman sees surge in enquiries and complaints

The Housing Ombudsman saw a 73% increase in the number of enquiries and complaints received in January to March 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2020.
Jun 17, 2021

Social landlord secures £145k unlawful profit order over subletting

Law firm Capsticks has successfully taken action for social landlord Riverside Housing over a tenancy fraud.
Jun 09, 2021

Housing specialists named partners in latest promotions round at Forbes Solicitors

Two housing management specialists are among five new partners at Forbes Solicitors.
Jun 08, 2021

Contempt of court proceedings against sisters who lied to obtain social housing ended after public apologies

Two Huddersfield sisters who made false claims to secure social housing have admitted lying to Kirklees Council and to the Court.
Jun 08, 2021

Bevan Brittan advises Peabody on corporate acquisition of owner of 44-acre site in Dagenham as part of plans for 3,100-home scheme

A multi-disciplinary team at Bevan Brittan has advised social landlord Peabody on the acquisition of Dagenham Dock, the owner of the site of the former Ford Stamping Works in Dagenham.
Jun 08, 2021

Cabinet at London borough to consider proposals for £7.88m in repayments to tenants to address water overcharging

The Mayor and Cabinet at Lewisham Council will be asked this week to approval proposals to make refunds to current and former tenants it unknowingly overcharged in respect of water rates due.
Jun 04, 2021

Largest social housing group in the UK fires gun on procurement of £40m legal services panel

The largest social housing group in the UK, Clarion Housing Group, has published a tender notice for a legal services panel worth an estimated £40m over the period of 10 years.
May 31, 2021

Councils and housing associations call for safety net as ban on bailiff-enforced evictions ends

The Local Government Association (LGA) has set out a six-point plan to protect vulnerable households who could lose their homes following the ending of the ban on bailiff evictions on May 31.
May 31, 2021

Medway issues VEAT notice for procurement of law firm to advise on Housing Infrastructure Fund and Grant Determination Agreements

Medway Council has issued a voluntary ex ante transparency notice (VEAT) over its procurement of law firm Pinsent Masons to a £700,000-£900,000 contract to provide legal advice in relation to the Housing Infrastructure Fund and Grant Determination Agreements (GDA).
May 26, 2021

High Court upholds use of past residence rule to disqualify housing applicants

The London Borough of Lewisham’s requirement for a local connection in its housing allocation policy is lawful, the High Court has ruled.
May 26, 2021

City council threatened with legal action over plans to extend HMO licensing scheme

Local landlords have threatened legal action over City of York Council’s proposals for an extended licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMO).
May 19, 2021

High Court judge quashes grant of planning permission for 110-unit scheme

The High Court has ruled that a conservation officer’s advice should not have been withheld from the London Borough of Lewisham’s planning committee when it approved the redevelopment of part of the Sydenham Hill estate.
May 19, 2021

Inspector rejects development in part over impact on Welsh language in community

A housing development has been rejected by a planning inspector partly because those expected to buy the homes would be unlikely to speak Welsh.
May 18, 2021

Council secures “first of its kind” High Court injunction against residents to stop them living in unsafe house in multiple occupation

Thurrock Council has been granted an interim injunction by the High Court to prevent two residents living in an unsafe House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
May 18, 2021

Housing Ombudsman urges social landlords to address individual circumstances of residents when dealing with cladding complaints

The Housing Ombudsman has called on social landlords to do more to address residents’ individual circumstances in cladding complaints.
May 14, 2021

Supreme Court upholds ruling that appeal over neighbourhood plan brought out of time

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed an appeal over a ruling that a landowner’s challenge to the making of a neighbourhood plan was brought out of time.
May 13, 2021

Social landlord fails in Court of Appeal battle over dispensation of service charge consultation requirements

Social landlord Aster Communities has lost a Court of Appeal case brought over the dispensation of leaseholder consultation requirements in relation to service charges.
May 13, 2021

Populations estimates used for planning assumptions in parts of Midlands based on error, says statistics regulator

There has been an error in population estimates for parts of the Midlands on which planning assumptions have been based, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) has said.
May 12, 2021

Councils express concern at potential rise in homeless households as Government confirms ban on bailiff-enforced evictions to end on 31 May

The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions will end on 31 May, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed.


