Spencer v Taylor- Some Analysis

We have already reported briefly on the Supreme Court decision to refuse permission to appeal to the tenant in the case of a Spencer v Taylor on the grounds that no new points of law were raised.

As the solicitor acting for the landlord in the Supreme Court I have had the chance to see rather more of the papers and so a more detailed discussion of some of the points that came out of this would be interesting.

Some Background
The original section 21(4)(a) notice served by the landlord’s original solicitors contained a date that was incorrect. The notice also contained a saving provision of the type approved in … Read the full post

The UT Repays Again

Fallon v Wilson & Ors [2014] UKUT 0300 (LC)

The Upper Tribunal has again found itself considering the issue of Rent Repayment Orders and has provided some further enlightenment on its position after the case of Parker v Waller (which we wrote about here).

Mr Fallon had been convicted of operating a property without an HMO licence and fined a, very modest, £585 with assorted costs and a contribution to the victims fund. Three of his five occupiers then made separate applications to the FTT(PC) (or “futpuc” if you prefer NL’s pronunciation) for RROs and the FTT then made an award to each applicant for 100% of the … Read the full post

Early Compliance

Tummond, R (on the application of) v Reading County Court & Anor [2014] EWHC 1039 (Admin)

This is a slightly surprising case involving a judicial review of refusal of permission to appeal.

T was an Assured Shorthold Tenant of a property. His tenancy began on 18 December 2012 and was for 6 months. He paid a deposit as is common. The deposit protection certificate stated that the tenancy began on 20 December and that the deposit was paid on 22 December. The report does not comment on this inconsistency so we can only assume the court considered the date discrepancies to be irrelevant. The deposit was actually protected on … Read the full post

When is a storey not a storey?

The answer appears to be when it is only for access!

Bristol City Council v Digs (Bristol) Ltd [2014] EWHC 869 (Admin)

We first reported on this case briefly as a decision of the Bristol Magistrates Court. It has now been appealed by way of case stated and so the High Court has produced a definitive view.

The facts, briefly, were that Digs owns a series of properties in Bristol which are predominantly let to students. This property is a five storey property which is divided into two two storey maisonettes. The fifth storey is the basement which is not used and forms now part of this case. The case … Read the full post

The Permissive Notice

Spencer v Taylor [2013] EWCA Civ 1600

This case was flagged recently on the Arden Chambers eflash service. This flash gave some bare bones details and led to much debate on the internal NL email discussion list. However, we now have the vital transcript and so we can give a proper report.

[Update 11/12/13 - Judgment now on Bailii ]

[Update 1/3/13 - There is a mistake in the transcript as regards the day of the notice. This post has been corrected.]

S granted an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under the terms of the Housing Act 1988 to T on 6 February 2006, a Monday. It was for a fixed … Read the full post

Partial Regulation Partially Begins

We have previously commented (fairly negatively!) on the plans to introduce compulsory membership of redress schemes for lettings and property management agency work which appeared at the last minute in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.

Slightly surprisingly (actually it isn’t, that was a rhetorical device) the government has, instead of producing the consultation that was promised on this issue, produced a draft Statutory Instrument which sets out the requirements for any organisation that is seeking approval as a redress scheme provider.

There is not a huge amount of useful information in the draft SI, unless you are considering applying to be a redress scheme of course! There … Read the full post

Half a Storey is no Storey at All*

News has reached us from RH Environmental of a case in Bristol Magistrates on HMO licensing and the counting of storeys. Unfortunately it is not binding but it is nonetheless interesting.

The case involves the licensing status of a two storey maisonette on the first and second floor of a property. There was accordingly (as tenants don’t fly) a separate private entrance and staircase leading from ground to first floor. Both sides agreed it was an HMO. The dispute was over whether it was a two or three storey HMO, three storey HMOs being subject to mandatory licensing. The report is limited but I am guessing the issue was actually … Read the full post

Do you have a Right to Rent?

The Government has today published the Immigration Bill in the Commons. We have previously commented on this planned bill and we had been hoping that it might be quietly shelved or downgraded. However that appears not to be the case. From our point of view we are only interested in the housing related provisions in Chapter 1 of Part 3 (which start here) and I am not going to discuss the rest of the Bill.

Chapter 1 of Part is, as most of you will know, concerned with ensuring that private landlords have to do the Home Office’s job for them. Sorry what I meant to say there … Read the full post