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Possession – more change in England

From the beginning of this month, there has been yet more change on the possession front. Suzanne Gregson examines the latest position. Read more
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  NEWS

Oct 18, 2021

Major social landlord names five firms to £10m legal services framework

One of the leading registered providers of social housing in the UK has named five law firms to a legal services framework worth an estimated £10m.
Oct 15, 2021

Landlord ordered to pay more than £33k in fines and costs over failure to license property

Merton Council has successfully prosecuted a landlord and his associated property agency for letting unsafe properties and operating in an unlicensed manner.
Oct 14, 2021

Housing Ombudsman consults on 2022-25 Corporate Plan as complaints in sector skyrocket

The Housing Ombudsman has launched a consultation on the service’s Corporate Plan for 2022-25, which it says will reinforce the changing role and importance of complaint handling.
Oct 13, 2021

Ombudsman investigation highlights housing delays in Birmingham

The Local Government Ombudsman has highlighted the length that prospective tenants have to wait for applications to be processed after upholding a complaint against Birmingham City Council over a six-month delay to one family’s request.
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  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

October 01, 2021

No case to answer: prosecution under s. 82 Environmental Protection Act 1990 dismissed

Sarah Salmon reports on how a social landlord successfully defended a private prosecution brought by an occupier of one of its properties under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
October 01, 2021

Assessment of costs in disrepair claims

The County Court recently considered the amount of legal costs that are recoverable in a disrepair claim that settled pre-issue. Stathis Kosteletos and Elena-Lucia Singleton analyse the ruling.
September 24, 2021

Fixed recoverable costs in housing conditions claims

The Government has decided to extend fixed recoverable costs to all civil claims, including housing conditions claims. Matthew Lake analyses the impact of the move.
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  MORE NEWS

Oct 12, 2021

Social housing providers will be exempt from Residential Property Developer Tax

The government has confirmed that social landlords will be exempt from the Residential Property Developer Tax (RPDT) when it is introduced next year.
Oct 11, 2021

Police assist illegal evictions of tenants from their homes, charity claims

Shelter Cymru has told a Senedd Cymru hearing that police have been assisting in unlawful evictions.
Oct 07, 2021

200 unresolved noise complaints accumulated by council during the pandemic

Calderdale Metropolitan District Council accumulated a backlog of 200 unresolved complaints about noise during the pandemic, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Oct 07, 2021

Severe maladministration at housing association saw resident live with damp and mould for two years, Ombudsman investigation finds

A Housing Ombudsman investigation into a housing association's failure to respond to a resident's request to deal with damp and mould in her home has uncovered two instances of severe maladministration.
Oct 07, 2021

Asylum seeker wrongly declared as intentionally homeless by Council

Westminster City Council wrongly declared an asylum seeker intentionally homeless after she left a flat in Middlesbrough because of the activities of an intruder.
Oct 07, 2021

Case against social landlord with "no basis for liability" must be struck out

A community interest company’s case against a social landlord was “hopelessly muddled” and must be struck out, a judge has said.
Oct 06, 2021

Regulator makes three appointments to board of Liverpool social housing provider in bid to resolve governance failures

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has made three statutory appointments to the board of a provider of social housing in Liverpool that was the subject of a strongly-critical regulatory notice.
Oct 05, 2021

Regulations and guidance issued on support councils must give domestic abuse victims

The Government has published new regulations and guidance setting out the level of support councils are required to provide to domestic abuse victims who need to escape home.
Oct 04, 2021

Anthony Collins Solicitors hires Wright Hassall head of housing as partner

Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) has appointed Andrew Dudley, the head of housing at Wright Hassall, as a new partner to its social housing property team.
Sep 30, 2021

Ombudsman finds social landlord guilty of severe maladministration after resident waited seven years for repairs

The Housing Ombudsman has found severe maladministration in relation to a South East housing association’s complaint handling, after a resident waited seven years for repairs.
Sep 27, 2021

Anthony Collins Solicitors housing partner appointed as Midlands deputy district judge 

Helen Tucker, a partner in Anthony Collins Solicitors’ housing management team, has been appointed as a part-time deputy district judge (DDJ) for the Midlands Circuit.
Sep 23, 2021

