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 […]

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 […]

Fitness for Habitation 2.0 – Q&A and call to arms

If you haven’t already heard, Karen Buck MP got fourth place in the 2017 ballot for private members bills. And she has taken this opportunity to bring forward a new version of the ‘Fitness for Habitation’ Bill that was filibustered in 2015 (and then was voted down as an amendment to the Housing and Planning […]

Warrant on Suspended order – What do you think?

Following the judgment in Cardiff City Council v Lee (2016) EWCA Civ 1034 (our report) and the subsequent appearance of new forms, at least for rent arrears suspended possession order cases, the Civil Procedure Rules Committee is having a consultation on “whether amendments are required to rules and forms in light of the Court of Appeal […]

“Real misery is being caused to no good purpose”

DA & Ors, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2017) EWHC 1446 (Admin) This was the judicial review of the ‘reduced’ benefit cap – £20,000 pa  outside London, £23,000 in London, brought by claimants who were all single mothers with children, including children under two years old. The claim […]

Bedrooms, river beds and more

A few things… In case you didn’t see it through email or social media, I wrote a long piece about social housing in the aftermath of Grenfell Tower, which is on a separate page at that link. In Scotland, the Inner House of the Court of Session heard an appeal from the Upper Tribunal on […]

The Tribunal unleashed

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Carmichael and Sefton BC (HB) [2017] UKUT 0174 (AAC) Oh my. This was the DWP’s appeal to the Upper Tribunal of the First Tier Tribunal’s decision on the Carmichael’s bedroom tax appeal (our report here). It was initially surprising that the DWP sought to pursue this appeal, […]

Northern Waters

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing Ltd v Izevbigie (2017) EWHC 790 (CH) (not on Bailii yet, Judgment is here) Rochdale BH is a social housing provider (of what was the council’s housing stock). The issue in this case – heard as a preliminary issue – was whether Rochdale BH was a water reseller under the terms of The […]

Water and youth

Not, I hasten to make clear, a Daily Mail style piece on the health giving properties of drinking expensive water, but a couple of quick notes. First, a Southwark rent arrears possession case, demonstrating that the effects of Jones v London Borough of Southwark [2016] EWHC 457 (Ch) (our report) rumble on in Southwark, despite the […]

‘Duty of care’ – Not in housing allocation

Darby v Richmond on Thames London Borough Council [2017] EWCA Civ 252 Many of you, I suspect, will be like me – you hear from clients, prospective clients, tenants etc., on a very frequent basis that in making a housing decision, or indeed in not making it, the council or housing association has ‘breached its duty […]