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

Register your s.13 notices

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The title of this post lacks much creative input, but sometimes it’s better to be clear than amusing. The recent decision in Regent Wealth Ltd and others v Wiggins [2014] EWCA Civ 1078 is a clear reminder to practitioners to register notices under s.13, Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.

An introduction to enfranchisement

In general terms, long leaseholders of flats are, if there are sufficient of them in agreement, entitled to acquire the freehold of the building containing their flats. They have to appoint a “nominee purchaser” who will carry out the enfranchisement process (normally, but not necessarily, a company that the participating tenants all have … 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

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

Trouble out west

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 been … Read the full post

Mortgage possession defences

I can distinctly remember my university lectures on mortgages. Not the content – I don’t think I ever really understood that – but the “gap” that existed (and still exists) between the popular understanding of what a mortgage is and what, in law, it amounts to. In particular, I remember being amazed that a mortgage was, in effect, a right to immediate possession of the property, regardless of whether there was any default on the part of the borrower (the right to possession arises “before the ink is dry” as it was put in various cases).

That unqualified* right to possession has come to the fore again in Thakker v 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).

Background
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

In the garden of Eden

Lawtel had an interesting note on a permission to appeal case earlier this week – Mount Eden Land Ltd v Bolsover Investments Ltd (Ch.D, 20.6.14).

Mount Eden Land Ltd (also known as the Langham Estate) had the freehold of an office block. Bolsover Investments Ltd had the remainder of a 999 year lease (running from 1913, so, in practice, loads of time remaining). The lease did not prohibit residential use, but did contain a covenant against alterations without the consent of the landlord. By virtue of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 (s.19), that consent could not be unreasonably withheld.

Bolsover applied for consent to convert the building into 16 … Read the full post