Lime Legal's
Housing Law Week

General Editor: Jan Luba QC

3 December 2014 Update


Policy Issues in Housing Law


The UK Government has issued a new statutory code of guidance on homelessness for local housing authorities in England which has come into effect immediately. The Code supplements the main Code of Guidance (issued in 2006) under Housing Act 1996 section 182 and is specifically concerned with domestic violence. For a copy, click here 

Private renting and immigration checks

The new provisions on landlords undertaking immigration status checks on prospective new tenants came into force on Monday 1 December 2014 in parts of the West Midland ahead of a national roll-out next year. For a copy of the latest House of Commons Library Briefing on these provisions, click here.   

Retaliatory eviction

On 28 November 2014 a private members bill designed to address retaliatory evictions (for details see Housing laws in the pipeline below) was talked-out in Parliament and, despite having had UK Government support, is unlikely to make further progress. For figures from the CAB service suggesting a recent significant increase in private tenants seeking advice, click here  For a copy of the House of Commons Library Briefing on the background to the bill, click here For a pre-debate briefing on the Bill by Shelter's Policy Officer, click here  

Legal aid in housing cases

On 26 November 2014 the Bureau of Investigative Journalism published figures demonstrating the collapse in take-up of legal aid for advice and representation in housing cases. For the figures covering each of the 156 local legal aid 'procurement areas', click here For a discussion of why little over half of the available legal aid for housing cases was used, click here For an examination of the reasons why there are now parts of the country which are housing advice deserts, click here See further the "Use it or Lose It" article by Sara Stephens and Jan Luba (in Housing Law Articles, below).

Housing benefit for tenants under 35
The Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR) limits the amount of housing benefit that a single person under the age of 35 can receive. The House of Commons Library has produced a new briefing note providing background information on the operation of the SAR and its extension in January 2012 to claimants under age 35. For a copy, click here  

Service charges in social housing

An explanation of the assistance available to long leaseholders of social landlords in paying for major works is given in the latest House of Commons Library Briefing. For a copy, click here  

Human rights & children's rights in relation to housing

The Equality & Human Rights Commission has published a new guide to human rights for use by regulatory bodies, inspectorates and ombudsmen. For a copy, click here The Children's Rights Alliance for England has published a review of the need for further action on children's rights. It notes the number of children in homeless families and in unsatisfactory bed & breakfast accommodation. For a copy of the review, click here 

Tenants of social housing

The G15 group (of London’s largest housing associations) has published its latest Real London Lives research report. It addresses the popular misunderstanding that the population of social housing  residents is characterised by high levels of benefit dependency, lone parenthood, long-term unemployment and limited aspiration. For a copy of the report, click here  

Lime Legal’s Housing Management Conference 2014

London , Friday 5 December

Last chance to book!

Programme includes:

  • Rent arrears management after a year of ‘welfare reform’
  • Rental capacity problems among tenants: law and practice 
  • The Housing Manager’s In-Tray 2014: the hot issues
    • Joint Tenancies – the Supreme Court speaks
    • When can we use licences? The Supreme Court speaks again
    • Tenancy fraud: detection, eviction, prosecution and repayment
    • Transfers: ‘non-priority cases’ and  ‘management transfers’
    • Mutual exchange: the real ‘right to move’?
    • Death and succession
  • ASB update: case law round up and the new legislation explained
  • Getting possession: a Case law and legislation update
  • Questions & Answers – your chance to ask the experts

 Click here for details

Housing Laws in the Pipeline  

Tenancies (Reform) Bill
This was a Private Members Bill was introduced by Sarah Teather MP. It had its second reading on 28 November 2014. For that debate, click here The Bill was talked-out and is unlikely to progress further (see above). For a copy of the Bill, click here For the Explanatory Notes, click here For other details about the Bill, click here 

Affordable Homes Bill
This Private Members Bill would (1) introduce three new exemptions to the application of the under-occupation deduction from Housing Benefit (or the housing element of Universal Credit) for claimants who are deemed to be under-occupying their social rented homes and (2) secure a review of the availability of affordable and intermediate housing by the Secretary of State. The bill was in its House of Commons Committee Stage on 29 October 2014 but that stage has been adjourned until after the House has passed a money resolution for the spending the Bill will incur. For the sponsoring MP’s reaction to the adjournment of the proceedings, click here For more details about the bill and its progress, click here  For the latest exchange on the UK Government’s estimate that the enactment of the Bill would cost £1 billion, click here  

