Legal Aid Merits Test

With thanks to James Stark at Garden Court North for alerting me to this. From Monday (27.7.15) there is an important amendment to the Legal Aid merits test in S.I. 2015/1571. In short, “borderline” and “poor” cases are back in scope if it is necessary to prevent a breach of a persons Convention rights or […]

TLATA: The Court’s discretion

In Bagum v Hafiz and Hai [2015] EWCA Civ 801, the Court of Appeal considered, apparently for the first time, the extent of its discretion under section 14, Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (“TLATA”).  The case is a sad and apparently bitter family breakdown case, where the central parties each had a […]

Primary considerations

In Mohamoud v RB Kensington and Chelsea and Saleem v Wandsworth LBC [2015] EWCA Civ 780, the Court of Appeal were faced with the difficult argument about the interaction between section 11, Children Act 2004 and possession proceedings brought by a local authority against unsuccessful applicants for homelessness assistance.  In Huzrat v Wandsworth LBC [2013] EWCA Civ 1865, […]

CA to hear bedroom tax appeals this year

The CA is to hear bedroom tax appeals in A (the DV sanctuary appeal – our note here) and SR (where a minor requires overnight care – our note here) next term.  A had been stayed pending the UKSC appeal in MA.  However, Underhill LJ and Sir Stanley Burnton have decided that the two cases (ie A and SR, […]

The homelessness budget

After several days of a mixture of swearing and incredulity, I am finally ready to write about the ’emergency’ budget (the emergency apparently being the pressing need to raise inheritance tax thresholds). For housing, the budget will have a significant impact, and one which will get worse in future years. It will, without a shadow […]

How late it was, how late

Khuja v Chowdhury [2015] EW Misc B18 (CC) A County Court deposit protection case, and an illustration of some of the ways in which landlords still haven’t figured out how the deposit rules work. Ms C was the assured shorthold tenant of Mr K, allegedly a ‘major landlord in Oxford’. The tenancy started on 7 […]

Party like it’s 1957

1957 was an important year. Russell Endean became the first man to be out “handled the ball” in a Test Cricket match. Anthony Eden resigned and Harold Macmillan became PM. The Cat in the Hat was first published. And it was the last time that anyone updated the rent levels in the statutory covenants relating […]

Westminster again…

In R(Alemi) v Westminster CC [2015] EWHC 1765 (Admin), which has been widely reported already (eg here; and all over my twitter feed), HHJ Blair QC found that Westminster’s allocation scheme was unlawful in disbarring successful homeless applicants (other than a small group) from bidding for social housing in their first 12 months on the list. […]

Go away!

Johnston v City of Westminster [2015] EWCA Civ 554 A curious case on the effect of a s.198 Housing Act 1996 referral of a homeless applicant to another Authority. Mr Johnston had applied to Westminster as homeless in 2011.”For 7 years from 2004 until 2011 he lived in Eastbourne. In early 2011 he had to […]

A tantalizing note

R (Faizi) v Brent LBC (Admin Court, 17.6.15) is only available as a Lawtel note and all may become clear once a transcript is obtained, but it is a very confusing little case. At the risk of overly simplifying , in England, homelessness is governed by Pt.7, Housing Act 1996. Where a person applies for […]