Lime Legal's
Housing Law Week

General Editor: Jan Luba QC

25th November 2015 Update


National licensing scheme for landlords and agents

On 23 November 2015, the new national licensing scheme for private sector landlords and their agents took effect in Wales. Landlords and agents have 12 months to complete training and registration processes before a sanctions regime takes effect. For the Ministerial announcement, made on commencement day, click here



On 23 November 2015, the House of Commons Library published an updated version of its comparison of the legal duties to tackle homelessness and assist people presenting as homeless in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For a copy, click here

Housing & Poverty

On 23 November 2015, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published its annual state of the nation report Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion written by the New Policy Institute. It records that: (1) there are now 53,000 homeless households in the UK, 13,000 more than five years ago. The growth is due to families being unable to find a suitable new home when they reach the end of their tenancies in the private rented sector; and (2) the proportion of people living in poverty who live in the private rented sector has nearly doubled over the last 10 years to 4.2 million. The numbers living in other sectors have fallen, to 4.4 million in the socially rented sector and 4.1 million owner occupiers. For the full report, click here


Right to Buy

On 21 November 2015, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published new research which explores the likely impact of Right to Buy for housing association tenants in need of low-cost rented homes. It also explores the likely impact on housing supply. For a copy of the research report, click here For its part, the UK Government reports that among housing association tenants there is “Huge interest in Right to Buy with thousands registering every week”. For its press release, click here


Housing Benefit

On 18 November 2015, the DWP issued its latest bulletin on developments relating to Housing Benefit issues. For a copy of HB Bulletin G11/2015, click here


Gypsies & Travellers 1

On 19 November 2015, the UK Government published data from the count of Traveller caravans in England which took place on or around 16 July 2015. The twice-yearly count takes place in January and July, recording the number of caravans on both authorised and unauthorised sites across England. For the latest statistics, click here


Gypsies & Travellers 2

Planning Resource has published an article on the Housing and Planning Bill (see Housing Laws in the Pipeline below) and its effect on the assessment of the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers. To see a copy, click here



Housing and Planning Bill

This is a UK Government Bill about social and private rented housing, estate agents, rentcharges, planning and compulsory purchase. For a copy of the Bill, which only applies to housing in England, click here  For the Explanatory Notes, click here  To follow the progress of the Bill, click here  The Bill passed its Second Reading on 2 November 2015. To read the debate, click here  For the House of Commons Library Briefing Paper for Second Reading, click here The official Impact Assessment of the Bill is also now available. For a copy, click here  For a media commentary on the Impact Assessment, click here For the CIH briefing on the Bill (members only), click here for the Local Government Association’s briefing on the Bill, click here  For a summary from Citizens Advice, click here For the LAG Housing Law commentary on the Bill, click here For a commentary by Dr Stephen Battersby, click here. The Bill is now being scrutinised in a Public Bill Committee. That Committee has issued an invitation for evidence on the Bill and will receive written evidence until 10 December 2015. For details of how to submit evidence, click here  To see the record of the public proceedings of the Public Bill Committee  - including the two evidence sessions with witnesses on 10 November 2015 – and to access all the written evidence the Committee has received, click here


Welfare Reform and Work Bill

This UK Government Bill makes provision about: (1) the benefit cap; (2) social security and tax credits; (3) loans for mortgage interest; and (4) social housing rents. It has completed all its House of Commons stages and is now passing through the House of Lords. For a commentary on the final Commons Stage, click here For the Bill, as amended in the Commons, click here For the Explanatory Notes for that version of the Bill, click here  To follow the progress of the Bill, click here. For the documents relating to the Bill (including several impact assessments), click here  For a briefing for Lord’s Second Reading prepared by the National Housing Federation, click here For the House of Lords Library Note providing background reading in advance of the Lords Second Reading, click here Detailed examination of the Bill in the Lords starts with the first day of the Committee Stage on 2 December 2015.


