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 […]

Breaching licensing and proceeds of crime

(Our thanks to Spencer Turner for this guest post) Brent Council v Shah and Others, unreported 29 January 2018 (Crown Ct (Harrow)) The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) has been successfully used by Brent Council against landlords for breach of licencing conditions. Background The Defendants were prosecuted by Brent London Borough Council for various […]

Fewer floors for HMOs and minimum room sizes.

The Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, has confirmed that the Government will be going ahead with its proposals to change the conditions for a mandatory license for HMOs to any property with 5 or more occupants in 2 or more households, regardless of the layout of the property (previously the property had to be of three […]

Re-classifying housing associations

Slightly under the radar (possibly), but of enormous significance, the ONS has re-classified housing associations (or private registered providers of social housing – in the new language which I can’t get used to) as private sector, and in so doing has wiped around £60billion off the public sector debt.  It is this re-classification which has given […]

On the naughty step – Physician heal thyself edition

If Nearly Legal has a mantra, it is this: “Everyone should have a housing lawyer with them at all times”. Or, at the bare minimum, a landlord and tenant lawyer. We had taken the reasonableness of this to be self-evident. However, it seems even this basic safety net might not be enough. Meet Lewis Perry, […]

Aesthetics, unlawful kitchens and warehousing bus drivers

A triplet of brief notes. Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring won a judicial review of the Magistrates and Crown Court decisions upholding RB Kensington & Chelsea’s Notice under s.215 Town and County Planning Act 1990, ordering her to paint her Kensington property white, to cover the stripes that may or may not have been painted on the exterior […]

Tales of the private sector

A collation of cases and stories from the private sector, and a series of reminders that a database of rogue landlords, and indeed banning orders, can’t come soon enough. In Sheffield, John Cashin was convicted of 56 offences involving HMO management, failure to provide information, failure to licence and property conditions: Five properties, on Abbeydale […]

Property Guardians & tangled webs (Camelot. Again)

There is a bit of a thing unfolding in Bristol involving property guardians, Bristol City Council and Camelot, one of the larger property guardian firms, upon whom we have had cause to remark upon several times in the past. Several former nursing homes, owned by the Council, were standing empty. The Council went with Camelot to […]

We’re going to need another canto – 2016 roundup

“We to the place have come, where I have told thee Thou shalt behold the people dolorous Who have foregone the good of intellect.” (canto 3) Midway between Christmas and new year, I found myself, fat and indolent, on the sofa, contemplating a year-end post. The trouble with 2016, I realised, is that it made […]