Rents and Equality. Barnet, again.

It appears that Barnet Council (via the Mayor’s casting vote) are determined to carry on with their  plan to raise rents for council tenants, new and existing, to 80% of market rent or top of LHA rates, whichever is lowest. We previously spent some time on why this was a bloody stupid idea, given the […]

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 […]

No duty of care in allocation decisions

Darby (administratrix of the estate of Lee Rabbetts deceased) v Richmond Upon Thames LBC [2015] EWHC 909 (QB) [Not on Bailii, we’ve seen the judgment]. Can a council’s failure to carry out its responsibilities under its allocation scheme be the subject of a claim in breach of duty of care? This was the hearing of […]

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 […]

Ending flexible tenancies – a reminder

We don’t usually (indeed ever) repost previous material on NL. But I’m making an exception for this one, because I think it is timely. Flexible tenancies have been in existence for a while in some boroughs and I would expect that it is round about now that possession proceedings for a fault based grounds (rather […]

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 […]

Asking for relief

This is a housing case, but the procedural issue in this decision is only tangentially related to that. Nonetheless, it is a matter worth noting. Cutler v Barnet LBC [2014] EWHC 4445 (QB) [Not on Bailii yet, we’ve seen a transcript]. Ms C had been Barnet’s secure tenant. Barnet served Notice to Quit on alleged non-occupation […]