Immigration Bill

This UK Government Bill would create four new offences to target those landlords and agents who repeatedly fail to comply with the ‘right-to-rent scheme’ by letting to tenants subject to immigration restrictions or fail to evict tenants who they know or have reasonable cause to believe are disqualified from renting as a result of their immigration status. For the official Impact Assessment, click here  To follow the progress of the Bill, click here The Bill is now completed its Commons Public Bill Committee Stage. For the schedule of evidence received and debates for that Committee, click here  The Housing Law Practitioners Association has prepared a briefing on clauses 13 and 14 which deal with repossession of tenanted homes. For a copy of that briefing, click here The Commons Report and Third Reading stages of the Bill are expected to take place on Tuesday 1 December 2015. For a copy of the Bill as amended in Committee, click here

Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill 2015

This is a Government Bill introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 7 October 2015. For a copy of the Bill, the Explanatory Notes and related official documents, click here For the final Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment on the Bill, click here For the Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment on the Bill, click here For the final Equality Impact Assessment for the Bill, click here For the Briefing on the Bill produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, click here The Bill is now awaiting the report of  Lead Committee on the Bill, the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee. For the evidence submitted by the Chartered Institute of Housing (Scotland), click here


Renting Homes (Wales) Bill
This is a Welsh Government Bill introduced in the Welsh Assembly. The Bill has completed all its Stages and has been passed by the Assembly. For the final version of the Bill, click here and scroll to ‘Stage 4’ The Revised Explanatory Memorandum is also accessible from that page. The Bill now awaits Royal Assent.

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 commentary on the Bill, click here The Bill has been referred to the Committee for Social Development which has responsibility for the Committee Stage of the Bill. For further details of that stage, click here . To read the evidence submitted to the Committee, click here The Bill passed its second stage on 9 November 2015. To read that debate, click here (the debate began at 1 pm). To follow progress of the Bill, click here The Committee on the Bill is due to report by 11 January 2016.


Houses in Multiple Occupation Bill

This is a Bill introduced in the Assembly on 7 September 2015 by the Northern Ireland Executive.  It would make provision for and in connection with the licensing of houses in multiple occupation in Northern Ireland. For a copy of the Bill, click here For the explanatory memorandum, 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. For a copy of the Bill, click here   It had its Second Reading on 16 October 2015 but was talked-out. It is again listed for a Second Reading on 29 January 2016. For details on the (unlikely) future progress of the Bill, click here For a lawyer’s commentary on its content, click here For the Shelter Blog on the Bill and its importance, click here For a commentary from Dr Stephen Battersby, click here For the House of Commons Library Briefing on the Bill, click here  For the MP’s own perspective on her Bill being talked-out, click here For the response of the MP who talked-out the Bill, 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. For a copy of the Bill, click here

It had a First Reading on 24 June 2015 and its Second Reading has been re-scheduled for 22 January 2016. For details on the progress of the Bill, click here For the Briefing Paper prepared by the House of Commons Library, click here


Crown Tenancies Bill

This is a Private Members Bill introduced by Mark Pawsey MP. It would provide that Crown tenancies (mainly of properties owned by Government Departments) may be assured tenancies for the purposes of the Housing Act 1988, subject to certain exceptions, and would modify the assured tenancies regime in relation to certain Crown tenancies (including by provision of a new ground for possession).  It had a First Reading on 24 June 2015 and its Second Reading had been scheduled for 11 September 2015 but was objected-to and has now been put back to 22 January 2016. For a copy of the Bill, click here For the Explanatory Notes, click here  For details on the progress of the Bill, click here For the House of Commons Library Briefing note that has been prepared for the Second Reading, click here



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Regulatory Notice to Orbit Group Limited

24 November 2015

As a social landlord, Orbit has a statutory duty under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to identify and assess the risk of fire in its properties. Having identified the hazards and people at risk, it has a duty to take precautions to prevent the risk of fire. In July 2015, Orbit reported to the social housing regulator – the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) – that it believed it was in breach of the statutory duty to take precautions, through failure to implement “high risk” actions arising from Fire Risk Assessments. Following a further investigation, it told the regulator that there had been several hundred actions categorised as high risk, relating to hundreds of properties, and that had been outstanding for periods exceeding two years. The HCA considered this to be a ‘serious detriment’ to tenants and issued a regulatory notice for breach of the Home Standard. For a copy of the notice, click here


Regulatory Notice to Redditch Borough Council

24 November 2015

The council owns and manages around 6,000 homes. The Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) has issued a Regulatory Notice to the council having received evidence of its failure to adhere to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (which require that gas safety checks are undertaken annually by a gas safe engineer). The necessary inspections were overdue in a large number of cases. The HCA considered this clear evidence of a breach of the statutory obligation to carry out gas servicing and thus of the Home Standard in respect of the requirement to meet all applicable statutory requirements that provide for the health and safety of the occupants in providers’ homes. The breach exposed a number of tenants to the potential of serious harm for lengthy periods. For a copy of the notice, click here