"Act now or risk a surge in homelessness”, Kerslake Commission warns

Lessons learnt from emergency initiatives aimed at reducing rough sleeping during the pandemic need to be embedded in long-term policy, a group of cross-party politicians and experts from the health, housing, and homelessness sectors have told the Government.
Sep 23, 2021

Council secures anti-harassment injunction in High Court against landlord who waged “deliberately offensive” campaign against councillors, lawyers and other officers

A Deputy High Court judge has granted Ashford Borough Council a final anti-harassment injunction against a large-scale landlord who engaged in a campaign of “repetitive, frequent, oppressive and offensive correspondence”.
Sep 21, 2021

London borough secures £111k confiscation order over flat and bedsit conversions

A property owner in London who built a number of extensions and converted them into seven flats and two bedsits, all without planning permission, has been ordered to pay more than £144,000.
Sep 21, 2021

Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in housing case concerning discrimination claims and s204 appeals

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal in a case over whether the County Court has jurisdiction to determine allegations of discrimination in a statutory appeal brought under section 204 of the Housing Act 1996.
Sep 21, 2021

Major NW social landlord names 10 firms to £5m legal services framework

The largest affordable housing provider in the North West of England, Torus, has appointed ten law firms to a four-year legal services framework.
Sep 16, 2021

Ombudsman criticises council after couple forced to live in unsuitable interim accommodation for 19 months

Nottingham City Council has agreed to pay a couple £2,250 after an investigation of a housing case by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Sep 16, 2021

Claimant wins Upper Tribunal appeal over tenancy agreement and housing benefit

The London Borough of Sutton has lost a case in the Upper Tribunal over whether a tenancy arrangement was a sham to increase housing benefit.
Sep 14, 2021

Trowers advises district council on financing of 600-home joint venture

Law firm Trowers & Hamlins has advised Warwick District Council on the financing of a new partnership with Vistry Partnerships that will lead to the development of over 600 homes.
Sep 14, 2021

Councils express concern about practicalities of implementing new fire safety legislation

The Local Government Association has said it welcomes the introduction of the Fire Safety Act and the Building Safety Bill and hopes they will be "an important step in the right direction", but has expressed concern about some of the practicalities of the implementation of new fire safety legislation for both resident safety and local authorities.
Sep 13, 2021

Two North of England housing associations to procure £3m legal services framework jointly

Two housing associations in the North of England are to procure a solicitors framework worth an estimated £3m.
Sep 10, 2021

Homes England 'revolutionises' procurement process with launch of new land disposal approach

Homes England has launched what it has called a "first of its kind" Delivery Partner Dynamic Purchasing System, which allows housebuilders to apply to join the agency's list of preferred developers on an ongoing basis, rather than having to wait until the list renews once every four years.
Sep 10, 2021

Clear link between poor governance and compliance with consumer standards, social housing regulator reports

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has outlined areas of improvement for social housing landlords in its ninth annual consumer regulation review.
Sep 08, 2021

London borough to pay complainant £4k after failure to take homelessness application earlier

The London Borough of Barnet is to pay more than £4,000 to a man in case where it was too slow to take a homelessness application and provide emergency accommodation.
Sep 08, 2021

Housing Ombudsman launches project on widening access to complaints with call for volunteers for expert group

The Housing Ombudsman has launched a new project aimed at improving the accessibility of the complaints system, particularly for hard to reach groups.
Sep 07, 2021

First Tier Tribunal wrongly struck out landlord penalty appeal after solicitor failed to pay hearing fee, Upper Tribunal rules

A private landlord will have her appeal of a £7,000 penalty for failure to license a house in multiple occupation (HMO) decided by a different judge after it was initially refused by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) because her solicitor failed to pay the hearing fee on time, the Upper Tribunal has ruled.
Sep 06, 2021

Anthony Collins bolsters Manchester office with housing partner hire

Anthony Collins Solicitors has appointed housing specialist Thomas Starkey as a partner as part of its effort to boost its presence in the North West.
Sep 03, 2021

Devonshires names head of housing management and property litigation

Law firm Devonshires has promoted Donna McCarthy to lead its Housing Management and Property Litigation team.
Sep 03, 2021

Complaints to the Housing Ombudsman have risen 21%, quarterly report shows

A report from the Housing Ombudsman covering April to June 2021 shows a 21% increase in the volume of enquiries and complaints received compared to the previous quarter.
Sep 02, 2021

Housing Law Practitioners Association surveys members ahead of judicial review challenge over Brent allocations scheme

The Housing Law Practitioners Association has asked members for information about the experiences of clients who have approached the London Borough of Brent for housing assistance.

