Reasons, reasons, reasons

This slipped under my radar, but thanks to @RichGreenhill on twitter for pointing to Section 7 of The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, in force as of 6 August 2014.

Section 7 provides:

7. (1) The decision-making officer must produce a written record of any decision which falls within paragraph (2).

(2) A decision falls within this paragraph if it would otherwise have been taken by the relevant local government body, or a committee, sub-committee of that body or a joint committee in which that body participates, but it has been delegated to an officer of that body either—

(a) under a specific express authorisation; or

(b)

Read the full post

DHP not enough to remedy?

We’ve received an interesting First Tier Tribunal (so not binding) appeal decision from Wakefield, thanks to Kirklees Law Centre. A copy of the statement of reasons is here (not anonymised as the appellants consented to it being used largely unredacted).

Mr G was the tenant, occupying a two bedroom property with his wife, Mrs G. Mrs G has severe disabilities following a fracture to her back and the couple had been moved to the property, a bungalow, to which substantial adaptations had been carried out by the local authority landlord. Asa result of Mrs G’s disabilities, Mr G was not able to share the bedroom and there was no space … Read the full post

Help me make it through the night

We have the first (to the best of my knowledge) Upper Tribunal decision on a bedroom tax appeal, and therefore one binding on First Tier Tribunals. While it is not on one of the large scale issues, such as room size, it is nonetheless potentially important for a number of tenants and offers a view of the Upper Tribunal approach to the Regulations.

SD v Eastleigh Borough Council (HB) (Housing and council tax benefits : other) [2014] UKUT 325 (AAC)

The issue here was whether the appellant met the requirements for an additional bedroom for an overnight carer under Reg B13(6)(a).

The property is a three bed house. The appellant … Read the full post

Bedroom tax ‘lead case’ in Upper Tribunal?

Some bits on the bedroom tax and room size

First, a new FTT decision from Rochdale (Reasons here ). A room of 64 square feet was too small for a lodger and had not been used as a bedroom since the appellant’s son moved out in 2010. The room was instead used to store the appellant’s belongings, which she could not reasonably store in the loft due to her medical conditions. Also cites Bolton MBC v BF – the UT definition of a bedroom case – to find the room was not a bedroom because not used as such.

Secondly, (and thanks Joe) I have been sent a copy … Read the full post

Extremely loud and incredibly close

This is about loud and disturbing noises.

I was going to write up Coventry & Ors v Lawrence & Anor [2014] UKSC 13 when it came out in February, given that it made some significant changes to common law nuisance claims. But it was 249 paragraphs and some 68 page long, so though I read it, it went on the ‘to do sometime’ pile. Then along came Coventry & Ors v Lawrence & Anor (No 2) [2014] UKSC 46 on 23 July. And, while that ostensibly dealt with a point on a landlord’s liability in nuisance, it also contained some hugely explosive decisions on costs.

So, this post will be … Read the full post

More on post possession order disrepair counterclaims

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This is an issue we’ve looked at before, bringing a disrepair counterclaim after a possession order has been made. Now the Birmingham County Court has dealt with the issue on an appeal from the decision of a District Judge.

Midland Heart Ltd v Idawah [2014] EW Misc B48 (11 July 2014)

In this case, a possession order had been made in November 2002 (apparenly an SPO). There had subsequently been some seven stays of warrant on terms, in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2012. In February 2014, the Defendant made an application for a further stay of warrant and permission to bring a counterclaim for disrepair, supported by an … Read the full post

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Brixton Advice Centre

Who We Are:

Brixton Advice Centre provides free, independent legal advice in debt and housing matters to the residents of Lambeth and the surrounding boroughs. Particularly we deal with people facing unmanageable debt, eviction, homelessness, possession proceedings or serious disrepair. We also provide generalist, one-off advice and support in welfare benefits, debt and family issues.

We are partly-funded by the Local Authority and various other charitable projects and we have a Legal Aid contract and Specialist Quality Mark for housing matters. We also have outreach projects at Brixton Prison and at Brixton and Vauxhall Foodbanks.

We are open to the public Monday-Thursday 10am – 4pm and offer … Read the full post

The point of having policies….

A post on a County Court case, one well worth looking at for the application of public law principles, the Equality Act and reasonableness. I’m working from a note of judgment, so any quotes should be taken as being from a note, rather than a transcript.

Peabody Trust v Steven Evison (By his litigation friend) Wandsworth County Court 17 July 2014.

Mr E was the assured tenant of Peabody. He had been since after 2000 (date not clear from the note), but had lived in the property since 1981, when his father took the tenancy from Peabody, so had lived there for 33 years.

In 2012, Mr E’s rent account … Read the full post