July 07, 2021

Good news for landlords! No requirement to provide EPC for pre-2015 tenancies

Michael Grant discusses a recent decision by the Court of Appeal on whether a section 21 notice served by landlords on a tenant was invalid because no energy performance certificate ("EPC") had been served on the tenant prior to the service of the notice.
July 01, 2021

Can mediation solve the housing possessions backlog?

The freeze on possession hearings is finally starting to thaw – but how will the courts cope with the huge backlog of cases? Will mediation, online hearings, or a dedicated housing tribunal make a difference? In the first of a series of articles from 42BR Housing, looking at the potential solutions, Catherine Urquhart analyses the mediation pilot scheme.
June 18, 2021

No preference is a reasonable preference - R (Mallon Montero) v London Borough of Lewisham

A High Court judge has upheld the disqualification of housing applicants owed the reasonable preference duty on the basis of lack of local residence. Matt Hutchings QC analyses the ruling.
June 17, 2021

Possession - anti-social behaviour, nuisance and crime

This Local Government practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the options available to social housing landlords when taking possession proceedings against tenants engaged in anti-social behaviour.
June 10, 2021

Nutrient neutrality, the Solent and new development

The High Court has rejected habitats challenges on nutrient neutrality in the Solent. David Elvin QC explains why.
June 10, 2021

Unlawful eviction and quiet enjoyment

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Laura Tweedy of Hardwicke Chambers explains what unlawful eviction is, how and when it may arise from a civil and criminal perspective, the civil remedies available and potential consequential causes of action, in particular a breach of a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.
June 07, 2021

Service of notices on local authorities: statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990

Mathew McDermott discusses a recent case on the service of notices in prosecutions for statutory nuisance under the 1990 Act.
June 07, 2021

Delegating negotiation of s.106 agreements to officers

Sarah Sackman examines the guidance given by the Court of Appeal on the approach to Members’ delegation to officers to negotiate s.106 Agreements.
June 07, 2021

The Charities Bill – A simplified approach for registered providers

Chimi Shakohoxha and Spencer Vella Sultana examine how proposed changes in the Charities Bill will impact small and large scale land disposals for registered providers.
June 03, 2021

Anti-social behaviour - powers to control behaviour

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Hardwicke Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the powers available under The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
June 03, 2021

Referee or goalkeeper? The Court of Appeal decides

The Court of Appeal recently considered the correct approach to be taken by a Court to the issue of reasonableness when the defence to a claim for service charges has been struck out. Ryan Kohli explains the outcome.
June 02, 2021

Housing case law update - May 2021

Michael Owen, Natalie Hurst and Jatinder Bhamber round up the latest court rulings and Ombudsman decisions of interest to housing associations and local authorities.
May 27, 2021

Housing allocation schemes under the magnifying glass

The significance of a recent High Court housing law case cannot be underestimated – both legally and practically – in bringing to the fore the practical effects of local authority allocation schemes, writes Martin Khoshdel.
May 20, 2021

Dispensation from service charge consultation requirements

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the circumstances in which the First-tier Tribunal may grant a landlord dispensation from the service charge consultation requirements prescribed by s. 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Philip Rainey QC and Robyn Cunningham examine the ruling.
May 20, 2021

Important changes following the introduction of the Fire Safety Act

The Fire Safety Act received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021 and will shortly be on the statute books. Mark London and Michael Wharfe look at what is in store.
May 20, 2021

Housing disrepair for local authority landlords - a practical guide

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note, produced in partnership with Alexander Bastin of Hardwicke Chambers, discusses disrepair claims in relation to social housing, setting out the legal basis for a claim and other the relevant factors that need to be considered.
May 19, 2021

Defending Disrepair Claims

What does a landlord need to know about preparing for, negotiating and - above all - avoiding litigation? Catherine Rowlands and Matthew Feldman discuss.
May 13, 2021

Tax on Development Purchases

V. Charles Ward addresses prospective tax liabilities in relation to a local authority development or investment purchase and how transactions can be structured in ways which minimises those liabilities.
May 05, 2021

Notices and statutory nuisances

A recent High Court ruling shows the need to avoid an overly technical approach to s.82(6) notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, writes Sarah Salmon.
May 05, 2021

Housing case law update - April 2021

Christopher Skinner, Rebecca Asady and Filip Bodnar round up the latest judgments of interest to housing associations and local authorities.