Protocol Problems

Now that the new pre-action protocols are sort of available, and have been in force since 6 April 2015 even when they were not available, people are having a look at them. And coming up with some issues. The new Pre-action Protocol for Possession Claims by Social Landlords, (at page 108 on in this PDF, which […]

Discretionary Housing Payments – the trouble with DLA.

Hardy, R (on the application of) v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council [2015] EWHC 890 Oh, we have been waiting for this one. According to DWP survey evidence, some 75% of Councils take Disability Living Allowance into account as income when deciding on an award of Discretionary Housing Payments. This judicial review concerned Sandwell Council’s policy […]

Regulations and damn regulations.

Two quite different sets of secondary legislation. First: there is a new prescribed form for section 6(2), section 8 and section 13(2) notices for assured (including shorthold) tenancies from 6 April 2015. The regulations are here and the prescribed forms are in the schedules.  Section 6(2) is terms for a periodic tenancy. Section 8, of […]

Relief from sanctions for not turning up?

In Home Group v Matrejek [2015] EWHC 441 (QB), the High Court has applied Rule 3.9 of the Civil Procedure Rules and the guidance on applications for relief from sanctions in Denton v TH White Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 906 (our note here) to a possession claim based on nuisance and anti-social behaviour. Ms M […]

Bedroom tax and sanctuary schemes

A quick note to record that the judicial review of the bedroom tax regulations as being discriminatory on the basis that a ‘panic room’ equipped for domestic violence victims was classed as a ‘spare bedroom’ failed. The judgment does not appear to be on Bailii, but a DWP bulletin records the case. Unsurprisingly, the fact […]

Shared care isn’t occupation as a home.

A short Upper Tribunal decision has put an end to bedroom tax appeals based on the ‘part-time’ residence of a child of a separated family with shared care. MR v North Tyneside Council and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Housing and council tax benefits : other) [2015] UKUT 34 (AAC) The FTT in […]

Disrepair damages update

With very grateful thanks to Beatrice Prevatt’s annual disrepair update in the December 2014/January 2015 Legal Action, here is a bumper pack of County Court cases and settled cases on damages for disrepair. Armes v Wheel Property Co Ltd, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, 17 May 2013 Claimant had been the protected tenant of a […]

Hot, hot, hot

Here is an interesting First Tier Tribunal bedroom tax appeal decision from Bexleyheath. [Decision notice]. It is a decision made after the Fife Upper Tribunal decision, but upholds the tenant’s appeal on the basis, in part, that the room is inadequately sized to be a bedroom, as well as being just too damn hot. Thanks […]

Too late for Art 8?

When should an article 8 defence be raised? And are there different kinds of social landlords, such that the analysis of Article 8 defences in Pinnock and Powell might not be applicable to all? These were questions in Lawal & Anor v Circle 33 Housing Trust [2014] EWCA Civ 1514. In what the Court of […]

Not quite, Minister

Following the Upper Tribunal judgment in SSWP v David Nelson and Fife Council, SSWP v James Nelson and Fife Council [2014] UKUT 0525 (AAC) [our report], the DWP has issued a Circular – HB U6/2014 The thing is that it isn’t quite right, in some quite important ways. Text and comments below. HB Bulletin U6/2013 provided details […]