29th June 2016
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Brexit response by CIH
The Chartered Institute of Housing commented in response to the EU referendum result: "While there is obviously a period of immediate financial uncertainty it is less likely that we will see significant policy changes straight away, given that there will be a period of time while government considers how to respond to the vote and the fact that housing policy is devolved and not directly an EU matter.” For the full statement, click here

Rogue landlords
The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) has created a toolkit to help local authorities tackle rogue letting agents. NALS worked in collaboration with a number of local councils and experts in the private rented sector to create the Effective Enforcement Toolkit. The kit walks local authority enforcement officers step-by-step through the legalities and requirements for regulating letting agents. We shall advise you when the toolkit is available online.

Residential moves between local authorities
on 23 June 2016 the Office for National Statistics published data which show that between July 2014 and June 2015, there were an estimated 2.85 million residential moves between local authorities in England and Wales. This is the same level shown in the previous 12-month period. Young adults were most likely to move, with the biggest single peak (those aged 19) reflecting moves to start higher education. London had the highest rate of internal migration net outflow (9.1 per 1,000 residents as at mid-2014). The region with the highest rate of internal migration net inflow was the South West (5.5 per 1,000 residents as at mid-2014). For the data, click here

Private rental prices

On 24 June 2016 the Office for National Statistics released the latest monthly update of private rental prices paid by tenants in Great Britain. Prices rose by 2.5% in the 12 months to May 2016, down from 2.6% when compared with the year to April 2016. Private rental prices grew by 2.6% in England, 0.4 % in Scotland and were unchanged in Wales in the 12 months to May 2016. Rental prices increased in all the English regions over the year to May 2016, with rental prices increasing the most in the South East (3.4%). For the release, click here

Private sector renting – Governmental policies

On 27 June 2016 the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper providing a summary of the different approaches adopted by the Governments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in regard to some key areas of private rented sector policy. For the briefing, click here

Discretionary Housing Payments
On 21 June 2016 the Department for Work and Pensions published an updated factsheet for claimants of Housing Benefit explaining what Discretionary Housing Payments are and how to claim. For the factsheet, click here

Empty dwellings
On 24 June 2016 the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper explaining local authorities' powers to tackle privately owned dwellings that have been empty for two years through the use of an Empty Dwelling Management Order. For the briefing, click here

Rough sleeping and trafficking
On 21 June 2016 Homeless Link published new guidance for frontline homelessness services and developed additional resources to support individuals affected by modern slavery. The charity says that there are clear links between trafficking, forced labour and homelessness and evidence suggests that the majority of trafficking victims have slept rough at some point. To access the guidance, click here

Homes and Communities Agency
Sir Edward Lister has been appointed the new chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency. For more details, click here

On 13 June 2016 Marcus Jones, Homelessness Minister, told the Communities and Local Government Select Committee enquiring into the causes of homelessness that homeless people are being prevented from registering as homeless by local authorities. For the report of the session in Public Sector Executive, click here

Student homelessness
On 23 June 2016 Patrick Mulrenan of London Metropolitan University published research that revealed homelessness is a hidden problem among students in the capital. For a report in The Independent concerning the research, click here

Tenant deposit scheme – Scotland

On 14 June 2016 Letting Protection Service Scotland stated that Scottish tenancy deposits are £100 cheaper on average than those in England and Wales. For more information, click here

Affordable housing
The DCLG has published tables on affordable housing supply up to 2014-2015, categorised by type and by local authority area. For example, 9,590 new homes were built in that period (10,920 in the previous year); there were 40,710 new builds for affordable rent (19,740 in the previous year). To access the tables, click here

Housing supply
On 28 June 2016 the Chartered Institute of Housing published a report that states that 79 per cent of those polled “believe that today’s young people will have a hard time getting the right kind of housing even if they work hard and get 'good' jobs.” To read the report, click here

Renters’ Rights Bill
This is a Private Members’ Bill introduced in the House of Lords by Baroness Grender which seeks to provide tenants and prospective tenants with certain rights, including affording access to a local housing authority’s database of rogue landlords, ending certain letting fees and providing for certain mandatory electrical safety checks. The Bill had its Second Reading on 10 June 2016 and will enter the Committee stage on a date to be announced. For the Bill as introduced, click here To read debates at all stages of the Bill’s passage, click here For progress of the Bill, click here

Salekipour & anr v Parmar & anr [2016] EWHC 1466 (QB)
This judgment addresses the issue of the jurisdiction of the county court to rescind a judgment in earlier county court proceedings on the grounds of alleged perjury and subornation of a witness.
The claimants were tenants of a ground floor lock up shop and rear garage and the defendants were their landlords. Mrs Salekipour claimed recovery of £25,000 which she contended had been paid to one of the defendants as a result of misrepresentation or alternatively (as it was put subsequently) for money paid under “economic duress.”  £21,000 was claimed for alleged overpayments of rent and £38,000 for alleged loss of a premium under s.1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988.   Damages were also claimed under s.3 of the Prevention of Harassment Act 1997.  The defence was “broadly one of complete denial “and the defendants counterclaimed for £15,000 in respect of outstanding rent and other sums for unpaid insurance premiums and other costs and fees.

The claim was dismissed in the Central London County Court in May 2012 and the defendants’ counterclaim was allowed in the sum of in excess of £17,000 plus interest. 

