The DCLG has trumpeted a new Guide on Council and Police powers on ‘Dealing with illegal and unauthorised encampments’.
A new guide will give more power and a stronger voice to local residents and councillors to challenge council officers if they claim ‘nothing can be done’ about this problem. It follows on from the recently scrapped diversity and equality guidance which discouraged councils from taking enforcement action.
So says the DCLG press release, which also trumpets that ‘New Temporary Stop Notices now give councils powers to tackle unauthorised caravans, backed up with potentially unlimited fines.’
However, the ‘Summary of Available Powers‘ makes clear that the only ‘new’ … Read the full post
3 cases have recently been decided by the ECtHR Chamber
Busuioc v Republic of Moldova  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
We’ve all been there. Perhaps more frequently, litigants in person have been there (although hopefully not the same LiP over and over again). A warrant for possession is due to be executed the next day. It may even be the same day. The occupier has applied to a District Judge to suspend the warrant. The District Judge has, rightly or wrongly, dismissed that application. The occupier, understandably (even more so if the DJ fell into the “wrongly” category), wants to appeal that decision.
Now we know that such an appeal must be to a Circuit Judge. So far, so good. Many courts (and the number is growing) either have no … 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
Reading BC v Holt is an important case on the approach to be taken by the courts when making possession orders under Ground 16 (and since 1/4/12, 15A) of the Housing Act 1985.
Mrs Holt has occupied 28 Southdown Rd, Emmer Green, Reading since her birth in 1953 and she became the successor tenant following the death of her mother on 24th July 2010. Mrs Holt provided round the clock care for her mother in the latter stages of her life and predictably, Mrs Holt formed a strong emotional attachment to the property. Nevertheless, the Council decided in January 2011 that the 3-bed property was too large for her needs … 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