In which two [now confirmed as four] Housing Associations behave very badly in anticipation of the benefit cap.
Haringey is one of the pilot boroughs for the benefit cap, limiting the total amount of benefit, including housing benefit/LHA (and astonishingly Child Benefit) that any household can receive to £500 per week. The prospective effects of the benefit cap on housing provision and the homeless have become apparent in the astonishing actions of two [now three] Housing Associations.
First up, and in Haringey, Genesis. The Guardian reported on ‘eviction letters’ being send to Genesis tenants because of the benefit cap. Although it isn’t clear from the report, I’ve established that these … Read the full post
There was an interesting case-note on Lawtel this week which I suspect most of you saw. The case was LB Enfield v Phoenix and others, High Ct, March 19, 2013, and seemed to concern the circumstances in which a possession claim can properly be issued in the High Court. I have been provided with a note of judgment and so can give you a bit more detail.
Imagine, if you will, that a large number of the good people of North London are, to put it mildly, somewhat dissatisfied with the Tory/Lib Dem cuts to public expenditure (a view, I should add, which is plainly shared by all right-thinking… Read the full post
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  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 that … Read the full post
Property Guardians seem to be a growth industry. If you haven’t come across these yet, you probably will at some point. The Guardian agency puts people into a vacant commercial or residential building to live as occupiers, effectively providing security to the owner of the building against burglary, squatting etc.. The schemes have largely received a fairly uncritical press, being held up as providing cheap accommodation for occupiers prepared to accept flexibility. I have no doubt that much of the time, that is indeed how it works.
The way in which many of these schemes seem to operate is that the agency takes a licence from the property owner, … Read the full post
IT IS NO PART OF THE COURT OF CONSTRUCTION TO IMPROVE A DOCUMENT
HARRY FITZHUGH v ANTHONY FITZHUGH EWCA Civ 694
The Claimant and Defendant were brothers. They were joint administrators of their father’s estate. This consisted of a farm and land. Anthony and his partner were granted a licence to graze cattle, cultivate, mow fields and collect grass from the land. This was subject to an annual licence fee of £1.
As administrators the brothers were jointly the Licensor for the purpose of granting this licence to the Licensee. The Licensee was in breach of the licence for failing to pay the £1 for several years.
The Licence provided … Read the full post
Two interesting cases have been delivered by the ECHR in the last few weeks: Mago and others v Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yordanova and others v Bulgaria.
The applicants in Mago held tenancies for life of flats within Bosnia-Herzegovina (with the exception of Mrs Mago, whose husband was the tenant) and they were compelled for varying reasons to leave their homes following the outbreak of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992. Security of these flats could be lost in a limited range of circumstances, including where the flat was left unoccupied for a continuous six month period or more. Once the tenants left, their properties were treated as abandoned by … Read the full post
Our attention was drawn to a decision in the Medway County Court, presumably because it considered a proportionality defence. I’m not sure there’s much to see there — one of the team said that he was not “remotely excited about it”.
But it caught my eye. To be fair, one cannot always tell from a short judgment of this kind exactly what happened, but it gives the impression that landlord and tenant law was, at best, misunderstood. So it seemed like a golden opportunity to set the record straight.
The defendant’s father and mother had lived in the property under an assured tenancy. Sadly, the father died. The mother succeeded … Read the full post