R v Jay Liptrot

20 November 2015

The defendant was a firefighter and a private landlord of 11 properties in the Prestatyn area of Wales. In 2012, a downstairs tenant in one of his properties set a fire which spread and killed the tenants of the upper part. She was convicted of murder. Instead of a proper fire door, a “woefully inadequate” door made of glass and thin wood failed to act as a barrier between the communal hallway and stairs leading to the upstairs flat, and instead funnelled heat and smoke upwards “like a chimney”. The defendant pleaded guilty to failure to take proper safety precautions at the house. He was sentenced to 15 months immediate imprisonment and ordered to pay £4,200 costs and a £100 victim surcharge. For details of the prosecution, click here


R v Lakhbir Jaspal

20 November 2015

The defendant was a qualified accountant and the deputy chief executive of the Accord Group of social landlords. He stole £325,000 from his employers by presenting false invoices. He had used the money to buy two sandwich shop franchises and was in the course of buying a third. At Birmingham Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to eight offences of fraud.  He was sentenced to three years immediate imprisonment. For details of the prosecution, click here


R (Gitere) v Secretary of State for the Home Department

19 November 2015.

The claimant was a destitute asylum seeker. He was provided with accommodation in Plymouth. He was asthmatic and complained that: (1) the house was occupied by smokers; and (2) it was too far away from where his severely disabled child lived (with his mother) in Yeovil, Somerset. In December 2013, he brought a claim for judicial review. In August 2015, the Secretary of State provided alternative self-contained accommodation in Bristol and agreed to pay reasonable travel costs between Bristol and Yeovil so that the claimant could maintain contact with his son (as well as offering to pay the costs of the claim). Although the claimant wished to press the claim, the High Court dismissed it as it had become academic. For the judgment, click here


Murray v Lancashire Constabulary

18 November 2015

The police sought and obtained interim and final gang injunctions against alleged members of the "Deepdale Gang" or "Deepdale Gangsters", operating in the north of Preston. The evidence in support of the applications indicated that members of a gang were involved in the illegal drugs trade, using firearms and other weapons to control and intimidate gang rivals and others who might stand in their way. On appeal, it was argued that the gang injunctions ought not to have been made in the terms granted.  The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. It said the judges “were amply justified in concluding that an exercise of the power to grant interim injunctions was appropriate on the materials before them and at the particular time when they each had to consider the applications. They were not confined to restraining particular conduct attributed to the appellant in the past. I consider that once one appreciates that it is gang related violence that is targeted by the Act, it is clear that the court is entitled to consider the conduct attributed to the gang as a whole and to impose such orders as it considers appropriate in the case of each alleged gang member.” For the judgment, click here


Garwood v Bolter

18 November 2015

A bankrupt owned three houses. Although held on mortgages, there was some equity in them. The trustee in bankruptcy applied for orders for possession and sale. In the course of the claim, it became clear that the houses were occupied by tenants. The claim was adjourned so that they could be served with notices under Housing Act 1988 section 21. That having been done, the trustee restored the claim. The judge held that the tenants should be made parties to, and be properly served with, possession claims under CPR Part 55. Vacant possession was refused. The High Court dismissed the trustee’s appeal. The judgment is noted on LAWTEL and WESTLAW. For a legal commentary, click here


R (AM) v Havering LBC and Tower Hamlets LBC
17 November 2015
Tower Hamlets decided that the claimant had become homeless intentionally and withdrew his temporary accommodation. As the claimant had dependent children, it notified its children's services department as required by Housing Act 1996 section 213A. That department began an assessment of the children's needs but discontinued it on appreciating that the temporary accommodation was in Havering. Havering at first contended that responsibility remained with Tower Hamlets and then that the children did not appear to be ‘in need’. The High Court decided that both councils had acted unlawfully. The needs of the children should have been assessed by Havering and accommodation for the family should have been continued by Tower Hamlets until the assessment had been concluded. Havering was ordered to undertake a Children Act assessment and provide accommodation in the interim. Both councils appealed. A stay was refused. By the date the appeal was heard, the Children Act assessment had been completed and notified and was subject to a formal complaint. The Court of Appeal dismissed both appeals as the issues in the case had been rendered academic by subsequent events. For the High Court’s judgment, click here For a fuller commentary on that judgment, click here


