Deckchairs/Titanic: New Allocations Code

The new allocation code of guidance was published by DCLG today – it had been trailed a little and the smiling face of Grant Shapps appears in a Murdoch rag today (he tweeted the story this morning).  There are some interesting snippets in it but, in truth, without detailed micro-examination in a specific case/local authority, there is little to go on here – after all, that’s localism for you.  One of my favourite bits is the ministerial foreword which explains what Shapps has done for social housing as opposed to those nasty New Labour types (without mention of the potential effect of welfare reform, RTB, etc). There is a sense … Read the full post

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We only … Read the full post

The Cold Renormalisation

Liverpool City Council v Kassim [2011] UKUT 169 (LC)

A thank you to the EHP who brought our attention to this case. The full decision is also available as a pdf at the end of their post until the Lands Tribunal catches up.

Mr Kassim owns a rented flat. It was inspected by Liverpool who found a category 1 hazard under the HHSRS relating to excess cold. They issues a prohibition notice preventing use of the property until such time as K had installed a “fixed, permanent, whole flat heating system. This system must be programmable and capable of being controlled by the occupants, efficient and affordable to run” (emphasis … Read the full post

The Only Way in Essex

[amended on 4/7/12]

This is a note of a homelessness appeal which was heard on 9/3/2012 by HHJ Worster in Birmingham County Court. The case was run by the Community Law Partnership and by counsel, James Stark, who kindly provided a transcript of the judgement.

Essex v Birmingham CC  concerns the exercise of a court’s power to vary a finding of intentional homelessness in a s.202 review decision. Mr E was the assured tenant of a property let by Midland Heart and he was admitted to hospital in October 2010 having suffered an abscess in his foot, which prevented him from signing-on at the Jobcentre, with the result that his … Read the full post

The Norwegian Blue

Lindheim and others v Norway 13221/08 & 2139/10 is a case about leasehold enfranchisement, Norwegian style. I wanted to cover it because it might have some relevance to domestic enfranchisement law* and because there are references to a proportionality analysis in an A1/P1 case.

So, there are several hundred thousand leaseholders in Norway. It seems that, from the 1950′s onwards, people started to buy leases of between 40 and 99 years of properties. In the ordinary course of events, as those expired, you’d need to negotiate a new lease. In 1975, a statutory right to extend the lease was created and, as amended in 1996 and 2004, the position was … Read the full post

Introductory tenancies and s129 reviews – no conditions please

London Borough of Camden v Stafford [2012] EWCA Civ 839

This case revolves around the question of whether a review under s129 Housing Act 1996 does or doesn’t uphold the original decision to serve a notice. In particular, when the decision may state that the service of the notice is upheld but then sets out conditions as to the circumstances in which the LL (LA or PRP) will not issue the possession proceedings.  This seems to be a common occurrence. The trouble comes, as in this case, when the LL then decides that those conditions are not being or have not been met and issues the possession proceedings anyway. The … Read the full post

Double plus ungood

The lovely, smiling Grant Shapps, Housing Minister, who clearly in no way whatsoever wants to distract attention from the recent kerfuffle over his alleged misleading of Parliament through dodgy use of statistics (hereafter Shapptistics), has announced the Government’s support for a private member’s Bill.

The purpose of this Bill? Why, it is to criminalise sub-letting of social housing!

Mr Harrington’s Bill would:

create a new criminal offence of subletting; and
allow for proceeds of subletting to be reimbursed to the social landlord in whose stock the fraud was committed

Nobody here would disagree that sub-letting of social housing is a significant problem, and one that needs to be addressed … Read the full post

Judicial review of a closed minded appeal

Sharing, R (on the application of) v Preston County Court [2012] EWHC 515 (Admin)
[Updated 20 June 2012 to make clear this was a permission to appeal decision, not an appeal hearing]

This is by any measure an unusual case. It is a judicial review of the conduct of an application for permissiono to appeal to a circuit judge in an unlawful eviction and harassment claim. What is more, it is a successful claim for judicial review (sorry to spoil the tension).

Ms Sharing was a tenant of a Mr Tomlinson. She had brought a claim for unlawful eviction, breach of quiet enjoyment and harassment. He counterclaimed for rent owing. … Read the full post