Mrs Salekipour and her husband brought new proceedings in the county court seeking rescission of the 2012 judgment and an order for a new trial.  The defendants applied without notice to strike out the claim under CPR Rule 3.4 as disclosing no reasonable grounds, or as an abuse of process on the ground that the claim should have been advanced by way of an appeal rather than issuing a new claim. District Judge Lightman struck out the claim as an abuse of process but granted 7 days to apply to set aside, vary or revoke his order.  The claimants duly applied to revoke that order but HHJ Faber upheld the District Judge’s strike out concluding that the county court had no jurisdiction to grant the relief sought.  The claimants appealed to the High Court.

Mr Justice Garnham concluded that HHJ Faber had been correct and that as a matter of law the county court had no jurisdiction to rescind an earlier county court judgment.  For the full judgment click here.

Suspended Sentence for Gas Fitter
The Health & Safety Executive has reported that a gas fitter who was not registered with Gas Safe had shown a “reckless and flagrant disregard for health and safety requirements. He knew he should be registered with Gas Safe and he exposed customers to a risk of serious injury or death.” The defendant purported to be registered on the Gas Safe Register in advertising his business but investigations revealed that he had never been registered. He installed two central heating boilers in properties in Greater Manchester. Subsequently one of the boilers was found to be “at risk.”  He pleaded guilty to two breaches of Regulation 3(3), and breaching 3(7) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to pay £460 and £400 compensation to the two homeowners and £3,000 costs.  For the full report click here.

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Land registration
The Law Commission is reviewing the legal framework that governs the registration of land in England and Wales. It has launched a consultation which asks how the Land Registration Act 2002 is working in practice and whether there are opportunities for the system to be clarified and updated. For the consultation and related documents, click here The consultation closes on 30 June 2016.


Recent Developments in Housing Law Jan Luba QC & Nic Madge [2016] June issue of Legal Action. Available in print and on-line for Legal Action subscribers. For the latest issue, click here For back-issues, click here

Where are the missing deposit billions? Warren Lewis [2016] Property Reporter 27 June. To read this article, click here

Homelessness: Strategic prevention is better than crisis-driven cure Deborah Garvie [2016] Shelter Blog 27 June. To read this article, click here

The other side to the UK's housing crisis
Eva Wiseman [2016] Guardian Housing 26 June. To read this article, click here

All change in housing law Scott Greenwood [2016] Local Government Lawyer 23 June. To read this article, click here

Rent increases and rent lawfully due
Ian Loveland [2016] Nearly Legal 22 June. To read this article (originally published in Legal Action and reproduced with its permission), click here

Housing needs will be pushed to one side in the confusion over Brexit Dawn Foster [2016] Guardian Housing Network 24 June. To read this article, click here

Who gets housing benefit and what does it cost?
Dawn Foster [2016] Guardian 22 June. To read this article, click here

The Right to Rent and The Immigration Act 2016
Alice Richardson [2016] Legal Action 21 June. To read this article, click here


30 June 2016        
Closure of consultation on the Law Commission’s review of land registration (see Housing Law Consultations)


Henry Hyams

Housing Lawyer - Full or Part-Time

We are seeking a Housing Lawyer with at least 3 years’ relevant experience (preferably to meet legal aid supervisor requirements) to work with a small but dedicated team on predominantly publicly funded cases.

We have contracts with the LAA to provide Legal Help matter starts in housing from both our main and branch offices in Leeds City Centre. We are one of three organisations providing representation under the Housing Duty Solicitor Scheme at a very busy Leeds County Court.

Much of our work is court based and the successful candidate will be a confident advocate able to deal with a mixed housing law caseload including possession claims, homelessness, disrepair, anti-social behaviour, unlawful eviction and judicial review. The position would suit either a solicitor or experienced caseworker preferably with knowledge of legal aid funding and CCMS.

In return we offer a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with qualifications and experience. We are committed to publicly funded work and foster a caring and compassionate ethos in which to work. Please apply with your CV and covering letter to Caroline Clarke c.clarke@henryhyams.com stating your salary expectations


Housing Solicitor/Caseworker
Ealing Law Centre

Salary: According to experience

Working hours: 35 per week

Benefits include 22 days’ annual leave, the possibility of flexible working and significant opportunities for learning and development.

We require a solicitor/caseworker for our Housing team. At least 2 years’ experience of Housing law is required.

Ealing Law Centre has recently secured grant funding to allow us to expand our range of work to include out of scope housing work and welfare benefits advice. We are looking for an enthusiastic housing caseworker/solicitor who can help us grow and expand the services to local residents and assist our current housing supervisor with housing work which is still within scope for Legal Aid. The Law Centre also has a Legal Aid contract for Immigration Work and grant funding for Welfare Benefits advice.

This is an exciting time for the Law Centre. We have got new grant funding secured and we are looking for someone who is keen to develop their housing work in Law Centre environment. The post holder will be expected to be proactive in developing community links and training first tier advice agencies in the area.

The successful candidate will conduct out of scope housing work and assist with the housing and debt matter starts we have been allocated and be proactive in commencing and conducting certificated cases for clients.

Ealing Law Centre is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from all candidates who meet the person specification regardless of age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or race.

For an application pack email: info@ealinglaw.org.uk

Closing date: 5 pm 8 July 2016
Interviews: TBC

Lime Legal Limited, Greengate House, 87 Pickwick Road, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9B