Lime Legal's
Housing Law Week

General Editor: Jan Luba QC

22 October 2014 Update


New Housing Laws

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Commencement No. 7, Saving and Transitional Provisions) (Amendment) Order 2014
This Order, made on 14 October 2014, corrects the commencement order that brought most of the anti-social behaviour provisions of the Anti-Social Behaviour etc 2014 into force (except for the new injunctions) on Monday 20 October 2014. For a copy of the new amending Order, click here.

Housing Laws in the Pipeline  

Consumer Rights Bill
This is a government bill that relates to housing by: (1) repealing and replacing laws dealing with unfair terms in tenancy agreements and other contracts; and (2) requiring letting agents to publish their fees. The next stage of the bill is the Lords Committee Stage starting on 13 October 2014. For details about the bill and its progress, click here

Deregulation Bill.

This is a government bill that relates to housing by: (1) reducing the  qualifying period for right to buy; (2) removing the power to require preparation of housing strategies; and (3) amending the law on tenancy deposits. The next stage of the bill is the Lords Committee Stage starting on 21 October 2014. For details about the bill and its progress, click here

Tenancies (Reform) Bill 2014-15.
This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Sarah Teather MP. Its purpose is to protect tenants against retaliatory eviction and to amend the law on notices requiring possession relating to assured shorthold tenancies. For details about the bill and its progress, click here.  

Carers Bedroom Entitlement (Social Housing Sector) Bill

This is a Private Members Bill to be introduced by Barbara Keeley MP. Its purpose is to provide that people living in the social housing sector, who are in receipt of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, be entitled to that benefit based on needing an additional bedroom related to caring responsibilities or overnight care. For the debate and vote on 14 October 2014 on the motion to introduce it, click here. 

Policy Issues in Housing Law

Homelessness (1) 
A new report from CRISIS, on the treatment of single homeless people by local authority homelessness services in England, was published on 16 October 2014. It reveals that large numbers are wrongly turned away. For a copy of the report, click here. 

Homelessness (2)
Homelessness among care leavers is explored in a new report from Action for Children which indicates that something is going very wrong for the most vulnerable young people leaving care. For a copy of the report, click here 

Homelessness (3
The Welsh Government has published explanatory notes to the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. They set out how the new homelessness provisions (and other parts of the Act) are intended to work. For a copy, click here. 

Private Renting (1)
The House of Commons Library has issued a new free briefing paper on the latest arrangements and proposals for regulating letting agents and managing agents in England. For a copy, click here. 

Private Renting (2)
On 13 October 2014 the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Private Rented Sector published a new report addressing access to private rented housing for the under 35s. For a copy, click here

Housing Benefit
The scale of Housing Benefit fraud - and both customer and official error - is set out in a new report from National Audit Office. For a copy, click here

Right to buy
In a statement to the House of Commons on 13 October 2014, the Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) reported that his department had begun writing to almost one million social tenants to remind them of their Right to Buy. This mail-out will be supported through advertisements in local newspapers. He said “There might never be a better time for eligible council and housing association tenants to make this life-changing decision for them and their families.” For the full announcement, click here
For an article suggesting that the right to buy helps a few at the expense of the housing security of many, click here 

New social housing
The latest official figures published on 16 October 2014 show that the number of new homes delivered in the social rented sector (social and affordable rented) in England increased by 24 per cent from only 24,600 in 2012-13 to only 30,590 in 2013-14.For the full figures, click here On the same day, the official figures covering sales in England of existing social housing were published. They show that in 2013-14 there were 26,376 sales of social housing dwellings, an increase of 60% compared to 2012 to 2013.  11,740 of those sales were by local authorities (an increase of 70% on the 2012 to 2013 figure) and 14,636 were by private registered providers (an increase of 50% compared to 2012 to 2013). For the full statistics, click here. 

Social housing rent arrears
On 17 October 2014 a consortium of housing organisations published its Welfare Reform Survey – 2013/14 end of year update. The survey found that at the end of 2013/14 the landlords surveyed had issued a notice of seeking possession to 21% of all households still affected by the ‘under-occupation penalty’. For a copy of the report, click here.  

New housing
The Housing Commission chaired by Sir Michael Lyons has published a programme for housing provision designed to tackle “the biggest housing crisis in a generation”. For a copy of the report, click here For a National Housing Federation briefing on the report, click here. 