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 bill has completed its House of Lords Report Stage and will have a Third reading on 8 December 2014. For more details about the bill and its progress, click here For the latest version of the Bill, as amended on Report, click here For last week’s debate on parts of the Bill concerning letting agent fees, 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 bill has completed its House of Lords Committee Stage and a date for Report Stage has yet to be fixed. For more details about the bill and its progress, click here 


Natt v Osman
26 November 2014
Three tenants of flats in a building served notice claiming the right to acquire the freehold. The freeholders said that the notice was invalid because the attic of the building contained a fourth flat not referred-to in the notice. The Court of Appeal upheld a decision that the notice was ineffective because it did not give the name of one of the qualifying tenants in the property, the address of the flat of that qualifying tenant and the particulars of that qualifying tenant's lease.   For the judgment, click here  

Greenwich LBC v Tuitt
25 November 2014
The defendant was a secure tenant. Her teenage son, who lived with her, had engaged in serious anti-social and criminal behaviour in the locality of her home. On the council’s application for possession, an outright order was made. The tenant appealed contending that she had not been responsible personally for any misconduct.  The Court of Appeal upheld the possession order. The judge had carefully considered what the tenant had (or, more significantly, had not) done to address her son’s behaviour. The decisions on whether to make a possession order and whether to suspend it had been correctly made. Noted on LAWTEL but no transcript yet available.

R(J) v Worcestershire CC
25 November 2014
The claimant was a young disabled child in a family of travelling showmen. The family spent each winter residing in the council’s area. The council accepted he was a child in need entitled to services. It said that it had no power to continue those services once the claimant left its area during the travelling season. His family would need to secure services in turn from each council through whose area they moved. The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court decision that the council did have a power to continue the provision of services under Children Act 1989 section 17 for children who had been in, but were now outside, its area.  For the judgment, click here  

Circle 33 Housing Trust v Lawal
24 November 2014
The trust decided that Mr Lawal was no longer occupying his rented home and it gave notice to quit on the basis he had lost his security of tenure.  In a possession claim, the judge was satisfied that even if the property was still a home it was no longer Mr Lawal’s ‘only or principal home’.  An application for permission to appeal against the order, relying on Article 8, was refused. The trust applied for a warrant. Mr Lawal applied for a stay, seeking to argue that Article 8 could be raised at the enforcement stage. That was refused and he appealed. The Court of Appeal refused to re-open the earlier refusal of permission to appeal even though, because of Housing Act 1980 section  89, the county court could not defer his eviction for more than 6 weeks at the warrant stage.  For the judgment, click here  

Bank of Ireland v Shah
20 November 2014
The bank obtained a possession order against a mortgage borrower. When it sought to enforce the order, it found the defendant in occupation. It applied to the court to add him as second defendant to the possession claim and obtained a warrant addressed to him and endorsed with a penal notice. It then carried out an eviction and secured the property. The defendant broke back in and the bank applied to commit for contempt. The High Court imposed a three month sentence of imprisonment. Noted on LAWTEL and WESTLAW but no transcript yet available. For a commentary on the decision, click here.  

Brent LBC v Hussan Hussain
18 November 2014
The defendant was a private landlord. Without planning permission he converted a property into nine studio flats. In breach of a planning enforcement notice he let them out. On a conviction, after trial, the maximum fine of £20,000 was imposed with costs of £38,422. The judge also made a confiscation order of £494,314 being the amount of rent he had received as a result of his offence. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal. Although the fine was the maximum, the lettings had continued in the face of both knowledge of the breach and warnings of prosecution. The confiscation  order had been correctly imposed and was proportionate. For the history of the prosecution, click here. For the judgment see neutral citation [2014] EWCA Crim 2344.

