I’m going to level with you, dear reader(s), I’m a bit late with this one. In my defence, I point to the fact that the Act as printed is around 250 pages long, consisting of 218 sections and 28 schedules. The explanatory notes run to over 160 pages. There is then a further 650 pages in the associated codes of practice, as well as some non-statutory guidance. While this may not be the weightiest piece of legislation ever, it certainly is something of a Behemoth. Anyway, it’s not as if we hadn’t warned you that it was coming.
Large parts of it are now in force. While it is inevitably … Read the full post
Thomas-Ashley v Drum Housing Association Ltd  EWCA Civ 265
This is probably the biggest single week for dog-related possession claims ever. At this rate, the RSPCA will have to open a housing practice.
The brief facts are at para 1 of the Court of Appeal judgment:
Alfie is a Jack Russell/Border Collie cross. He lives with the appellant in her one bedroom flat at 1, Itchen Court, Crombie Close, Lovedean in Hampshire. Unfortunately the appellant’s tenancy agreement does not allow dogs to be kept on the premises. The respondents’, Drum Housing Association Ltd. her landlords, told her Alfie would have to leave. When he did not they took proceedings
… Read the full post
Rodriguez v (1) Minister of Housing (2) Housing Allocation Committee  UKPC 52 is perhaps most remarkable for needing to get as far as the Privy Council before a sensible decision was made.
The second respondent was a statutory body responsible for the allocation of social housing in Gibraltar. It had an unwritten and unpublished policy that it would only grant joint tenancies to (a) married couples or (b) unmarried couples who lived together with a child of which they were both the biological parents. If you can see problems with this policy then you’re not alone.
The appellant was a tenant of the second respondent. She had been in … Read the full post
Odham’s Walk Residents Management Ltd v Westminster City Council  EWHC 1712 (Admin) is not a housing case per se, but is of interest.
The applicant, a TMO, manages an estate of Westminster’s housing stock as Westminster’s agents under contract. The TMO employs caretakers who are provided with accommodation as part of the job.
The agreement under which the TMO manages the properties makes clear that it is the Council’s agent in doing so. The agreement also puts an equal opportunities duty on the TMO and compliance with statutory provisions including the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. However, staff were employed by the TMO not the Authority. The accommodation for … Read the full post
As we noted here, the Government’s new Equality Bill brings together various bits of anti-discrimination legislation and extends some of them. One area that is extended is protection against age discrimination, which is now covered by Part 3, in respect of goods, facilities and services. It is not however covered by Part 4 which deals with premises, including housing.
A number of people seem to be looking into this; the Conservatives have put down an amendment as part of the Committee stage, which would include age in Part 4. We have been contacted by Age Concern and Help the Aged, who are looking for any evidence of harmful age discrimination … Read the full post
A new Equality Bill was a flagship manifesto commitment and it was finally published at the end of April. The Bill receives its second reading in the House of Commons today. While the Bill is primarily consolidating and tidying up existing law there are four important parts that may affect housing law:
- Disability discrimination in the wake of Malcolm
- Age discrimination
- Socio-economic disadvantage duty
- Extension of Public Sector Equality Duty
Taking them in the order that they appear in the Bill, clause 1 introduces a new duty on specified public authorities who must:
when making decisions of a strategic nature about how to exercise its functions, have due regard to
… Read the full post
R (RJM) (FC) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  UKHL 63
This House of Lords judgment is now just under two weeks old, but I think it is still worthy of comment here. It is a discrimination case dealing with benefits and rough sleepers, but has some important implications in much broader areas, at least in my opinion. It is somewhat tangential to what is usually covered, so we would doubtless welcome comments on whether this is of interest to our astute and loyal band of readers.*
The facts, briefly (some of them from the CA decision):
The claimant, RJM, suffers from mental health problems. During … Read the full post