Booking now

Housing Management Conference 2014 
London, Friday 5 December 2014
“Simply the best conference around”
(Housing Manager past delegate)

Click here for details


Southwell v Blackburn
16 October 2014
A couple decided to set up home together. They chose a house that the male partner then bought in his own name with his own money. He met the mortgage repayments. The female partner gave up her housing association tenancy to move in with him. The household expenses were shared. They lived as if they were husband and wife.  Ten years later, the relationship broke down and the couple separated. A judge held that the woman’s claim to be a beneficiary of a constructive trust failed but upheld her alternative claim to an enforceable equity by operation of proprietary estoppel. The judge valued that equity at £28,500. The Court of Appeal dismissed the male partner’s appeal. The judge’s conclusions were supported by the facts found. For the judgment, click here

AA v Southwark LBC
14 October 2014
The claimant had been a secure tenant of the council for 23 years. He defaulted on a suspended possession order obtained for rent arrears and was evicted. His possessions were immediately destroyed. After a trial of his claim for reinstatement and compensation, the judge found that various council officers had conspired to evict the claimant by unlawful means, to seize and destroy his possessions by unlawful means and to cause him harm and loss. This conspiracy was subsequently covered up by a further conspiracy which gave rise to abuse of process by the council in the subsequent court proceedings and to a continuing deprivation of the claimant's enjoyment of his tenancy and loss of his possessions. The parties agreed damages in an undisclosed sum. For the judgment, click here

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service v Haresh Patel
13 October 2014
The defendant was a private landlord with a substantial portfolio of 17 properties. Following a fire, which placed the occupants of some of his flats at a serious risk of injury or death, he pleaded guilty to seven charges of breaching fire safety legislation. At Leicester Crown Court he was sentenced to eight months imprisonment and ordered to pay costs of £13,700. For full details of the prosecution, click here.  

Health & Safety Executive v Mehboob Bobat and Suraiya Bobat
10 October 2014
The defendants were private landlords. An HSE investigation found four gas appliances in their rented property were unsafe and that they had failed to arrange an annual gas safety check. At Trafford Magistrates’ Court they were each sentenced to 80 hours of community service with unpaid work and each ordered to pay costs of £720 after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.  They were also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60. For details of the prosecution, click here.  

Hammersmith & Fulham LBC v Royston Cooper
7 October 2014
The defendant was a private landlord who let a house to students. On a prosecution brought by the council, he did not appear at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court and was found guilty of four offences under the Housing Act 2004. He was fined £15,000 for failing to license the house as an HMO, £5,000 for failing to maintain the boiler, £5,000 for not fixing a leaking soil pipe in the toilet, and  £3,000 for failing to respond to the council’s request for information. He was ordered to pay costs of £2,160 and a victim surcharge of £120. For full details of the prosecution, click here

Lambeth Council v Lexadon Ltd
8 September 2014
The defendant was a private landlord. Without planning permission, it converted a house into four flats and let them out. An enforcement notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 was served but the defendant failed to comply.  At Inner London Crown Court the company was ordered to pay £143,134 (being the amount that it made from renting out the property as flats), a £13,000 fine and £6,812 costs.  The company owner, Jerrard Knight, was also fined £13,000. For details of the prosecution, click here

Lambeth Council v Ahmad Nejad
8 September 2014
The defendant held a council tenancy of a property in Lambeth. When he became the tenant he already owned an undisclosed property elsewhere.  He rented out the council home and purchased several other properties. The defendant was convicted of three charges under the Fraud Act 2006 in relation to the subletting. He was fined £1,500 with costs of £1,999. Possession of the property was recovered. For further details, see para 2.2.4 of a report available by clicking here

Lambeth Council v Iqbal Ali Khan
5 September 2014
The defendant converted a house into flats without planning permission. He was convicted of breach of a planning enforcement notice and appealed. His appeal was turned down at the Old Bailey and he was ordered to pay costs of more than £17,000. An application for a confiscation order has been made in respect of his profits. For details of the prosecution, click here. 

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Right to Move

The DCLG is consulting about new provisions for lettings in social housing. For example, do we need a new "reasonable preference" category in England for those moving to take up work? Closing date:  22 October 2014. For a copy of the consultation paper,
click here. 

Local welfare provision in 2015 to 2016
Parts of the discretionary Social Fund were abolished by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 and new local welfare provision by local authorities replaced Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans. On 10 October 2014 DCLG and the DWP opened a consultation seeking views on how local welfare provision should be funded in 2015 to 2016. Closing date:  21 November 2014. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here


The DCLG is consulting on new planning restrictions which will affect gypsies and travellers without authorised sites. In addition to the formal consultation paper, there is an easy read version and an equality assessment. Closing date: 23 November 2014. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here.   

Consultation on a New Tenancy for the Private Sector

The Scottish Government is consulting on new arrangements for security of tenure and/or rent control in the private rented sector. Closing date: 28 December 2014. For a copy of the consultation paper,
click here.    


How to rethink hoarding disorder Jamie Hickling [2014] 17 October. The Guardian Housing Network. To read the article, click here

May 2015 - the Home Stretch (the proposals for housing from the three main political parties)
Andrew Arden QC and Clare Cullen [2014] 10 October. LAG Housing Law Blog. To read the article, click here

The new Anti-social Behaviour Act 2014 – what it means for landlords and tenants: Part 2
[2014] 18 Landlord & Tenant Review 165


20 October New tools and powers under Anti-social Behaviour Act 2014 due to come into force in England (see New Housing Laws above)
21 October Supreme Court to hear a case about damages for unlawful eviction by a local authority. Click here
22 October End of ‘right to move’ consultation (see Consultations above)
22 October Supreme Court hands down judgment in Scott v Southern Pacific Mortgages Limited concerning sale and lease-back arrangements with homeowners. For more details, click here      


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