Boyd v Fortune
11 November 2014
The defendant was a private landlord. The claimant had been one of his tenants and had obtained a judgment for £1,005 because his deposit had not been protected. The defendant appealed but failed to attend the appeal hearing and the appeal was dismissed. He appealed against the dismissal of his appeal but again failed to attend. The Court of Session refused to re-open the appeal and dismissed it. For the judgment, click here.  

West Oxfordshire DC v Jaroslaw Piotrowski (Witney Rooms Ltd)
11 November 2014
The defendant was a private landlord. Without obtaining a possession order, he changed the locks preventing a tenant from accessing his accommodation and failed to provide a key, despite numerous requests made by council officers. He was fined £400 with £1,550 costs, £40 victim surcharge and £350 in compensation for the tenant. For details of the prosecution, click here.  

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Receipts from council housing sales
The DCLG is consulting on proposed amendments to the regulations governing the use of receipts arising from the disposal of council housing assets and use of the receipt arising from such disposals. Closing date: 19 December 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  


The Localism Act 2011: the hollow housing law revolution Chris Bevan [2014] 77 Modern Law Review 964. For details, click here  

Only one London Borough
is acting on a law that helps protect tenants
Claudia-Liza Armah [2014] The Independent, 24 November. To read the article, click here

Article 8 and disability discrimination: where are we now? Marina Sergides and Tessa Buchanan [2014] 18 L. & T. Review 210 

Sorting myths from facts over housing cases
Jan Luba QC and Sara Stephens [2014] Legal Action November Issue. To read the article, click here (subscription only) 

The immigration status of residential tenants: the new law
Tarnya Pilgrim [2014] 18 L. & T. Review 228

Recent developments in housing law Jan Luba QC and Nic Madge [2014] Legal Action November Issue p37. To read the article, click here (subscription only)  

Safe from harm?
(considering the position of “property guardians” living in empty properties)  Jayne Atherton [2014] 166 The Adviser, November/December Issue, p17.  

What is a “dwelling”?
Matt Hutchings and Nicola Margiotta [2014] 13 November Local Government Lawyer. To read the article, click here 

Keep it in the family?
(considering the assignment of secure and assured tenancies in social housing to family members)  Kevin Long [2014] 166 The Adviser, November/December Issue, p20.  

Charging for discretionary leasehold services
Sebastian Clegg [2014] 20 November Local Government Lawyer. To read the article, click here 

Guide and protect?
(considering the impact of consumer protection legislation on letting agencies) Carrie Kus and Mark Robinson [2014] 166 The Adviser, November/December Issue, p27.  

Tenancy Fraud in Northern Ireland
Justin Cartwright [2014] 19 November. CIH Blog. To read the article, click here 


3 December 2014
Supreme Court to give judgment in Loveridge v Lambeth LBC on damages for unlawful eviction. For the judgment, click here. For the Supreme Court summary, click here

5 December 2014
Lime Legal's Housing Management Conference 2014: Law & Practice. For more details click here  

8 December 2014
Third Reading of the Consumer Rights Bill (see above) in the House of Lords

10 December 2014
Supreme Court to hear the appeal in Aster Communities v Akerman-Livingstone (on possession and disability discrimination defences). For details, click here  

15 December 2014
Supreme Court to hear the appeal in Johnson v Solihull MBC (with other appeals on homelessness and vulnerability). For details, click here 

19 December 2014
Closing date of consultation on use of receipts arising from the disposal of council housing assets (see above)



Vacancy – Housing & Civil Litigation Lawyer/Caseworker with Birmingham Solicitors
Mayflower Solicitors are seeking a Housing & Civil Litigation Lawyer or Caseworker to assist with the development of their Housing Law Team. The firm advises RSLs, Private Landlords and acts for Tenants under its LAA Contract

The successful candidate should possess a good working knowledge and experience of Housing Law and the application of the CPR to this area of legal practice. The role includes court attendances and is a perfect platform to build on advocacy skills. Candidates should be comfortable with managing a growing caseload with limited supervision from the Team’s Lead lawyer and will be expected to assist with business development initiatives across the firm to promote its services in Birmingham. 

This role is a strategic position with career development opportunities offering a competitive package to the right candidate. 

Please respond by sending your CV with a cover letter to:

Advertise your housing jobs at no charge – simply email for more information.

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