06/12/2020

Brief assorted case notes

Bromford Housing Association Ltd v Nightingale (2020) EWHC 2648 (QB)

An application for relief from sanctions by the defendant to file a late witness statement by a homeless officer in a possession claim was rightly refused by the first instance judge as the matters adressed in the statement were self-evident.

This leaves Ms Ushewekunze’s statement to the effect that it was very unlikely that the family would be accommodated in the local private rental sector. It does not appear to me that this is an issue in dispute in the case. As the Judge pointed out, although these are my words, it was blindingly obvious that a family that is evicted on the ground of the anti-social behaviour that has been alleged against the Defendants will struggle to obtain accommodation in the private sector. The Claimant has made clear that it does not disagree with this. There is simply no need for a witness statement to be admitted in order to deal with this issue. The fact that the Judge said it “almost” goes without saying does not mean that he was acknowledging that evidence was, in fact, required on this issue. It is clear, reading the judgment as a whole, that the Judge was saying that no evidence was required, because the point is self-evident.

 

Point Curlew Tenants Association v Francis (LANDLORD AND TENANT – SERVICE CHARGES) (2020) UKUT 131 (LC)

Invoiced costs of a managing agent in ‘reconciling accounts’ for a First Tier Tribunal hearing on service charges were not recoverable under the service charge where there was a previous Section 20C order for the hearing fo which the reconciliation had been carried out.

 

Clarke, R (On the Application Of) v Birmingham City Council (Rev 1) (2020) EWCA Civ 1466

An appeal from a dismissed judicial review of Birmingham Council’s decision to make provision for funds to retrofit sprinklers to its blocks of flats was dismissed.

There was no obligation on the Council to consider all the points against the proposal that Mr Clarke considered that hey should have done, and the substantial points had been considered. “Value for money’ was not an obligatory consideration, but the counicl had in any event considered it.

There was no breach of the Council’s fiduciary duty. No fiduciary duty was owed to Mr Clarke as the Council’s tenant, the funding of the sprinklers would not come from council tax or ratepayers, and there was no basis for aguing the council had acted in an arbitrary manner.

 

 

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.

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