Anti-social behaviour – advance guidance

Given that most of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 is not yet in force, including the provisions which empower the Secretary of State to issue statutory guidance, it seems slightly odd that statutory guidance which purports to have been issued under sections 19, 32, 41, 56, 73 and 91 of the Act (none of which have been commenced) was issued last month. It has the utilitarian title: Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014: Reform of anti-social behaviour powers Statutory guidance for frontline professionals.

In many ways the document is unsurprising, setting out the various powers – community trigger, community remedy, civil injunction, criminal behaviour order, dispersal … Read the full post

“Mere likelihood” not enough to engage section 149

Swan v Gill [2013] EWCA Civ 1566 apparently attracted quite a bit of attention at the HLPA conference this year, the  general consensus being that the Court of Appeal was wrong in its approach to s.149 Equality Act 2010 and I’m inclined to agree.

Mr Gill, an assured tenant, had taken over the communal areas and gardens next to his property, putting up a greenhouse, gazebo etc.  In June 2011, in an attempt to stop this, the association applied for an anti-social behaviour injunction (ASBI) against him under ss.153A and 153D Housing Act 1996.  The application took two years to come on for trial (a decision to refuse to adjourn … Read the full post

Human Rights Round-up

3 cases have recently been decided by the ECtHR Chamber

Busuioc v Republic of Moldova [2013] ECHR 684 (16/7/13)

The Applicant (B) complained to the Court under Arts 3 and 8 ECHR about the State’s failure to protect her and her two children under the provisions of Moldovan national law from domestic violence perpetrated against them over several years by B’s former husband, VB, when they failed to order his eviction from the flat which they occupied together.

The parties had divorced in 2007 but B was repeatedly beaten by VB after their divorce. B’s application to have VB evicted from the flat was heard by the Supreme Court on … Read the full post

The Tolerated Trespasser Rides Again!

OK, so the title of this post may be an exaggeration of what is only a passing reference to an old friend in Fareham BC v Miller [2013] EWCA Civ 159. But it is interesting to see it used as part of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of an Article 8/proportionality judgement.

Mr Miller (M) held a non-secure tenancy of a flat with Fareham BC. M was a habitual offender and a long-standing heroin addict who spent his life in and out of prison. On 13/5/10 the council served a notice to quit because of rent arrears which were cleared very soon afterwards. However, by September 2010, it became clear … Read the full post

A bit too widely cast…

You may recall the discussion that took place on this blog of Wandsworth’s secure tenancy terms, introduced in 2009, that sought to introduce a list of things that the tenant, “lodgers, friends, relatives, visitors and any other person living in the property are not allowed to do whilst in the London Borough of Wandsworth”, including causing a nuisance to others, causing damage to property etc. etc. A full list of the terms is at the end of this post.

Our discussion was in the content of Wandsworth seeking to use this clause against the mother of an accused rioter for a possession claim under Ground 1 -breach of tenancy conditions. … Read the full post

ASB and Possession

Birmingham CC v Ashton is a case which illustrates the difficulty that judges face when they are invited to make possession orders on the grounds of nuisance and anti-social behaviour against tenants with mental health problems.

The Council relied on four incidents of ASB between 2004 and 2010, three of which involved Mr Ashton’s next-door neighbour, Ms Benton, and which included threats with a kitchen knife and the brandishing of a samurai sword outside the premises. Mr Ashton was subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act. He was also convicted in the Crown Court on 11/10/10 of affray and of possession of an offensive weapon in connection with the samurai … Read the full post

Consultations, bills and mysterious advisors

A bit of a miscellany, with Government skullduggery and posturing galore.

First up, Grayling’s MoJ has announced a consultation into revising the rules on Judicial Review. Broadly, he is against it. Responses are due by 24 January 2013, so a busy holiday for the rest of us. Given the dubious inferences drawn from inadequate statistics, people really should respond. Our view from when the first announcement was made is here.

Next, the Home Office draft Anti-Social Behaviour bill is out (officially tomorrow 14/12/2012). The end of ASBOs and ASBIs, closure orders etc. but also the new mandatory ground of possession for breach of an ASB injunction, noise abatement order … Read the full post

Not round these parts

R(Carney) v Bolton-at-Home Limited [2012] EWHC 2553 (Admin)

Did historic ASB by the daughter of a former evicted tenant allow the local authority to refuse to allow her accommodation in the same area? This was the issue in this judicial review of Bolton-at-Home’s (‘Bolton’) decision to refuse a property to Ms Carney.

Ms C was on the housing list for Bolton (the now owner of Bolton MC’s housing stock) and when she was 21, was made a provisional offer for a house in an area of Bolton ‘subject to a verification process’. Bolton then removed the offer, their letter to Ms C stating:

“[having] carried out a verification check [the

Read the full post