The detail of this may have passed you by at the time, it certainly did me, but amongst the wind and posturing of David Cameron’s ‘big speech’ in March on stopping immigrants from getting things from healthcare to driving licences was quite a significant snippet on the private rental sector.
You have probably already registered the proposals for what Cameron calls ‘state sector’ housing – presumably meaning social housing – which is to introduce statutory allocation guidance:
New migrants should not expect to be given a home on arrival. And yet at present almost one in ten new social lettings go to foreign nationals. So, I am going to introduce
… Read the full post
London Borough of Islington v The Unite Group Plc  EWHC 508 (Admin)
This is an interesting appeal in relation to the counting of storeys for HMO licensing purposes. It actually repeats an argument dealt with in an appeal in a criminal prosecution of a Mr Williams by Cotswold District Council from way back in 2008 although the result here was different (see “Recount Your Storeys” (2009) 12 JHL 1).
Basically, Unite owns a block of flats in Islington. The ground floor is a shop and the entrance to the block. The next four floors are flats, one flat per floor. The flats themselves are described as ‘cluster flats’. What … Read the full post
We bring you two interesting reports from the world of Rent Repayment Orders. Briefly, these stem from a power under s73 and 74 of the Housing Act 2004. These sections allow a Residential Property Tribunal to award a tenant or local authority the return of rent or housing benefits where the landlord has been operating an unlicensed HMO.
The provisions are a little different. For tenants the Landlord must have been convicted of operating an unlicensed HMO or the Local Authority must have already obtained an order for the return of Housing Benefit and, after this has occurred, the tenants may then apply for the return of rent … Read the full post
[Update at the end of the post 15/11/2012]
Now that the Guardian has the story, I feel able to quote a briefing paper by Andy Gale of the DCLG that had found its way to me. This is the briefing that Andy Gale has been giving to Council officers (not councillors, as far as I know) on what he gives as the DCLG view of the post-Localism Act world, how Councils should implement it, and how officers should sell this to Councillors.
And it makes very interesting reading. Please note that there may be a more considered post on the issues and policy views to come on this blog … Read the full post
This is another one of our irregular posts on our theme of happenings in Wales; this time with an apology because it’s all rather later than I had hoped and SO much is going on in Cardiff that they must be in a state of permanent combustion. Following on from the Welsh Government’s magnificent White Paper in May, they published Proposals for a Better Private Rented Sector in Wales and then a new code of guidance on homelessness and allocations (all 257 pages worth), a Housing Bill is in preparation (2013) and there are all sorts of rumours afoot that they are preparing a subsequent Renting Homes Bill (to implement … Read the full post
The “new” housing strategy published today, Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England, has some interesting bits to it, but it is somewhat unfortunate that the government has taken the opportunity to trumpet its achievements and pronounce their success in this document without proper, close evaluation. Readers of this blog will not be surprised by the self-publicity and self-laudatory approach in the strategy, although the endless critique of New Labour in the document is both tiresome and unnecessary as it really isn’t supported by evidence, and rather distorts the reality (in fact, the one thing New Labour did do was to commission research on their reforms, which the … Read the full post
Charles Terence Estates Ltd v Cornwall Council  EWHC 2542 (QB) (subnom oh dear, oh dear)
Forgive the length of this note, but this seems to be a significant case with potentially far-reaching ramifications. The judgment of Cranston J (in my view) is mostly spot-on and hugely learned (see well below for an appreciation). It will be interesting to see whether this case goes further – my insider information is less than clear on the prospects of an appeal. For what it’s worth, my view is that an appeal would likely be unsuccessful but important in providing clearer lines about the fiduciary duty and capacity issues discussed below, as well … Read the full post