In other bedroom tax news, the DWP has issued a Circular to Local Authorities on The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Size Criteria) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 – the new regulations implementing the Gorry judgment on LHA and housing benefit assessments involving disabled children unable to share a bedroom by reason of their disability. The new regulations are in force from 4 December 2013, some time after the Minister got a thorough telling off on the failure to introduce regulations in R (MA & Ors).
Or, ‘It wasn’t me, it was the bailiff’.
Choudhury v Garcia  EWHC 3283 (QB) (June 2013) [Not on Bailii. We have transcript]
A rather unusual unlawful eviction case, this, involving as it does breaches of Court of Appeal stays of warrant, and High Court appeals of judgment and damages where both parties were in person.
Mr G was the tenant of Mr C, since 2007, or 2008 in a ground floor room. In late 2009, Mr C apparently decided he wanted the room back. At this point, trouble began in the back garden. As the first instance judge found:
“Panels of the fence were removed. The neighbours started to bring
I didn’t comment here on Eric Pickles announcement of a ‘Tenants Charter’ at the Tory conference because, on inspection of the DCLG press release, it looked like a burp of a soundbite, with absolutely no significant likely effect. I contented myself with being rude about it in 140 characters on twitter, as that seemed sufficient. This didn’t stop some landlord organisations and journals getting terribly over-excited about the perceived threat of ‘required’ longer tenancies. There was (and remains) no such requirement.
However, the latest, slightly more detailed, press release does have some interesting bits in it, and perhaps more telling is the direction of travel – the recognition that private … Read the full post
Malik v Fassenfelt & Ors  EWCA Civ 798
The idea that an Englishman’s home is his castle is firmly embedded in English folklore and it finds its counterpart in the common law of the realm which provides a remedy to enable the owner of the castle to secure the eviction of trespassers from it. But what if the invaders occupy for long enough to establish their home within the keep? Whose castle is it now? Whose home must the law now protect? [Sir Alan Ward]
This was a case that was potentially important for establishing whether Article 8 defences could be run by private tenants, or by licencees and … Read the full post
A quick note on an ongoing County Court case that raises some interesting questions. (As it is an ongoing case, all apparent statements of fact are as set out in the judgment and should be taken as being untested at trial).
Leicester Housing Association Ltd v Armstrong. Leicester County Court 5 March 2013 [Not published elsewhere, we have a copy].
This was the summary hearing of Mr Armstrong’s defence to LHA’s claim for possession. Mr A had a ‘starter’ tenancy from LHA, which was an assured shorthold of 12 months term. At the end of the 12 months, the tenancy would automatically convert into an assured tenancy, provided that … Read the full post
There are still some questions to be cleared up on tenancy deposit law and this Court of Appeal case neatly deals with one of them, while opening up what might be a very large can of worms.
Superstrike Ltd v Rodrigues  EWCA Civ 669
Where a deposit was taken on an assured shorthold tenancy before April 2007, when the Housing Act 2004 provisions came into force, but the tenancy became a statutory periodic tenancy after April 2007, does the deposit fall to be dealt with under the Housing Act 2004 requirements and do the penalties for non compliance apply?
The facts in this case are straightforward. Rodrigues was the … Read the full post
The entrepreneurialisation of social housing over the last twenty years has led to a diversity in the types of shared ownership. Of course, the standard leasehold type (what in the old days was called DIYSO) predominates, but there are a multitude of other types. In Ker v Optima Community Association  EWCA Civ 579, the Court of Appeal had to deal with one of these other types in Optima’s claim for possession; but in quite odd circumstances for, by the time of the hearing of the appeal, Ms Ker had accepted that the property was unaffordable for her so that she had to give up possession. What was in issue … Read the full post