Time to contact your MP – Homes Fit For Habitation

As I may have reminded you once or twice already (and no doubt will again), the second reading of Karen Buck MP’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill is on 19 January 2018. This is a private members bill. It is very rare for private bills to become law, mostly because of […]

Universal Credit – here comes the homelessness

Social landlords have been panicking about Universal Credit for a bit, particularly those with experience in the pilot areas. But private landlords have been panicking too, and their panic takes a rather blunter and more immediately brutal form. GAP Property, a large landlord in the Grimsby area, has been staring at the introduction of Universal […]

Deposits, Lies and Unlawful Evictions

Zeeshan v Mahmood, County Court at Manchester, 27 October 2017. (Our grateful thanks to Amy Tagoe of Stephensons Solicitors for the following note of this unlawful eviction case) The Claimants were the tenants of a property owned by the Defendant by way of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement dated 18th September 2012.  A deposit was paid in […]

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 […]

Hide and Seek with Justice – A Rant

(Updated 26/10/2017 – at the bottom) Access to justice is one thing. Actually being able to find it another. This is the sorry, sad, truly pathetic tale of the fall out of the closure of Lambeth County Court. I’m sorry for length, but hell, it has been a long, painful trip. In late 2015, the […]

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 […]

Guidance on reducing homelessness

The DCLG has published the draft statutory code of guidance to accompany the Homelessness Reduction Act (in force from April 2018). The draft code is now subject to 8 weeks consultation. The DCLG has also announced the fairly small additional sums that councils will, initially, receive to implement the Act. This Guidance will no doubt […]

Vulnerability, medical evidence & Now Medical

Thomas v Lambeth LBC, County Court at Central London, 16 March 2017 This is a s.204 appeal in the County Court of a vulnerability decision by Lambeth. A copy of the transcript of judgment is here. Of particular interest is that the judgment concerns and indeed turns on Now Medical reports on the homeless applicant […]