Lime Legal's
Housing Law Week

General Editor: Jan Luba QC

15th July 2015 Update


Housing & the Budget
On 8 July 2015 the Chancellor delivered the first Budget of the 2015-2020 UK Government. For the Budget Speech, click here   For the official Budget Policy Document, click here    For the House of Commons Library Briefing Paper giving a summary of the Budget, click here  For a news media summary of the Housing provisions, click here  For a Housing lawyer’s commentary, click here    For the Bill introducing the changed Housing Benefit arrangements and reductions to social housing rents, see Housing laws in the pipeline below.

Homelessness prevention
On 9 July 2015, the UK Government published the latest official statistics on homelessness prevention and relief in England that took place outside the homelessness statutory framework in 2014 to 2015. For the figures, click here

Homelessness and Young People
The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research has published a new report: Estimating the scale of youth homelessness in the UK. The work was commissioned by the charity Centrepoint. For a copy of the report, click here

Homelessness Policy
On 7 July 2015, Marcus Jones MP, the UK Government Minister with responsibility for Homelessness, set out the Government’s policies in a speech to the Homeless Link conference. For a copy of the speech, click here

Homelessness & Health
The organisation Homeless Link has published Preventing homelessness to improve health and wellbeing. The report considers the evidence on the relationship between interventions to end homelessness and improved health. For a copy, click here

Housing & Migrants
On 1 July 2015, the campaigning group Housing Justice published Models of accommodation and support for migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF): a resource for practitioners and groups who want to get involved. For a copy, click here

Access to Social Rented Housing: EU Nationals
On 7 July 2015, the UK Housing Minister said that the Government will introduce a new residency requirement so that EU migrants cannot be considered for social housing unless they have been living in the UK for at least four years. The change would be taken forward as part of wider EU treaty negotiation on welfare changes. For the Parliamentary Answer he gave, click here

Private renting
Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Licensing Panel has refused an application for a private landlord’s registration on the basis that the applicant is not a ‘fit and proper person’. The officer’s report to the Panel contained information about his previous conviction for ‘stalking’. For that report, click here  For media coverage of the decision, click here

Shared Ownership
On 14 July 2015, the House of Commons was to hold a Westminster Hall debate on shared ownership housing. For the Commons Library Briefing Paper prepared for the debate, click here  

Housing Associations
The Centre for Theology & Community and the campaigning group Housing Justice have published Our common heritage: Housing associations and churches working together. For a copy, click here

Housing & Cities
On 1 July 2015, the UK Government published a report that reviews the history of housing over recent decades and offers an account of the current situation from the perspective of a range of cities. It presents possible future scenarios of how these cities would be changed by 2060. For the report, click here

Housing & Disability
On 24 June 2015, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability launched a Call for Evidence and invited all interested parties to submit evidence by 4 September 2015. For more details, click here On 3 July 2015, the UK Government produced a memorandum providing a factual account of developments since the Equality Act received Royal Assent, including a summary of key case law. For a copy of the memorandum, click here


Lime Legal
Social Housing Tenancy Agreements Conference 2015
(London , Friday 9 October 2015)

conference for everyone who has to draft, administer, interpret or enforce social housing tenancy agreements.
For details click here


Welfare Reform and Work Bill
This UK Government Bill was published on 9 July 2015 to make provision about (1) the benefit cap; (2) social security and tax credits; (3) loans for mortgage interest; and (4) social housing rents. It will have a Second Reading in the House of Commons on 21 July. For the Bill, click here For the explanatory notes, click here To follow the progress of the Bill, click here

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill

This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Karen Buck MP. It would amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation. It had a First Reading on 24 June 2015 and its Second Reading is scheduled for 16 October 2015. For details on the progress of the Bill, click here For a commentary on its content, click here

Local Government Finance (Tenure Information) Bill
This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Dame Angela Watkinson MP. It would amend the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to make provision for collecting information about tenure and the details of private landlords. It had a First Reading on 24 June 2015 and its Second Reading is scheduled for 30 October 2015. For details on the progress of the Bill, click here