R(AK) v Bristol City Council

16 November 2015

The claimant was a victim of trafficking. As an EEA national awaiting a leave to remain decision, she was not eligible for housing or welfare support and could provide for her most basic needs only by engaging in prostitution. She claimed that her situation was inhuman, degrading and contrary to the UK’s duties under Article 11 of the Anti-Trafficking Convention and Article 12 of the Convention Against Trafficking, as well as Article 3 or Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The council refused to provide her with accommodation and subsistence-level financial support. In April 2015, on a claim for judicial review, the High Court granted an interim injunction requiring the council to pay her £50pw and accommodate her pending trial. On the eve of that trial, the council accepted that, until the claimant could find her own accommodation, it was responsible for providing her with support and assistance to avoid a violation of Convention or EU rights. For a copy of the Court’s order reflecting that concession, click here For further information about the claim, click here


X v A local authority (CH 2391/2015)

16 November 2015

This was one of a group of housing benefit (HB) appeals concerning decisions to apply ‘bedroom tax’ reductions to benefit awards. The fact that most HB awards are running awards has caused difficulties for tenants who did not immediately dispute decisions to apply reductions to their claims. This judgment from the Upper Tribunal clarifies the position on ‘late’ appeals for both councils and tribunals. For the judgment, click here


Health & Safety Executive v Michael John Bull

13 November 2015

The defendant was a private landlord. Having turned on the heating in one of his properties, the tenants and their family suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and were taken to hospital. At North Avon Magistrates’ Court, the defendant admitted breaching regulations 36(2)(a) and 36(3)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined £2,360 with costs of £1,532. For details of the prosecution, click here  


JSC BTA Bank v Zharimbetov

13 November 2015

The claimant bank held a charging order over a property. It applied for orders for possession and sale. The property was worth more than £5m. The third defendant claimed that he had previously held a one year assured shorthold tenancy at a rent of £125,000. Before that expired, he took at 50 year lease at a rent of £50,000pa. He explained that the owners had wanted a long term tenant. The bank claimed the lease was a sham. The fact that a 50 year term was unusual and was the maximum allowed by the Law of Property Act 1925 section 99 suggested that it had been deliberately created to defeat the claim. The High Court  made possession and sale orders “not be enforced for two months” so that the tenant: (1) could make arrangements for moving out; and/or (2) make an application for a hearing at which he could give evidence and be cross-examined in person about whether the lease was made in good faith. The judgment is noted on LAWTEL and WESTLAW.


Health & Safety Executive v David Stott

12 November 2015

A landlord commissioned the defendant to install a new boiler in a tenanted cottage. The way the boiler was fitted caused excessively high levels of carbon monoxide to be emitted into the kitchen area and the void where it could escape into other parts of the cottage. The tenant, his family and his pets suffered serious carbon monoxide poisoning. At Forfar Sheriff Court, the defendant pleaded guilty to breaching sections 3(2) and 33(1)(a) to the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to 200 hours community payback to be completed within one year.  For details of the prosecution, click here


Herefordshire Council v Barclay Julian Rogers

10 November 2015

The defendant was a private landlord. Officers from the council’s environmental health housing team, accompanied by officers from Hereford & Worcester fire and rescue service and the West Mercia police, entered his property under warrant on 31 March 2015. They found it was a four storey HMO occupied by eight persons over three floors, including a basement with inadequate fire precautions.

At Hereford Magistrates’ Court, the defendant pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed HMO and was fined £3,000 with £1,035 costs and a victim surcharge of £120. For details of the prosecution, click here


R v Ibrahim Bundu

9 November 2015

The defendant had been employed by Southwark Council to deal with homelessness applications. In 2014, he was sentenced to four years imprisonment for abusing his position by allocating 23 properties using forged and fraudulent documentation. He was ordered to pay £100,000 compensation to the council. By November 2015, only £1,600 had been paid and he had not sold his property to cover the debt. He was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court to an additional two years imprisonment for that default. For further details, click here


Gloucester City Council v Saqib Rasul

8 November 2015

The defendant was a private landlord of an HMO. On inspection, council officers found the house to be damp, in disrepair and unfit for living in. It had damaged and dangerous electrical fittings, as well as broken bathroom and kitchen facilities. Common areas of building were dirty and there was evidence of a serious mouse infestation. At Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court, the defendant was fined £2,500 for failing to manage the property. He was also fined £1,000 for failing to provide gas and electrical safety certificates, He was also ordered to pay £1,500 costs. For details of the prosecution, click here

