I think someone has got a little confused

According to this article, the Residential Landlords Association are up in arms about the European Court of Human Rights being about to rule on article 8 defences in a case affecting private land owners. Richard Jones, the RLA policy director (and a solicitor who some might think should really know better) is quoted as saying:

“If Europe decides that respect for the home provisions within the Human Rights Convention apply to private landlords this will lead to a mass exodus of landlords, causing untold misery for those in desperate need of a place to live.”

There are a few problems with that statement, but perhaps the most immediate one … Read the full post

Arrears, warrants and abuse of process

A report of a County Court mortgage possession case has reached us, in which the secured lender’s behaviour resulted in a finding of abuse of process. The question was when (an if) an arrears payment had been received.

Blemain Finance Ltd v Andrea Jayne Ridley Darlington County Court 21 June 2012

Ms Ridley was the homeowner, with a mortgage of £44,000 (£39,000 outstanding) from 1999. She took out a further secured loan for £20,000 with Blemain Finance in 2006. She had fallen into arrears on payments and Blemain had obtained a possession order in 2006, then a warrant, which Blemain didn’t enforce on payment of the arrears. When arrears of … Read the full post

Introductory tenancies and s129 reviews – no conditions please

London Borough of Camden v Stafford [2012] EWCA Civ 839

This case revolves around the question of whether a review under s129 Housing Act 1996 does or doesn’t uphold the original decision to serve a notice. In particular, when the decision may state that the service of the notice is upheld but then sets out conditions as to the circumstances in which the LL (LA or PRP) will not issue the possession proceedings.  This seems to be a common occurrence. The trouble comes, as in this case, when the LL then decides that those conditions are not being or have not been met and issues the possession proceedings anyway. The … Read the full post

Barking and Dagenham LBC v Bakare; too little too late

Just a brief note on this. As yet no transcript. This is another example of a fairly robust antisocial behaviour decision being upheld on appeal and it reinforces the well established principle that an appellant who is essentially attacking the discretion of the Judge below will find no sympathy in the Court of Appeal.

The background was that a long standing secure tenant had lived in her flat with her three children. Her youngest son aged 19 had been involved in some offending including use and possession of cannabis and had some connection with firearms and ammunition found near the premises. B&D sought possession for both rent arrears and antisocial … Read the full post

Estoppel and s.2 – will we find out?

In the Summer Dave and David Smith posted about the case of Kinnear v Whittaker in the High Court. Bean J allowed an appeal against the summary disposal of a possession claim where the defendant had raised proprietary estoppel as a defence. This interesting and important question about the interaction between estoppel and s.2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 was therefore put off until trial.

The claimants appear to have been too excited to wait until then (or, more likely, but less poetically, they wanted to avoid the expense of a trial) and so appealed to the Court of Appeal. On Wednesday Stanley Burnton LJ refused Read the full post

A sorry tale

Webb and another v Marcos and another CA, July 8, 2011 (lawtel and westlaw notes only) looks like a sad tale, as well as being one of those (hopefully rare) cases where a possession order was enforced by committal.

M was the occupier of a property which had been bought by W. Possession proceedings were issued and W obtained an order for possession. M was refused permission to appeal. When M failed to leave the property, a judge attached a penal notice to the possession order. M still refused to leave and was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment (suspended to allow social services to investigate). M then appealed the committal … Read the full post

Cleaning Up

You may recall, almost two years ago now, we reported on the case of Defence Estates v L [2009] EWHC 1049 (Admin), under the title “Something of a mess”. The title was a reference to a comment of Collins J during the course of discussions after his judgment that three House of Lords’ decisions (Qazi, Kay & Doherty) had “left the law frankly in something of a mess”. This comment was subsequently picked up Lord Neuberger in his keynote address to SHLA’s annual conference in 2009. It was Lord Neuberger who then attempted to clean up some of the mess when giving the judgment of the … Read the full post

Brave New World or Same Old Story

Pinnock v Manchester City Council [2010] UKSC 45 (Supreme Court pdf & BAILII links)

Whenever a battle weary group of housing lawyers gets together, conversation inevitably turns (after the routine complaints about the less congenial DJs) to the thorny issue of which is the most important housing law case of all. While bizarre to the outsider, this ritual actually takes the form of a Mornington Crescent-style game, in which the aim is to get to Street v Mountford before somebody plays Puhlhofer and ruins the whole thing. The route to get there varies, although it will normally take in Awua, Pereira, Runa Begum, Din v WandsworthRead the full post