Weekend assortment

Some bits and pieces, of various levels of jaw dropping.

MHCLG have produced updates for the Homelessness Code of Guidance. Under Chapter 8 ‘Priority need’, there is a new section 8.40:

8.40 Any person who may reasonably be expected to die of a progressive illness within the next 6 months, or is in receipt of treatment that is reasonably considered to be palliative care, will almost certainly have a priority need. Effective arrangements for liaison and co-ordination of support and palliative care between housing, social services and health services will be essential in such cases. These services will want to take account of good practice guides and toolkits for providing effective co-ordinated care for such cases.

That ‘almost certainly‘ is really quite something.

Meanwhile, from Canada comes this tale of nuisance, eviction, accusations of harassment and, well, snoring. They do things differently in Canada…

A tenant had taken her landlords to Quebec’s rental board seeking a reduction in rent because of her landlord’s conduct. What she complained of was as follows. In September 2016, her landlords called her to say that her downstairs neighbours had complained about the volume of her snoring. In October, after further complaints, the landlords came to see the tenant, asking after her health and bringing “two boxes of products meant to reduce snoring.”. The day after “the tenant found a card on her door with doctor’s appointment slip and an attached note saying: “take care of yourself”.” A couple of weeks later the landlords asked the tenant if she was planning to seek medical help.

In December, snoring apparently unabated, the tenant told the landlords to stop harassing her. The landlords

responded with a formal notice requesting she fix the situation and followed it up with a request to the rental board to cancel her lease.

The tenant made this application on the grounds that the landlords were harassing her.

The Tribunal apparently heard from other neighbouring tenants that

the snoring kept them awake on weekend nights, and that they heard her snoring during the day when she slept following her Monday to Friday night-shifts at work.

The Tribunal decided that while tenants are expected to put up with a normal level of noise from others, this snoring went beyond that.

“Breathing is normal, essential, and even indispensable,” it stated. “But snoring is not normal and if it persists in an exaggerated way, it is necessary to seek a (medical) consultation.”

It was the tenant’s obligation to seek treatment and the landlords were within their rights to try to remedy the situation, Application dismissed.

I somehow suspect the English courts would be more reluctant to construe an obligation on the tenant to stop snoring into ‘tenant-like conduct’, and would be less happy with the landlords’ passive aggressive approach to tenant relations, but any Canadian snorers have presumably been put on notice.

A different nuisance problem with neighbours is currently being heard in the High Court. Owners of flats in the Neo-Bankside development in London have brought a claim against Tate Modern on the basis that the viewing platform on the extension to the Tate Modern building allows visitors to see into their (entirely glass walled) flats. The claim appears to be in nuisance, as the owners assert that

the use of the platform “unreasonably interferes with their use of their flats” and that the Tate is “committing a nuisance”.

The Tate Modern’s response appears to be ‘use your blinds’ and ‘there is no right to a view’.

This row has been rumbling for years. The initial problem for the flat owners was that they could not realistically claim to have bought the flats without being aware of the Tate’s proposed development, with the viewing gallery, even though Neo-Bankside was begun before the Tate extension got planning permission. As the developers put it (while avoiding any claims against them)

“While development of Neo Bankside had already begun when plans for the new gallery were submitted to the authorities, potential buyers at Neo Bankside had access to marketing material which showed the location of the planned viewing gallery. A model showing the planned Tate extension in context to Neo Bankside was also available.

The judgment will no doubt be interesting. I wonder if we will end up with a right to have other people not look in through our windows when sitting about in our underpants with the blinds open.

 

About Giles Peaker

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts, and still is Nearly Legal on Google +.
Posted in Homeless, Housing law - All, Nuisance, Possession.

2 Comments

  1. That addition to Priority Need is going to make decision letters a bundle of fun for the writer and the recipient – “We are pleased to advise that you have been deemed reasonably expected to die in the next 6 months’.

  2. And then more fun will be had with the term “Reasonably expected to die”. By whose reasoning? Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson had but months to live but is now on his 4th goodbye tour.

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