Birmingham City Council v Mondhlani

6 November 2015

The defendants were secure tenants. A possession order was made in 2009 when rent arrears were £1,058. Enforcement was stayed on terms as to payment by instalments. The terms were breached and successive applications for warrants resulted in further stays which were again repeatedly breached. The latest stay was granted in September 2014 when the arrears were £1,669. The terms of the stay were not complied-with. The council applied to transfer the proceedings to the High Court so that it could utilise the enforcement procedures of that court. By the date of the hearing of that application, the arrears had reached £2,382.50. The tenants cross-applied for permission to bring a counterclaim for damages for disrepair. That application was allowed, rendering the application to transfer academic. But the judgment goes on to examine the basis for, and merits of, applications to transfer to the county court for enforcement. For the judgment, click here For a legal commentary click here For the press release issued by the tenants' solicitors, click here


Zakharov v Russia

5 November 2015

In 1999, the applicant moved-in with his partner, B. She had a room in a communal council flat held under a social tenancy agreement. The applicant and B. lived together in that room for the following ten years. They never married but lived together as husband and wife. In 2009, B. died. Her neighbours locked the applicant out of the flat. The local housing authorities told the applicant that he had to vacate the room since he had no legal right to occupy it. The legal code only recognised succession by a “member of the family”. A Regional Court rejected the applicant’s claim to the room and he applied to the European Court of Human Rights. It asked the parties: (1) has there been an interference with the applicant’s right to respect for his home, within the meaning of Article 8(1); if so, was that interference in accordance with the law; did it pursue a legitimate aim; and was it necessary in terms of Article 8(2)?; and (2) alternatively, has the State fulfilled its positive obligations in the present case to ensure that the applicant’s right to respect for his home under Article 8 was exercised effectively? For the official statement of facts, click here


Dzaurova v Russia

3 November 2015

In December 1994 the applicant was granted the status of “internally displaced person” (IDP). In 2003 she moved into a flat which had been allocated to her in a municipal temporary housing facility for IDPs. The applicant lived there until 2013 when the village council sought her eviction. She had no security of tenure. The local court granted possession and its decision was upheld by the Supreme Court. Both hearings were conducted in her absence. She was evicted and applied to the European Court of Human Rights. It has asked the parties: has there been an interference with the applicant’s right to respect for her home, within the meaning of Article 8(1) of the Convention? If so, was that interference necessary in terms of Article 8(2)? For the official statement of facts, click here


Ealing Council v Balwinder Singh Kahlon

30 October 2015

The defendant was a private landlord of a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licensed for use by 10 individuals in seven households. A warrant was obtained to enter the property. Council officers discovered 20 individuals, including two babies, making up 10 households residing at the address. Some people were living in two windowless rooms that were unsuitable for residential occupation. Other issues included blocked means of escape, dirty and unmaintained bathrooms and kitchens, unclean common parts, and poor maintenance of the emergency lighting. At Ealing Magistrates’ Court, the defendant pleaded guilty to 18 offences of failing to comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and one offence of breach of section 72(2) of the Housing Act 2004. The 19 fines imposed totalled £69,100. He was also ordered to pay costs of £3,180.43 and the victim surcharge of £120. The court made a collection order for the fines and ordered payment of £25,000 by 27 November 2015 and the balance within three months. For details of the prosecution, click here For media comment, click here


Plymouth City Council v John Mayer

30 October 2015

The defendant was a private landlord. Following action by the council to address poor conditions at his properties, he pleaded guilty to four cases of failing to apply for a licence to operate a house in multiple occupation (HMO) as required by the Housing Act 2004. He also failed to comply with improvement notices under the Housing Act 2004 requiring adequate heating in tenanted accommodation. He was fined £23,000 with costs of £1,554.38 and ordered to make payments at a rate of £2,000 per calendar month.  For details of the prosecution, click here


Equity Housing Group v Keith Wade

28 October 2015

The defendant’s mother was a tenant of one of a group of 14 properties for elderly residents. There was a history of nuisance and disturbance at the property involving the defendant between April 2014 and February 2015 with 38 police call-outs. In March 2015 an injunction was granted to end that anti-social behaviour by imposing an exclusion area. There had been a number of breaches. This was the sixth breach.  The last term of imprisonment was imposed on 31 July for 24 weeks. Immediately upon his release from that term of imprisonment, the defendant returned to his mother's property. Having given credit for the early admission of a further breach, the judge imposed an immediate term of imprisonment of 36 weeks. For the judgment, click here


