In R(Alansi) v Newham LBC, Stuart-Smith J held that, although Ms Alansi had a legitimate expectation that she would remain a priority homeseeker on Newham’s housing register, Newham had not acted unreasonably and in abuse of its power by withdrawing its representation. It is a case which demonstrates (again) just how hard it is to shoehorn a genuine grievance into a successful JR challenge, doubly so in the context of a local authority allocation scheme.
Ms Alansi had decided to accept an offer of PRS accommodation made by Newham under s 193, Housing Act 1996, in circumstances in which Newham had clearly and unambiguously (as Stuart-Smith J found) represented … Read the full post
Although there appears to be a ministerial vacancy for housing policy (https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/minister-of-state–11 h/t to Martin Partington and Jules Birch), quite a lot is happening. There are some interesting goings on about the allocation of social housing. In a consultation paper (responses by 22nd November 2013 to email@example.com), Providing social housing for local people, DCLG are suggesting upping the ante by altering the Code of Guidance. It proposes:
- the new guidance should “strongly encourage” local authorities to include a two year residency qualification;
- other criteria for people who are “strongly associated” with the area (eg family association and employment);
- the need for appropriate exceptions (eg domestic violence);
- and more stuff about
… Read the full post
The headline here, as has been widely tweeted/flashed etc, is that the challenge to the bedroom tax contained in Regulation B13, Housing Benefit Regulations (both generically and specifically in relation to households with a disabled person) was unsuccessful in the Divisional Court, R (MA) Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  EWHC 2213, but the Court came close to granting injunctive relief against the Secretary of State to make regulations bringing Burnip/Gorry into effect, as opposed to relying simply on a Circular. The DWP had argued that they were entitled to rely on guidance by way of Circular “pending a decision on whether and at what point in … Read the full post
The questions raised about how the Coalition were going to implement Cameron’s proposal that private landlords should check the immigration status of their future occupiers have now been answered in part by the Home Office Consultation Paper, Tackling Illegal Immigration in Private Rented Accommodation. The deadline for responses is 21 August. I can only imagine what those responses might say, but my strong suspicion is that the Coalition will have pulled off quite an amazing feat of allying all sectors of the PRS – including advice agencies, local authorities, letting agents, landlord associations, landlords – against the policy. And, the policy is complete madness – I might feel … Read the full post
The Law Commission is currently consulting on what projects it might take on under its next law reform programme. It has a few specific suggestions in relation to landlord and tenant law and is seeking evidence (particularly about how far they have significant practical and economic impact). The suggestions are:
* Concerns about the scope of Authorised Guarantee Agreements under the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995, following the Court of Appeal’s decision in K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser  EWCA Civ 904, in which the court confirmed that a “direct guarantee” was not permitted under the Act.
* Residual problems with the rule that a lease must have a certain
… Read the full post
The entrepreneurialisation of social housing over the last twenty years has led to a diversity in the types of shared ownership. Of course, the standard leasehold type (what in the old days was called DIYSO) predominates, but there are a multitude of other types. In Ker v Optima Community Association  EWCA Civ 579, the Court of Appeal had to deal with one of these other types in Optima’s claim for possession; but in quite odd circumstances for, by the time of the hearing of the appeal, Ms Ker had accepted that the property was unaffordable for her so that she had to give up possession. What was in issue … Read the full post
Chaudhary v Chaudhary (not on bailii yet but on lawtel) is something of a puzzle, which hopefully will be solved when we see the full transcript (hint, hint). It may be important, but it’s a little early to say. The one thing about it that isn’t a puzzle is that it is yet another case in which there is a family breakdown; here the dispute is between a stepmother (it’s simpler to use the abbreviations in the lawtel report: “M”) and stepson (“S”). S bought a property, which was registered in his sole name. His Dad (“F”) and M put £5k towards the purchase. After F’s death, M continued to … Read the full post