End times.

I have been told that there must be an end of year round up for the blog. But, before I get to the figures, here is a soundtrack.

NL, it has to be said, seems to be prospering in bad times (not that we make any money from it, not at all. The reverse in fact.)

We saw 421,563 visits in 2013, up nearly some 90,000 from 334,831 in 2012, and that was an average of 1,156 visits per day. Total visits since the blog began are just over 2 million. We posted 182 entries over the year (not including this one), being pretty much a post every two … Read the full post

There must be some way out of here.

‘Withdrawal’ of proceedings – we’ve been here before, with Spicer v Tuli, but this time, the purported withdrawal was in an appeal of an improvement notice to the Residential Property Tribunal. The appeal to the Upper Tribunal arose out of that.

Simon v Denbighshire CC [2010] UKUT 488 (LC)

Denbighshire had decided that a category 1 hazard existed in an HMO owned by Mr Simon, of excess cold. The Council served an improvement notice, requiring

the provision of insulating materials, the installation of double or secondary glazing, and the fitting of thermostatic radiator valves and electrical heating appliances in each of the bedsits.

Mr Simon appealed to the RPT … Read the full post

Paying the cost.

Watson v Simpson Croydon County Court 4 October 2012

Not a stunningly important appeal to a Circuit Judge, this one, but a useful case to be able to wave around on costs.

Ms Simpson was a private AST tenant of Mr Watson, whose tenancy had become a statutory periodic one. Mr Watson apparently wanted her out. He served what was described as notice to quit, then began possession proceedings. He did not serve any s.21 Notice (of any sort, vide Spencer v Taylor). The Particulars of Claim were on form N119. There were no particulars of any rent arrears, or other breach, nor was there a claim for use … Read the full post

Late to the party

MacGregor v B M Samuels Finance Group Ltd [2013] UKUT 471 (LC) was, I’m afraid, handed down over two months ago. Such is the state of the NL backlog that I’m only getting to it now. Sorry about that. As those of you who could not wait must have already realised, there has already been some excellent commentary on the case from Amanda Gourlay, here.

The case concerned some disputed service charges for electricity and insurance costs. The appellant held two flats in a 44 flat development in two blocks; the respondent was a mortgagee in possession (itself rather unusual). The case proceeded as a re-hearing (again, rather … Read the full post

Benefit cap JR

I’ve been really slow to write this up, for which many apologies, but I have just got bogged down in other things.  The benefit cap JR got lost amongst that other stuff partly because it was almost predictable after MA that the Divisional Court would find a way to uphold it.

Actually, though, having read it again the other day for a different reason, the benefit cap challenge – R(JS) v SSWP [2013] EWHC 3350 (QB) – was very clever (CPAG and Shelter were joined as interveners – CPAG’s arguments can be found here) and the appeal is to be heard pretty soon, having been expedited by Richards LJ.  … Read the full post

Repair liability and implied lease clauses.

This one has been sitting in my draft collection for a while, but, as Christmas fades towards the new year, it finally got done. For the leaseholders in this particular appeal, it was, however, distinctly short of glad tidings.

Gavin & Anor v Community Housing Association Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 580

What kind of liability might there be where a leasehold property is damaged by defects in parts retained by the landlord, but where there is no express repairing covenant by the landlord? This case took a rather unusual route in exploring the issue.

The Claimant, Ms F was the leaseholder of two adjoining commercial premises, Community Housing Association being … Read the full post

Failed claim for adverse possession

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a post on adverse possession so here is Smart v London Borough of Lambeth [2013] EWCA Civ 1375……..(*struggles to find Christmas link*).

An oddity in this case is that Mr Smart, who was claiming adverse possession against Lambeth, had previously made a right to buy (RTB) application to them in November 1993 on the basis that he was a secure tenant: this application was subsequently discontinued.

Unsurprisingly, his RTB application meant that his claim for adverse possession could only succeed if he were able to establish 12 years adverse possession prior to his application.

The case provides a useful summary of the case law on … Read the full post

“Mere likelihood” not enough to engage section 149

Swan v Gill [2013] EWCA Civ 1566 apparently attracted quite a bit of attention at the HLPA conference this year, the  general consensus being that the Court of Appeal was wrong in its approach to s.149 Equality Act 2010 and I’m inclined to agree.

Mr Gill, an assured tenant, had taken over the communal areas and gardens next to his property, putting up a greenhouse, gazebo etc.  In June 2011, in an attempt to stop this, the association applied for an anti-social behaviour injunction (ASBI) against him under ss.153A and 153D Housing Act 1996.  The application took two years to come on for trial (a decision to refuse to adjourn … Read the full post