R v David Kohali

6 October 2015

The defendant was a private landlord. In breach of planning enforcement notices, the defendant had rented-out beds-in-sheds at the rear of one of his portfolio of properties. On a guilty plea, he was committed to the Blackfriars Crown Court for sentence. The judge made a confiscation order for £76,562.07 representing the rental income made from the lettings and imposed a fine of £190,000. The Court of Appeal held that the fine had been calculated on the wrong factual basis. Exercising its sentencing powers afresh, the Court said “we take into account the appellant's course of conduct, his disregard of planning controls for personal financial gain and his failure to comply with the enforcement notice, despite ample opportunity and time in which to do so. Deterrence is also a relevant factor. We have also considered the appellant's personal circumstances, his age and his previous good character. We consider a fine of £30,000 is appropriate and not inconsistent with the range of sentences passed in other similar cases.” The fine was further reduced to £24,000 to take account of an early guilty plea but subject to payment within three months with a sentence of 18 months imprisonment in default.  The costs order of £15,042.50 was not disturbed. The judgment has the neutral citation [2015] EWCA Crim 1757


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Houses in Multiple Occupation

On 6 November 2015, the UK Government published a technical discussion paper setting out options for extending the scope of mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in England. It also sets out our proposals to streamline the HMO licensing process. The closing date for comments is 18 December 2015. For a copy of the consultation paper, click here For the on-line response form, click here

Private renting in Northern Ireland
On 12 November 2015, the Assembly Government published a discussion document on proposals to review the regulation of the private rented sector in Northern Ireland. For a copy of the document, click here For the questionnaire, click here  Responses are sought by 5 February 2016. To make an on-line response, click here For information about public meetings being held as part of the consultation process, click here




Recent Developments in Housing Law Jan Luba QC & Nic Madge [2015] November issue of Legal Action magazine. Available in print and on-line for Legal Action subscribers. To read the article on-line, click here  For back-issues of this series of articles, click here 

Homelessness, Austerity and Public Law David Cowan [2015] UK Constitutional Law Association Blog 19 November. To read the article, click here

Change in the private rented sector Tessa Shepperson [2015] Solicitors Journal, 10 November. To read the article, click here

The Benefits of Positive Requirements (in injunctions) Chloe Morgan [2015] 24 Dash.Com Housing 19 November. To read the article, click here  

How can we fix a problem as complex as homelessness? Naomi Larsson [2015] Guardian Housing Network 19 November. To read the article, click here

George Osborne, get your beady eye off the housing benefit budget Dawn Foster [2015] Guardian Housing Network 20 November. To read the article, click here

Who lives in the 4.1m social homes in England and Wales? Dawn Foster [2015] Guardian Housing Network 18 November. To read the article, click here

Four ways housing associations can engage with their tenants Zoe Wilkins. [2015] Guardian Housing Network 16 November. To read the article, click here

Extending mandatory HMO licensing and related reforms Dr Stephen Battersby [2015] UK Housing Professionals Forum Blog 17 November 2015. To read the article, click here



1 December 2015          
Commons Report & Third Reading Stages of the Immigration Bill (see Housing laws in the pipeline above)

2 December 2015          
Lords Committee Stage of the Welfare Reform & Work Bill (see Housing laws in the pipeline above)

9 December 2015          
Lime Legal’s Housing Management Conference – for more details, click here

10 December 2015          
Deadline for submission of evidence on the Housing & Planning Bill (see Housing laws in the pipeline above)

18 December 2015          
Close of consultation on HMOs in England (see Housing Law Consultations above)

2 February 2016         
Close of consultation on the private rented sector in Northern Ireland (see Housing Law Consultations above)



Social Housing Solicitor Vacancy with Stephensons Solicitors LLP 

Stephensons is an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 470 staff based in ten offices across the country. We are a national, full-service firm, providing legal services to individuals, businesses and government organisations. We apply our expertise in publicly funded work to all areas of the firm, which translates to efficiencies for each of our clients. We’re proud of our firm, improving access to justice wherever possible. We’re sustainable, ethical and socially responsible. 