Crown Tenancies Bill
This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Mark Pawsey MP. It would provide that Crown tenancies may be assured tenancies for the purposes of the Housing Act 1988, subject to certain exceptions, and modify the assured tenancies regime in relation to certain Crown tenancies.  It had a First Reading on 24 June 2015 and its Second Reading is scheduled for 11 September 2015. For details on the progress of the Bill, click here

Housing Bill
This UK Government Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech on 28 May 2015 but has yet to be published. For the official outline of its content, click here The official briefing about the Queen’s Speech contains the details at pages 27-29. For that, click here For a commentary on the likely content of the Bill, click here  On 4 July 2015 the Chancellor and the Prime Minister released a joint statement indicating that their plans, “which will form part of the Housing Bill to be introduced this autumn, include steps to build discounted homes for first time buyers on all reasonable sized developments, unlock public land for hundreds of thousands of new homes and back small builders with planning changes” (emphasis added). For the statement, click here

Renting Homes (Wales) Bill
This is a Welsh Government Bill introduced in the Welsh Assembly. For a copy of the Bill, click here For the Explanatory Memorandum, click here To monitor the progress of the Bill, click here The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee has recently completed its examination of the Bill and has made 37 recommendations. For a copy of its report and for a summary of its conclusions and recommendations, click here and scroll to the foot of the webpage where it is listed under ‘Documents’.

Housing (Amendment) Bill
This is a Bill introduced in the Assembly on 30 June 2015 by the Northern Ireland Executive. It would make provision for the better sharing of information relating to empty homes or to anti-social behaviour and provide for the registration of certain loans as statutory charges. For a copy of the Bill, click here For the explanatory memorandum (listed under ‘All associated documents and links’), click here  For a letter of 2 July 2015 inviting submissions about the Bill by 4 September 2015, click here For a commentary on the Bill, click here To follow the progress of the Bill, click here



Safin (Fursecroft) Ltd v The Estate of Dr Said Ahmed Said Badrig (Deceased)
10 July 2015
The landlord company brought a claim for forfeiture of a lease – and possession – based on arrears of rent and service charges. The tenant’s representatives applied for relief from forfeiture. The claim was compromised by a consent order which provided that the lease would not be forfeit if payment was made by a specified date (time being made ‘of the essence’). Payment was not made on time and the landlord sought a warrant for possession. The amount owing was then paid and application was made to extend the time allowed in the consent order. The judge granted the extension sought. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal. The Civil Procedure Rules allowed time to be extended, even in a consent order where the time for payment was of the essence. For the judgment, click here

MVN v London Borough of Greenwich
10 July 2015
The claimant said that he was 15 years old. The council secured accommodation for him and provided support under the Children Act 1989.  Later, it carried out an assessment which concluded that he was in fact 23 years old. The foster care placement was terminated and he was sent to adult hostel accommodation in the Midlands. On a judicial review, the High Court declared that the claimant was the age he had always claimed to be. The assessment was quashed. The judgment sets out important points of principle on the correct approach to the assessment of credibility in age dispute cases. For the judgment, click here

St Edmundsbury Borough Council v Oakley (aka Gaskin)
10 July 2015
In June 2013, the defendant had been granted planning permission for a singly gypsy caravan pitch. On 27 November 2014, seven caravans were at the property together with about 12 vehicles consisting of cars, vans, motor homes and horseboxes. On 17 December 2014, the council was granted an injunction to limit land use to the original grant of planning consent. The order was breached. The council applied to commit for contempt. The defendant accepted all of the allegations of contempt and apologised to the court for her mistakes. She admitted that she had done wrong and said that she was doing her hardest to sort the area out. A suspended sentence was imposed. For the judgment, click here

Poshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
8 July 2015
The council owed the applicant the main housing duty (Housing Act 1996 section 193) because she was a homeless refugee. It offered accommodation in performance of that duty. On viewing it, the applicant had a panic attack because its round windows reminded her of her prison cell. On review, the council decided that the offer was suitable and reasonable for the applicant to accept. A judge dismissed an appeal. The Court of Appeal rejected a second appeal. However objectively suitable offered accommodation might be, it needed to be reasonable for the particular applicant to accept it. The reviewing officer had applied that approach and had regard to the medical evidence. He had also been aware of the Equality Act 2010 and had considered the likely effect of the applicant’s disability on whether it was reasonable for her to accept the offer. There was no flaw in the decision. For the judgment, click here