  MORE FEATURES

September 17, 2021

Housing disrepair claims and costs

Social landlords who do not challenge costs are potentially overpaying by tens of thousands of pounds in some of these matters. Alex Bagnall explains how they can secure significant reductions.
September 07, 2021

Homelessness and eligibility

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note, produced in partnership with Iris Ferber of 42 Bedford Row, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the eligibility of applicants for housing assistance.
September 06, 2021

Where are you? The “missing” witnesses and drawing an adverse inference

Andrew Lane reports on a recent trial of a possession claim where the issue of adverse inferences was raised.
September 02, 2021

How to get section 21 and deposits right

Iris Ferber and Andrew Carter discuss how to navigate the numerous rules in play in regards to deposits and section 21 notices.
August 20, 2021

Disclosure in without-notice injunctions

A recent County Court case offers a reminder of the importance of being thorough and objective while discharging the duty of disclosure in without-notice injunctions, writes John Murray.
August 20, 2021

Defending nuisance claims

Stuart Whitehead reports on how a social landlord successfully defended a case brought by a tenant involving an alleged infestation of a property.
August 05, 2021

CCTV and breaches of injunctions

A housing association tenant has lost his appeal over a suspended custodial sentence he was given after being caught on CCTV breaching an injunction. Anna Bennett examines the Court of Appeal's decision.
August 05, 2021

Possession proceedings and evictions: recent changes

Helen Tucker analyses the latest developments in relation to possession proceedings and evictions.
August 04, 2021

Big Problems Need Radical Solutions – Time to Play Monopoly with District Heating?

Steve Gummer examines how local authorities might make district heat networks a reality.
August 03, 2021

Housing case law - July/August 2021

Paul Lloyd, Helen Gascoigne and Tom Bradbury round up the latest housing law judgments of interest to housing associations and local authorities.
August 03, 2021

Joint ventures: The benefits and implications for RPs and developers explained

Chimi Shakohoxha, Ryan Campbell and Rita Saadeh set out the benefits and implications of joint ventures between registered providers and developers.
July 23, 2021

Implementing a compulsory purchase order

Simon Bell considers the lessons for local authorities and claimants from a recent High Court challenge to a council's decision to execute a general vesting declaration.
July 23, 2021

How to ensure better protection for tenants around the country

Shona Ali looks at worrying recent trends in relation to illegal evictions and sets out what local authorities can do to combat the problem.
July 20, 2021

Housing Ombudsman Podcast: Relaxing the rules and returning to the New Normal

In the first episode of the Housing Ombudsman's new podcast, Richard Blakeway, Verity Richards and David Simmons discuss the complaints they have seen that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
July 16, 2021

The housing possessions backlog and Nightingale Courts: a simple solution?

Natalie Foster explores the potential role of ‘Nightingale Courts’ and extended operating hours in unclogging the housing possessions backlog – and ensuring that the wheels of justice keep turning.
July 09, 2021

Introduction of the Building Safety Bill

Lorna Kenyon offers some initial thoughts on the scope of the Building Safety Bill.
July 08, 2021

The New Model for Shared Ownership Lease: a decade of repair costs for landlords

Mark Foxcroft looks at the impact on registered providers of the 10-year repair-free period under the Shared Ownership model.
July 08, 2021

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021: What does it mean for social housing providers?

The Domestic Abuse Act (“DAA”) received royal assent on 29 April 2021 following a much-delayed journey through Parliament. The Act will have important ramifications for social housing providers – including changes for homelessness under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 which came into effect on 5 July 2021. Tara O’Leary provides a summary of what to expect.
July 08, 2021

Electronic execution: how to save time and money sealing your property documents

A new era of paperless property deals is upon us following the Land Registry’s landmark decision in July 2020 to accept e-signed documents for registration, writes Sandy Munroe.
July 08, 2021

Housing case law update - June 2021

Daniel Skinner, Sarah Christy and Laura Waby round up the latest judgments of interest to housing associations and local authorities.