Court of appeal to decide what is a protected caravan site

In Brightlingsea Haven v Morris [2008] EWHC 1928 (QB), the High Court considered whether Haven Village in Brightlingsea was a “protected site” within the meaning of the Caravan Sites Act 1968.

This is an important question because the Mobile Homes Act 1983 grants a degree of security of tenure to residential occupiers of mobile homes who are entitled to station their homes on a protected site.

Have Village was operated by licence under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 which licence required that the mobile homes be occupied only between 1st March and 30 November, at weekends and for 10 days over Christmas.

The court found … Read the full post

Remedying immoral use

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Patel v K&J Restaurants [2010] EWCA Civ 1211 deals with a number of interesting questions concerning relief from forfeiture. Although the lease in question (of a restaurant and residential flats) fell within the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, the case has wider implications for anyone dealing with relief from forfeiture, particularly where there has been immoral use of the premises.

Patel were the landlords and K&J the tenants. K&J were in breach of their lease in two ways. First a sub-tenant of one of the flats had been using the flat for prostitution — the type example of “immoral user” see Rugby School (Governors) v Tannahill [1935] 1 … Read the full post

If you’ve got a spare 30 mins

The Lord Chancellor, the Rt Hon. Ken Clarke QC MP gave a surprisingly frank interview to Law in Action this week. It’s available on the BBC iplayer, here, for the moment and is very much worth 30 mins of your time. The questions on legal aid and, in particular, housing and legal aid are rather short on specifics, but it’s clear that the direction of travel is to remove more areas of law from the scope of legal aid (family law in particular) and to alter the eligibility thresholds.… Read the full post

Parish notices

Our friends at the LAPG have reminded us that the All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid meets on Wednesday 24 November in Committee Room 14 of the House of Commons between 2 and 4 pm. The speaker will be Jonathan Djangoly MP, Minister for Courts and Legal Aid. It is anticipated that the MoJ consultation paper on the legal aid budget will have been published by then.

All welcome, although I understand from having attended these things before that preference is given to MPs and Peers and once the room is full, no-one else can get in.… Read the full post

Equality Act 2010

I’m going to level with you, dear reader(s), I’m a bit late with this one. In my defence, I point to the fact that the Act as printed is around 250 pages long, consisting of 218 sections and 28 schedules. The explanatory notes run to over 160 pages. There is then a further 650 pages in the associated codes of practice, as well as some non-statutory guidance. While this may not be the weightiest piece of legislation ever, it certainly is something of a Behemoth. Anyway, it’s not as if we hadn’t warned you that it was coming.

Large parts of it are now in force. While it is inevitably … Read the full post

Two More Housing Act 2004 Appeals Reach the Lands Tribunal

Relatively few appeals to the RPT reach the Lands Tribunal. However decisions in two have recently been published on their website.

Hanley v Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council is an appeal against the service of a Prohibition Order. These Orders are made under the HHSRS, in Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, and prohibit the use of a property, or part of it, by all persons or a specified group as a result of serious hazards assessed under the Act.
In March 2009 such an order was made by T against H as a result of water ingress in a house he was letting to 4 people. The making of … Read the full post

Pathway plans and duties

In R(A) v Lambeth LBC [2010] EWHC 1652 (Admin) (Claim 1) and [2010] EWHC 2439 (Admin) (Claim 2), Kenneth Parker J considered first whether it was proper for a personal advisor to complete a ChIldren Act 1989 pathway plan, and, secondly, the degree of specificity required in such a plan.  A had a troubled upbringing, having been involved in gang warfare, which lead to him giving evidence against somebody who tried to kill him, leaving him at risk in certain areas of London.  He had been a looked after child and these claims concerned the attempts by Lambeth at getting a pathway plan right, attempts at which they singularly failed.  … Read the full post

Allocations: Overwriting the effective date

One of the key things that choice-based lettings is designed to achieve is openness and transparency in housing allocation (or lettings, if you prefer).  It does so mostly by using a relatively crude mechanism of determining priorities in and between bands/groups/classes: waiting time.  In the early schemes, waiting time could be nobbled by adding periods in cases of urgent need through the use of priority cards etc, but this failed the transparency test (see the 2008 CoG).

In R(Kabashi) v LB Redbridge [2009] EWHC 2984 (Admin) (but only just arrived on Baili, honest), Redbridge got away with (and that’s the best way of putting it as far as I’m concerned) … Read the full post