R (Cornwall Council) v Secretary of State for Health and Somerset County Council
8 July 2015
A young man had such disabilities that he lacked the capacity to decide where to live. As a child, a placement had been arranged for him in a local authority area. A further placement was then made, in a different area, when he reached adulthood. The last placement was made under the National Assistance Act. It provides that the authority responsible for a disabled person’s accommodation is the place where he is ‘ordinarily resident’ but that he does not become ordinarily resident in the area in which he is placed. The Children Act 1989 contains a similar provision in relation to placement of children. The Supreme Court (by a majority) decided that both the placements (when a child and when an adult) should be ignored and that the young man was ordinarily resident in the area he lived 13 years ago, before his first statutory placement out of district. For the judgment, click here

Health & Safety Executive v David Liptrott
7 July 2015
The defendant carried out building work commissioned by a homeowner. The work involved replacing a gas boiler but the defendant was not GasSafe registered. The work was poorly undertaken and led to leaking gas. At Ipswich Crown Court, the defendant was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 15 months and ordered to pay costs of £16,000 after pleading guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and one breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. He was also ordered to pay his victims £27,490 compensation within a period of 12 months or face a default sentence of 15 months imprisonment. For details of the prosecution, click here

Birmingham City Council v Amrik Singh Gill
6 July 2015
The defendant was the landlord of an HMO. Council officers found that he had failed to maintain any of the fire alarms or correctly display notices indicating the fire escape route.  He had also failed to ensure that the water supply and drainage systems were working correctly (in that the soil and vent pipe in the kitchen was leaking). At Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, he pleaded guilty to failing to apply for an HMO licence and of breaching HMO regulations. He was fined £3,000 for failing to obtain an HMO licence and £8,000 for multiple breaches of the HMO Management Regulations. Costs of £8,298.57 were ordered, with a victim surcharge of £120. For details of the prosecution, click here

Ealing Council v Evelyn Asirifi
26 June 2015
The defendant applied for council housing on the basis that her private rented accommodation was overcrowded. Council officers checked her account with other council’s housing departments and various other agencies. Responses disclosed that she held a social housing tenancy in Southwark and it was suspected that she was illegally subletting it. At Uxbridge Magistrates' Court, after pleading guilty, she was fined a total of £400 for two offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and ordered to pay costs of £378 with a victim surcharge of £20. She has been removed from the Ealing housing register and the Southwark property has been recovered. For details of the prosecution, click here

Helena Partnerships Ltd v Brown
25 June 2015
Mr Brown was an assured tenant. In April 2014 his social landlord gave notice under Housing Act 1988 section 13(2) proposing a new rent of £77.65 in place of the previous rent of £72.87.  He referred the notice to the First-tier Tribunal. It reduced the rent to £32.98.The landlord appealed, raising an issue as to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. It said that the tenancy agreement provided an internal mechanism for rent increases and therefore the Tribunal had had no jurisdiction. Such jurisdiction could not be conferred by consent. The Upper Tribunal dismissed the appeal. The landlord’s interpretation of its own tenancy agreement was misconceived. For the judgment, click here

Edozie v Barnet Homes
25 June 2015
The council carried out major works on one of its housing estates with grant aid from the London Development Agency. It then sought to recover a share of the costs from the leaseholders on the estate by way of service charges. An issue arose as to whether the council had to abate the service charge by an element representing the grant aid. The Upper Tribunal held that no abatement was required. For the judgment, click here

Cardiff County Council v Gareth Williams
18 June 2015
In 2012, on a police raid of his council home, 36 cannabis plants were seized from a tenant together with associated growing equipment. He asserted personal use of the cannabis and was cautioned by the police, rather than prosecuted. In April 2013, the council was granted a possession order suspended until April 2015, conditional on the tenant abiding by all of the terms of the tenancy agreement, not just those that related to drugs. In November 2014, the council was granted an anti-social behaviour injunction. Later, it applied to commit for breach and the tenant applied to suspend a warrant for possession. The judge found that the tenant had anger management issues but was not ‘disabled’. In breach of the injunction (and the tenancy) he had committed nuisance and annoyance. The suspension of the warrant was refused and a suspended committal order made (21 days in prison). For the judgment, click here

