There can be only one!

The MHCLG have announced a consultation ‘Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market’, which primarily about reviewing and reforming Ombudsman schemes in the housing sector, with the proposal floated for a single Ombudsman/redress scheme across the whole housing sector – social and private landlord, letting agents, tenants and buyers of new build properties. Even, it […]

Homelessness Reduction Act Code of Guidance (mostly) out

MHCLG has published the Statutory Code of Guidance for the implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, with just over a month to go until it is in force (3 April 2018). 25 chapters and one annex are here (with no downloadable version in evidence yet). Everyone, councils and advisors, needs to brush up on […]

Children Act and Housing – (not) joining the dots.

J and L, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Hillingdon (2017) EWHC 3411 (Admin) This is a very interesting judicial review, concerning the interrelation of a council’s housing duties under Part 6 and Part 7 Housing Act 1996 and duties to children under s.17 Children Act 1989. The brief factual background, taken from […]

News bits

A post on a significant gas certificate/s.21 case will follow shortly, but for now a couple of news items… Regulations have been made bringing the Homelessness Reduction Act into force on 3 April 2018. The Statutory Code of Guidance has not yet been released, so everyone will have to hope that there aren’t many changes […]

From the county courts

With grateful thanks as ever to the Legal Action Magazine Housing: Recent Developments section for information on these (and they are not noted till those reports are publicly accessible), a couple of county court cases of interest. Assured Property Service Ltd v Ooo, County Court at Edmonton, 30 June 2017 Ms Ooo was an assured […]

A failure to engage – ‘Medical advisors’ on homeless vulnerability

Cherry v LB Tower Hamlets. County Court at Central London, 11th January 2018 This is a s.204 appeal of a ‘not vulnerable’ review decision by LB Tower Hamlets. It is of particular interest because of the consideration of the role and place of the ‘medical advisors’ used by LBTH – Now Medical, and the strong criticism […]

The good, the bad and the ugly.

In a week of depressing, worrying news on homelessness – of which more below – there were at least two bits of good news. First, in Gureckis, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 3298 (Admin) the Government’s policy of deporting rough sleeping EU citizens was found to […]

“I made him aware he is very lucky”

A Local Government Ombudsman Report on the actions of Maidstone Borough Council towards a homeless household makes for depressing reading. Both for the actions (and inactions) of the Council and for what it lays bare about the attitude to the homeless. Mr and Mrs A and their young children were owed the full housing duty […]

How long has this been going on? – settled accommodation

Doka v London Borough of Southwark [2017] EWCA Civ 1532 The issue in this second appeal was what amounts to ‘settled accommodation’, sufficient to break the chain of causation of intentional homelessness. Mr D was homeless and in priority need. However, Southwark found he was intentionally homeless on the basis that his last settled accommodation […]

Significantly more vulnerable – how much, or what kind?

Panayiotou v London Borough of Waltham Forest (2017) EWCA Civ 1624 This is an important court of appeal decision on the meaning of ‘significantly’ in Lord Neuberger’s definition of vulnerability under s.189(1)(c) Housing Act 1996 in Hotak v Southwark LBC (2015) UKSC 30, [2016] AC 811 (our report). Lord Neuberger, at 53, said: “Accordingly, I consider that the approach […]