Trouble out west

In O’Brien v Bristol CC [2014] EWHC 2423 (Admin) [heard at the RCJ instead of in the Bristol admin court?  Not on Bailii yet but we have seen a transcript], a range of issues arose out of the council’s decision to seek and obtain a possession order of an unauthorised encampment below the M5 at Avonmouth.  The real aim of this judicial review, though, was not the possession order, but the council’s decision not to allow the O’Brien’s and their four caravans to return to the temporary transit site, which had available pitches.  The O’Briens had stayed at that temporary site for the allowable period (13 weeks) and had been … Read the full post

Deciding without a decision

R (on the application of PK) v Harrow LBC (2014) QBD Admin 30 January 2014 [Lawtel note, no transcript yet]

This judicial review is possibly one for the ‘what were they thinking?’ pile.

The Claimants were the children of M. The family was street homeless and destitute following eviction. It appears that Harrow had decided there was no duty to accommodate M, as the family was referred to Social Services.

Harrow carried out an assessment, then said that it was obliged to provide the children with accommodation under s.17 and s.20 Children Act 1989, but not the mother.

The children applied for judicial review, and interim relief was granted. The … Read the full post

Human Rights Round-up

3 cases have recently been decided by the ECtHR Chamber

Busuioc v Republic of Moldova [2013] 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

McFail

Malik v Fassenfelt & Ors [2013] 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

Gateway B and Equality Act – summary hearing?

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

Shared ownership, Art 8 and A1P1

The entrepreneurialisation of social housing over the last twenty years has led to a diversity in the types of shared ownership.  Of course, the standard leasehold type (what in the old days was called DIYSO) predominates, but there are a multitude of other types.  In Ker v Optima Community Association [2013] EWCA Civ 579, the Court of Appeal had to deal with one of these other types in Optima’s claim for possession; but in quite odd circumstances for, by the time of the hearing of the appeal, Ms Ker had accepted that the property was unaffordable for her so that she had to give up possession.  What was in issue … Read the full post

Article 8 success in the County Court

This was a failed succession case where an article 8 proportionality defence was, at least in part successful. Our thanks to Legal Action ‘Recent Developments in Housing Law’ January 2013 for bringing it to our attention.

Affinity Sutton Homes Ltd v Cooper. Bromley County Court 17 October 2012

Mr Cooper senior was a secure tenant of Bromley LBC. Following a large scale transfer of Bromley’ stock to Affinity. Mr Cooper senior became an assured tenant. There was statutory right for succession by anyone other than a spouse. However, the tenancy agreement provided for a contractual succession for any family member residing with the tenant in the 12 months prior … Read the full post

Request for information

[Updated 20/12/12. See below]

There is a rather odd case note on Lawtel on a High Court appeal of a dismissed defence to possession following an apparently failed succession…

Evans v Brent London Borough Council QB (Ramsey J) 18/12/2012 [note of extempore judgment on Lawtel]

From the note it appears that Ms Evans was the joint secure tenant of Brent with her father. She then moved out to take up an AST with her children in 2010, on a 12 month term, apparently to give space to her father, who was ill. In 2011 she moved back in. Soon after, her father died.

In 2012, Brent brought possession proceedings, on … Read the full post