I was one half of a seminar at Garden Court Chambers on Thursday last week on the bedroom tax for housing advisors. The excellent Liz Davies of Garden Court tackled the Court of Appeal decisions in MA & Ors and the benefit cap judgment in SG & Ors, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & Ors  EWCA Civ 156. Then I tried to cover the 1996 exemption and what was happening in the First Tier Tribunals and Upper Tribunal.
As an overview of what has happened and where we are on the bedroom tax in the tribunals, I thought the notes might … Read the full post
A couple of bits and pieces.
The DWP has issued a circular in the wake of the Court of Appeal judgment in MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  EWCA Civ 13 (Our report coming soon, honest). The Circular, U2/2014, contains what is effectively an admission that it is only the increased DHP funding that is keeping the bedroom tax from being unjustified discrimination:
The Court of Appeal also noted that the DHP scheme was different from the one considered by the Court in Burnip as the fund had been increased, the guidance had been altered and the Secretary of
… Read the full post
Associated Electrical Industries Ltd v Alstom UK  EWHC 430 is the latest case to be handed down in the post Jackson/Mitchell dystopian legal world (see here, here and here for our other notes).
Andrew Smith J (who you may remember was one of the unlucky judges to be criticised by the Master of the Rolls in Mitchell for being too lenient) was required to consider whether to grant AEI retrospective permission to file its particulars of claim out of time.
AEI had brought a claim against Alstom. It was issued on 20 September 2013. They did not file their particulars of claim with the claim form. As such, … Read the full post
Pelipenko v Russia 16/1/14
We reported the ECtHR’s decision on the merits here. There now follows the Chamber’s decision on the claim for just satisfaction. The Applicants’ claim for the breaches of Art 6 and Art 8 broke down into 4 parts: 1. the purchase costs of a new flat (150K Euros); 2. the costs of maintenance and repair of their former accommodation (17K Euros); 3. temporary accommodation costs following eviction (3K Euros); 4. loss of belongings and ancillary costs (20K Euros); 5. non-pecuniary losses (170K Euros).
The Court noted that this was unlike other cases where the State had thwarted claims against private parties and where it was … Read the full post
We have been asked to circulate the following. Given the difficulty people face in accessing housing advice and representation in this area, we are very happy to do so.
This is for anyone who lives or works in the borough of Lewisham.
You will know that the Law Centre closed down some time ago. There is presently substantial unmet need for free legal services in the borough. I’m presently volunteering at a once a month informal advice clinic with some follow up work, mostly referrals to organisations who might be able to provide advice and assistance, especially in areas of law other than housing. My experience from this clinic clearly … Read the full post
Mary Ward Legal Centre
Seeks a full-time Housing Solicitor to undertake a wide range of casework including defending possession proceedings, disrepair actions and homelessness appeals.
You will have a minimum of two years experience of housing law casework and representation and experience of working under a Legal Aid Contract. You must have an ability to manage a substantial caseload and achieve billing targets.
Salary: £31,748 to £37,672 depending on experience
Closing date: 14 March at 1pm.
Interviews to be held w/c 17 March
Details and application form from
Registered charity number 1024148.… Read the full post
Housing Advice, Support and Guidance Worker – Private Rented Sector
£23,611 per annum pro rata, 22.5 hrs per week
Closing date: 2 March 2014 (midnight)
We’re looking for a forward-thinking Advice, Support and Guidance Worker to help people with problems relating to housing.
Shelter Merseyside offer advice services to people from across Merseyside to people in housing need. Our Homelessness Prevention Team focus on offering people advice and support in finding and retaining accommodation, we also provide a guided self-help service via our Information & Resource Centre.
Benefits include 30 days annual leave, the possibility of flexible working and significant opportunities for learning and development.
Your key responsibilities:… Read the full post
I was reading the report from the Senior President of Tribunals (here) and came across some interesting little bits:
(a) The President of the Lands Chamber in his report notes that he now has a power to make a protective costs order in cases where there is a significant disparity in resources between parties – does anyone know where this power comes from? I confess that I’d not heard of it.
(b) The Lands Chamber is moving buildings in 2014 as well – it’ll have a permanent home in the Royal Courts of Justice.
(c) The President of the FTT(PC) notes that her Tribunal received 10,311 “residential property” … Read the full post
A new First Tier Tribunal bedroom tax appeal decision from Liverpool, again a successful one, and this time on wholly new grounds. The decision statement is here (and also on the FTT decisions page)
The Applicant was separated from his partner in 2006, when their daughter was seven. He then lived in a one bed flat for two years before securing his current two bed property. Relations were amicable and a usual pattern of shared parenting was established with the daughter staying with the applicant and sleep at the property at weekends and over school holidays. This was the applicant’s primary purpose in seeking a two bed flat originally, … Read the full post
This sounds like a rather odd case, noted on the Garden Court bulletin. It is a refusal to grant permission for Judicial Review of a Council’s refusal to carry out a review of the method it had decided upon to discharge its full housing duty.
Still with me? Right.
R (Miah) v Tower Hamlets LBC  EWHC 4434 (Admin) [note on the Garden Court bulletin]
Ms M applied as homeless to Tower Hamlets. She had the beneficial interest in a property (not the legal title) and the property was tenanted. TH’s initial decision, that she was not homeless because she had the house, was eventually quashed in a s.204 … Read the full post