Santander (UK) Plc v Parker
16 June 2015
The defendant defaulted on repayments of his mortgage. The bank obtained a possession order. The defendant applied for stay of enforcement which was refused. He said on appeal that he was prepared to issue a Promissory Note backed by the security of his wedding ring. The High Court rejected that appeal. The Court of Appeal dismissed a second appeal as being without foundation. For the judgment, click here

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A consultation paper from the Welsh Government  seek views on establishing a National Pathway for Homelessness Services for Children, Young People and Adults who are in care or  custody and will otherwise become homeless. The closing date for comments is 24 September 2015. For the consultation arrangements and the consultation paper, click here


Recent Developments in Housing Law Jan Luba QC & Nic Madge [2015] June issue Legal Action magazine. Available in print and on-line for Legal Action subscribers. To read the article, click here.

Dutch Courts and Housing Related Anti-social Behaviour: a first statistical analysis of legal protection against evictionM. Vols et al [2015] International Journal of Law in the Built Environment p148. For a post-print version, click here

Unintended consequences (commentary on Arnold v Britton) Andrew Butler [2015] 165 New Law Journal No.7660, 10 July. To read the article, click here (only accessible by New Law Journal subscribers)

The ordinary person? Justin Bates [2015] 18 Journal of Housing Law p63

Deterring unlawful eviction: a plea to district judges
Riccardo Calzavara [2015] 18 Journal of Housing Law p67

Going cap in hand: challenges to the benefit cap and local authority discretionary housing payment policy Jed Meers [2015] 18 Journal of Housing Law p73

Pat Reddin (an obituary) Andrew Arden QC [2015] 18 Journal of Housing Law p61

Beware fine talk of 'rent controls' Dave Hill [2015] The Guardian 10 July. To read the article, click here

The right-to-buy extension will run at a loss in most of the country Dan Holden [2015] The Guardian Housing Network 9 July. To read the article, click here


15 July 2015
House of Commons (Westminster Hall) debate on Housing supply in London.

21 July 2015
House of Commons Second Reading of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.

Advanced Notice
9 October 2015
Lime Legal's Tenancy Agreements Conference 2015 in London

16 October 2015
Lime Legal's Allocations Conference 2015 in London

Further details coming soon!


Housing/Community Care Solicitor

Springfield Advice and Law Centre

£28,000 - £34,150 (incl. ILW) + 5% pension

Based in Springfield University Hospital, Tooting, Springfield Law Centre provides free legal advice and representation mainly to mental-health-service-user-clients.

An excellent opportunity for a qualified solicitor to play an instrumental role in contributing to the work we do. You will assist in ensuring that the Law Centre complies with LAA and LEXCEL requirements.

The role will allow you to put your skills to worthwhile use, acting as a solicitor and advocate for vulnerable clients. If you have experience in Housing & Community Care Law, you won’t find a better chance to make a real impact.

For an application form & pack please e-mail: 
or call 0208 767 6884.

Closing date: 5pm, Monday 27th July 2015.
Springfield Advice & Law Centre is an equal opportunities employer & welcomes applications from all sections of the community.


Housing Project Worker (part time)

Job Purpose:
To assist in the day to day running of the NextStep project for those in housing need, providing support, advice, and long-term solutions through private rented sector and resettlement.

Hours of Work:
We are looking for someone to work part time, either 16 or 20 hours per week which is the equivalent of 2 or 2.5 days per week.  (Occasional evening and weekend work may be necessary to fulfil the needs of the role but time off in lieu will be given.) Preferred hours of work will be discussed at interview with shortlisted candidates.

Salary: £23,156.28 per annum (pro rata)

Benefits: The post holder will be entitled to free use of the YMCA fitness centre and half price childcare for dependents. There is free parking available at Hillbrook House.

Closing Date for returned application forms is Monday 14th September 2015 at 9am.

Interviews are planned for Friday 18th September 2015.

To apply for this position click here

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