We have an opportunity in our Social Housing team based at our St Helens office for a Solicitor 0-3 years pqe. You will have some experience in a relevant field which may include a seat for those who are newly qualified. You will advise and assist clients with legal problems relating to Housing Law. You will be managing a case load, assessing funding and carrying out a full risk assessment of all matters, ensuring compliance with Law Society rules and work type procedures.

Closing date: 16th December 2015

 Click here for further details of the vacancy and the application process. Alternatively, please forward a CV and covering letter to  


Hodge Jones & Allen LLP
A Leading Firm of Solicitors Based in London NW1 

Vacancy for a Social Housing Law Solicitor 

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a solicitor with up to 2 years PQE to join our award winning, dedicated and dynamic social housing team.  To be successful in this role it is essential that you have good experience of social housing law.  

You will be expected to be competent in litigation with excellent client care skills.  In addition, you will have excellent communication and written skills, be a good team player and be able to work well under pressure.

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Closing date for applications: 30 November 2015

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Legal Action for Local Communities

Vacancy for Housing Caseworker / Solicitor

South West London Law Centres (SWLLC), one of the largest and most progressive Law Centres in the country, is seeking a Housing Solicitor/Caseworker to be based in our Wandsworth Branch with some outreach in our other offices.  

There is considerable demand for housing work. There are currently 10 solicitors in the housing team and one trainee. We run a wide range of housing cases covered by Legal Aid including a significant amount of representation work as part of the housing court duty schemes. We are considering looking further at a range of fixed fees and conditional fee agreements for areas that have now gone out of scope of Legal Aid. We are also interested in candidates that can combine their housing experience with any of community care, public law or welfare rights.

We are looking to recruit to cover an existing post for a solicitor who is retiring and we are willing to consider applicants at the start of their career as well as those with significant experience. 

Salary:                             Up to £33,510 p.a. according to experience (NJC Scale 35)
Reports to:                      
 Team Leader
Based at:                         
Wandsworth but with outreach in other offices
Closing date:                  
Noon on
 7th December 2015 with interviews soon after (11thDecember).

The post is available for an immediate start. If you would like to discuss the post further, please email
Applications should be made on our application form

Please click here for the application form
Please click here for the application pack


Housing Law Paralegal Vacancy

Sternberg Reed is a well established Lexcel Accredited law firm with offices in Essex and London.

A vacancy has arisen for a Paralegal to join our Housing Law Department to support and assist the fee earners in the preparation and conduct of cases. The role will include undertaking administrative tasks.

This position will be based in our Barking office but the successful candidate may be expected to work from any of our other offices as and when required

The job would offer excellent experience of working in a busy legal practice to a Paralegal or Law Graduate who has passed the LPC and has a keen interest in making a career in this area of law.

The successful candidate will have the following attributes:

  • Previous experience of working in Housing Law
  • Solid IT, drafting and research skills
  • Excellent communication & presentation skills - over the telephone and in person
  • Good time management
  • Ability to handle an extensive and varied workload
  • Ability to work under pressure and to tight deadlines

Please apply to: with your CV and a covering letter stating why you are interested in this role and how your experience and skills match the requirements for this role.

We are an Equal Opportunities Employer


Housing Solicitors/Caseworkers

Edwards Duthie is a large, well respected firm with a number of offices in East London and Essex.  Named in the Legal 500, we have a diverse range of both privately and publicly funded work including Commercial Property, Personal Injury, Private Client, Family, Mental Health, Employment, Crime and Social Welfare.   This year our Legal Aid Departments are proud to have been shortlisted for a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award (LALY) in the Legal Aid Firm/Not for Profit Agency of the year category.

Our Community Law Team has expertise in all areas of social welfare law, including housing & debt, welfare benefits, community care and mental health.  The team has a particularly strong reputation for housing law The team holds Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme contracts with the Legal Aid Agency at Bow, Edmonton and Romford County Courts.

We now wish to recruit experienced housing caseworkers or solicitors to join our Community Law Team.  Successful applicants will have a sound knowledge of housing law and litigation and ideally will have experience of acting as a duty advisor under the LAA’s Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes.

We have dedicated Human Resources, IT and Facilities Teams to develop and support all of our legal teams. 

Salary according to experience. 

Applications by CV and covering letter to Coral Joyce, Human Resources Manager, at Bank House, 269-275 Cranbrook Road, Ilford IG1 4TG or by email to

No Agencies please.


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Take advantage of the Housing Law Week free Recruitment service.
Email details of your vacancies (including the closing date for applications) to  or call us on 01249 701555.

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