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

Minimum Space (standards)

This is a post by Alan Richards, a journalist and blogger on legal matters, financial affairs, politics and economics, who blogs at Alrich.  We are happy to add it to the blog, dealing as it does with size standards for housing, both social and private.

Anyone hoping the Government’s announcement that it is bringing in national minimum space standards for homes will ensure decent-sized housing from now on will be sadly disappointed.

The Department for Communities (DCLG) has confirmed it will bring in such a standard  – but the small print indicates it will be rarely applied. In fact the “national space standard” is no standard at all. Instead … Read the full post

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

There must be some way out of here.

‘Withdrawal’ of proceedings – we’ve been here before, with Spicer v Tuli, but this time, the purported withdrawal was in an appeal of an improvement notice to the Residential Property Tribunal. The appeal to the Upper Tribunal arose out of that.

Simon v Denbighshire CC [2010] UKUT 488 (LC)

Denbighshire had decided that a category 1 hazard existed in an HMO owned by Mr Simon, of excess cold. The Council served an improvement notice, requiring

the provision of insulating materials, the installation of double or secondary glazing, and the fitting of thermostatic radiator valves and electrical heating appliances in each of the bedsits.

Mr Simon appealed to the RPT … Read the full post

Premature expectations

Isaac Odeniran v Southend on Sea BC [2013] EWHC 3888 (Admin) [Not on Bailii yet]

Mr Odeniran had been convicted by the Magistrates of failing to comply with an improvement notice under s.11(2) and 12(2) Housing Act 2004, relating to category 2 hazards. The notice stated:

“Under section 12(2) of the Housing Act 2004, the Council requires you to carry out the works specified in the schedule attached to this Notice and to begin them not later than the 3rd day of May 2011 (being not less than 28 days from the date of this Notice) and to complete them by the 31st July 2011.”

The trouble with the notice … Read the full post


Haringey LBC v Goremsandhu  [2013] EWHC 3834 (Admin) [Not on bailii yet]

Ms Goremsandhu was the owner of an HMO, made up of four flats in Tottenham. Haringey had served her with improvement notices. When Ms G had failed to complete the word required within the period apparently given in the notices, Haringey prosecuted under s.30(1) Housing Act 2004. However, the Magistrates acquitted on the basis that Ms G had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the notices, which is a defence under s.30(4) Housing Act 2004. Haringey appealed, by way of case stated.

The issue was that once Ms G had appealed to the RPT for 9 … Read the full post

There’s no place like HMO

Shah v Croydon LBC [2013] EWHC 3657 (Admin) [Not on Bailii yet. Seen full transcript of judgment]

An appeal by way of case stated from a Magistrates Court decision that a property owned by Mr Shah was an HMO and that Mr S was therefore liable for some 14 months Council Tax. And an illustration of the confusion of the multiple definitions of House in Multiple Occupation floating around.

Mr S owned a property with two tenants. Croydon had brought a prosecution on the basis that the property was an HMO and Mr S liable for the Council Tax. The Magistrates had decided that i) the property was an HMO … Read the full post

Partial Regulation Partially Begins

We have previously commented (fairly negatively!) on the plans to introduce compulsory membership of redress schemes for lettings and property management agency work which appeared at the last minute in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.

Slightly surprisingly (actually it isn’t, that was a rhetorical device) the government has, instead of producing the consultation that was promised on this issue, produced a draft Statutory Instrument which sets out the requirements for any organisation that is seeking approval as a redress scheme provider.

There is not a huge amount of useful information in the draft SI, unless you are considering applying to be a redress scheme of course! There … Read the full post