Arguably Serious – Aster Communities Ltd v Akerman-Livingstone

Aster Communities Ltd (formerly Flourish homes Ltd) v Akerman-Livingstone [2014] EWCA Civ 1081 (30 July 2014) is an extraordinary decision that will – if allowed to stand – have a significant impact on the day-to-day management of possession claims in the county court.

The Court of Appeal’s finding that Equality Act 2010 cases should, like Article 8 cases, be summarily assessed on the “seriously arguable” test must have come as a shock to those acting in the case. It certainly appears to have come as a shock to the Supreme Court, which granted permission to appeal the very next day.

 

Facts

Mr Akerman-Livingstone had a severe prolonged duress stress … Read the full post

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

Just bonkers, absolutely bonkers

Just what did Sandwell think they were doing?  They set a minimum residence requirement of two years (why two you might ask) for their local council tax reduction scheme and thought that would be acceptable.  They did so on the basis that they were concerned about those nasty southerners taking advantage of their cheaper housing, such that Sandwell would be flooded with people from outside.  They were concerned about the financial impacts if those outsiders were poor and required a council tax reduction.  The empirical basis for that assertion lay, one can only think, in the minds of those who attended the full council meeting on 4th December 2012.  Mind … Read the full post

Trouble out west

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In O’Brien v Bristol CC [2014] EWHC 2423 (Admin) [heard at the RCJ instead of in the Bristol admin court?  Not on Bailii yet but we have seen a transcript], a range of issues arose out of the council’s decision to seek and obtain a possession order of an unauthorised encampment below the M5 at Avonmouth.  The real aim of this judicial review, though, was not the possession order, but the council’s decision not to allow the O’Brien’s and their four caravans to return to the temporary transit site, which had available pitches.  The O’Briens had stayed at that temporary site for the allowable period (13 weeks) and had … Read the full post

‘We told you so’ corner

The DWP has very belatedly issued the interim review of the bedroom tax (under occupation penalty, removal of the spare room subsidy, whatever). The document can be found here, based on a survey for the period to April/Nov 2013.

And the results are… entirely predictable to everyone but the DWP.

Some headlines…

Social landlord rent arrears rose by 16% between April 2013 and November 2013. The report can’t quite bring itself to pin this on the bedroom tax, although noting that this was not a period of the year when arrears have traditionally risen, “it must be emphasised that the cause of this is uncertain and we cannot directly … Read the full post

On the naughty step: The unacceptable face of London landlords

Some of you, those in London at least, might have noticed Boris Johnson announce a new, and completely voluntary, no compulsion here, landlord accreditation scheme. The idea being that tenants, desperate to find somewhere in the middle of the worst accommodation shortage in London for many, many years, will choose to avoid a ‘non-Boris’ landlord. This is of dubious worth, but no matter, what concerns us here is what followed that announcement. Bear with me, because it is worth it in the end.

At the next London Assembly Questions to Boris session, Andrew Dismore, Labour Assembly member for Barnet and Camden (oh yes, Barnet), wanted to ask Boris … Read the full post

The UKIP-ification of law

Or, why Nigel Farrage doesn’t need to worry about that house-load of Romanians moving next door to him once the Immigration Act 2014 comes into force.

The Immigration Act 2014 received Royal Assent on May 14, 2014 and, as is obviously the case for an immigration act, it contains significant new developments in housing law in Pt.3, Ch.1 (“Access to Services Etc / Residental Tenancies”). The developments are odious and badly thought out, as I’ll try and explain.

Disqualified potential occupiers

Section 21 introduces the concept of the person who is, by virtue of his immigration status, “disqualified” from “occupying premises under a residential tenancy.” A “residential tenancy” is any … Read the full post

Tweets from rented rooms

A series of tweets gathered under the hashtag #LDNlandlord today (Thursday 15 May) offered an insight (if one were needed) into the state of the London private rental market. For the housing lawyer, it was also a opportunity to play claim/offence bingo.

So, under disrepair…

Read the full post