How Limited is that Partnership?

Salvesen and Riddell & Anor v. The Lord Advocate (Scotland) [2013] UKSC 22

It is not common for us to cover Scots Law, or Agricultural Law, here. However, both mores are to be broken in the face of an interesting convention decision from the Supreme Court.

You will have to bear with me as the facts are complex. I promise to keep it simple. Scottish Agricultural tenants have historically had very substantial security of tenure along with very powerful succession rights. Much the same situation has existed in England too at times. This is said to be good for land husbandry but is equally a reflection of post-war … Read the full post

This is a local town for local people …

Forgive the slight delay, but DCLG published their summary of responses to their Consultation on Local Decisions: A Fairer Future for Social Housing (which we discussed here) on 28 Feb.  The outcome of the consultation appears to be, um, full steam ahead on the Localism Bill.  I have to say that any reader of Inside Housing would be surprised by the results.  I seem to have got regular updates from IH that social landlords (of whatever political hue) weren’t going to touch the new flexible/affordable tenancy regime with a bargepole.  Well, I was wrong.  Surprisingly significant proportions of respondents wanted the new flexibilities: two-thirds said they “expected to take … Read the full post

Carrots and sticks – travellers’ sites

News from Mr Pickles and the DCLG

Item 1. The Government is to bring s.318 Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 into force, finally according travellers on authorised sites the same security as those who come under the Mobile Homes Act. Hurrah.

Item 2. Planning circulars regarding construction of authorised travellers sites are being scrapped. Apparently because Councils complained about being forced to build on countryside and undertake compulsory purchase. Actual examples of either are welcome if anyone has come across them – we’d be interested.

Item 3. The regional strategies have already gone.

Item 4. ‘Plans for further powers for councils to combat unauthorised development’. Awaited…

Item 5. ‘New Homes … Read the full post

A farewell to the pink campervan?

It appears that the Tenant Services Authority is living on borrowed time and is on route to being the shortest lived social housing regulator ever, having got its full powers only in April 2010. There will probably be an announcement at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference, next week.

See this interview with Grant Shapps, Housing Minister, which strongly suggests that the oversight of housing association governance and finances will go to the Homes and Communities Agency, while the tenant services regulatory aspect will go… well nowhere much:

[T]he framework developed by the TSA to ensure the provision of excellent tenant services will remain – indeed, Mr Shapps claims

Read the full post

Of fair rents, disrepair and unreasonable temptations

Ahmed & Ors v Murphy [2010] EWHC 453 (Admin)

This was an appeal to the High Court of a decision by the London Rent Assessment Committee (LRAC) that the maximum fair rent payable by Mr Murphy for the flat in Brick Lane, Spitalfields was £8.50 per week. The appeal was brought by the landlords, the Ahmeds. Neither the tenant, Mr Murphy, nor the LRAC attended or were represented.

As a case, it is primarily about assessment of maximum fair rent for protected tenants, but there is something for everyone in there, from security of tenure to ‘reasonable notice’ in disrepair. It also features one of the most bewildering set of … Read the full post

Way too secure

Gauci v Malta [2009] ECHR 1280 [Link is to rtf]

Hat-tip to the Garden Court Bulletin for this one.

Mr G owned a property in Malta. It had been let under a 25 year tenancy agreement in 1975. On the expiry of that agreement, the tenants, who owed other property themselves, were able to exercise a right to new lease under under Maltese Act XXIII of 1979 as they were resident.

Under the 1979 Act, the maximum rent that the Rent Review Board could set for the premises was 420 euro per year. The market rent was assessed in 2002 at 280 euro per month. Mr G brought proceedings, complaining … Read the full post