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

Approximate grounds

Masih, R (on the application of) v Yousaf [2014] EWCA Civ 234

When a notice is served under Section 8 Housing Act 1988, how precise does the wording of the ground(s) under which possession will be sought have to be?

In this case, reaching the Court of Appeal via a slightly convoluted route as an appeal  of an order refusing permission to appeal out of time, the issue was the wording used in the s.8 notice setting out Ground 8.

Ms M was the assured shorthold tenant of Mr Y. There were rent arrears, a shortfall between the LHA payable and the rent. Mr Y served a notice under s.8 … 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…

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Disrepair: La luta continua!

2013 was a difficult year for claimant disrepair. Changes in legal aid funding have made it all but impossible to pursue a disrepair claim under legal aid alone, as funding is only available for an order to carry out repairs to where there is serious risk to health or well being of the tenant or other occupiers, and not for further repairs or the damages claim (although full funding remains for a counterclaim to a possession claim, which can be brought after the possession order).

For those carrying out disrepair claims under Conditional Fee Agreements, success fees ceased being recoverable from the Defendant, as did ATE premiums, but, despite … Read the full post

Let’s all talk about Wales

We don’t often publicise events here, but given that this one involves at least couple of the NL team, we are damn well going to.

Housing Law:
The Welsh Devolution Effect
1st May 2014

Cardiff Law School, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

 

A one day conference run by the University of Bristol Law School, Anthony Gold, and Arden Chambers examining the two major housing Bills in Wales, the Housing (Wales) Bill and the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill.

The Welsh Government is carrying through a substantial legislative programme reforming all aspects of housing and tenancy rights and responsibilities. These significant changes will ultimately lead to an effective separation of Wales … Read the full post

When is a storey not a storey?

The answer appears to be when it is only for access!

Bristol City Council v Digs (Bristol) Ltd [2014] EWHC 869 (Admin)

We first reported on this case briefly as a decision of the Bristol Magistrates Court. It has now been appealed by way of case stated and so the High Court has produced a definitive view.

The facts, briefly, were that Digs owns a series of properties in Bristol which are predominantly let to students. This property is a five storey property which is divided into two two storey maisonettes. The fifth storey is the basement which is not used and forms now part of this case. The case … Read the full post

March miscellany

A couple of bits and pieces.

The DWP has issued a circular in the wake of the Court of Appeal judgment in MA & Ors, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] EWCA Civ 13 (Our report coming soon, honest).  The Circular, U2/2014, contains what is effectively an admission that it is only the increased DHP funding that is keeping the bedroom tax from being unjustified discrimination:

The Court of Appeal also noted that the DHP scheme was different from the one considered by the Court in Burnip as the fund had been increased, the guidance had been altered and the Secretary

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Confederacy of Dunces.

I’ve been watching the slow motion catastrophe that is ‘Rent 2 Rent’ [sic] for a while, as have other NL writers. Despite the high profile collapse of the poster boy and cheerleader, Unidaplace, last autumn, owing many thousands (and the simultaneous vanishing of the boss, Daniel Burton, until tracked down by Channel 4 news), there are still plenty of people entering into these arrangements.

Why? Well, the promise to the property owner/landlord is of a fixed reliable rent for an extended period, and not having to do things like deal with tenants, managing agents and the like. In fact, they can just sit back and let the reliable rent … Read the full post