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New roles: The South London Legal Partnership is hiring a Housing Litigation Lawyer (to £44,607; for initial eight-month fixed term). SLLP is also recruiting a Principal Property Lawyer (to £52,425 + market supplement up to £8,000).

Welwyn Hatfield has restructured its legal services team and is seeking an experienced Senior Litigation Lawyer (to £40,994). Essential to your success in this role will be experience of housing litigation. Closing: 6 September. Also hiring: Locum opportunities: Senior Litigation Lawyer (Greater Manchester; to £50/hr), Housing Litigation Lawyer (London; £negotiable) and Housing Disrepair Legal Officer (London; to £25/hr).
   
Council secures permission for appeal over secure flexible tenancies and possession during fixed term
The Court of Appeal has granted the London Borough of Croydon permission to appeal a High Court ruling on secure flexible tenancies and possession during fixed term, it has been reported.
 
Court of Appeal agrees to hear case on how homelessness applicants should proceed with challenges
The Court of Appeal has granted permission for an appeal in a case that is said to raise an important point of legal principle relating to homelessness appeals.

Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in challenge over succession to secure council tenancies
The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal in a legal challenge over the rules relating to the succession to secure council tenancies, it has been reported. In November 2019 Haringey Council successfully defended the challenge in Simawi v London Borough of Haringey [2019] EWCA Civ 1770.

Council loses appeal over £200 confiscation order in housing case when benefit said to be several hundreds of thousands of pounds
The London Borough of Islington has lost “a most unusual” Court of Appeal action in which it argued that a confiscation order in a housing overcrowding case was too lenient.

Council to pay £1,700+ after London man housed in Birmingham forced to give up job
Merton Council has agreed to pay more than £1,700 in compensation to a man who had to give up one of his jobs because the authority gave him accommodation in Birmingham – leaving him with a three-hour commute.

Police and council secure closure order of residential property where 200 people had gathered
Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council have obtained a three-month closure order of a housing association-owned residential property where 200 people had gathered. A fixed penalty notice was issued to the tenant.
 
Welsh council defeats challenge to compulsory purchase of house empty since 1994
City and County of Cardiff Council did not breach the Equality Act 2010, when it issued a compulsory purchase order for a house owned by a former council building surveyor.

Housing Ombudsman sees rise in percentage of complaints relating to tenant behaviour
Complaints about tenant behaviour received by the Housing Ombudsman between April and June this year amounted to 21% of the total compared to 12% for the same period in 2019, it has been revealed. In its latest Insight report the Ombudsman said repairs complaints remained the largest category but these had reduced from 32% in 2019 to 27% in 2020.
 
High Court remits Leeds site allocations plan to inspectors for reconsideration
The High Court has remitted Leeds City Council’s site allocations plan to the Secretary of State For Housing, Communities and Local Government for reconsideration by planning inspectors, despite both the minister and the council opposing this course of action.

Urban and deprived areas to receive additional funding to plan their local neighbourhoods
Funding to help communities in urban and deprived areas plan their local neighbourhoods will almost double, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.
 
Housing association to procure £10m legal services panel

South Yorkshire Housing Association names 13 firms to £1.75m legal services panel

Welsh social landlord appoints council and eight firms to £4.2m legal services framework

Law firms advise Welsh housing association on private placement and revolving credit facility

North West social landlord appoints Trowers to provide regulatory compliance and governance services
The 11th hour extension to the possession claim stay

Andy Lane and Tara O’Leary consider the late - and not uncontroversial - changes announced by the Government to extend the stay of possession claims beyond the 23 August deadline.

Housing case law update - August 2020

Christopher Skinner, Helen Gascoigne and Elena-Lucia Stoian discuss important new housing law cases from June and July 2020 including a High Court ruling in relation to an asylum seeker and interim accommodation.

Obtaining possession of a secure tenancy

The following LexisNexis Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Karl King of Hardwicke Chambers, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the grounds on which and steps required to obtain possession of a secure tenancy.

Anti-social behaviour, rough sleeping and injunctions
In a rare occurrence, North Lincolnshire Council recently secured an injunction pursuant to the Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 in respect of two rough sleepers. The powers under section 1 of the Act tend to be used exceptionally and many Courts are unfamiliar with them, writes Ben Williams.

Freehold enfranchisement and local authorities

If the recent Law Commission proposals for the reform of freehold enfranchisement become law, it will be the first significant change in residential leasehold law for nearly 20 years. V. Charles Ward analyses the potential impact on councils.

Discounted housing and the First Homes scheme

David Perry and Tim Willis examine the government’s latest proposals for mandatory provision of discounted housing through the First Homes scheme; including the classification of this tenure as “affordable housing” in planning policy terms.

Act fast to take advantage of the Green Homes Grant

Last week the Government announced the inclusion of local authorities in England within the scope of applicants for the Green Homes Grant. Nathan Bradberry and Maxim Laithwaite discuss how local authorities can get the most out of the scheme.

Is there a duty to give reasons when granting planning permission?

In planning decisions such as EIAs and planning appeals, a duty to give reasons is provided for in statute. But since its abolition in 2013, the duty to give reasons for the grant of planning permission by LPAs has not been a statutory requirement. Ros Trotman examines the body of case law where a common law duty may arise.

Departing from the standard method

The Court of Appeal has recently issued a judgment covering the tilted balance, settlement boundaries and the standard method for calculating objectively assessed housing need. Howard Leithead sets out the key points.

Housing with Care and use classes

Has the High Court ended the 'Housing with Care' Use Class debate? asks Rachael Herbert.
 
 
42 Bedford Row: Specialist housing barristers
FREE on demand webinars and podcasts:

Providing accommodation and support to those with an irregular immigration status - Catherine Rowlands, Peggy Etiebet and Tara O'Leary from Cornerstone Barristers.

Landlord Complete Overview and Q&A Session -
Laura Hallett Lea and Samantha Abdoolah of Forbes Solicitors.

Airbnb, Booking.com etc - can a tenant use their premises for such short-term occupation - Andy Lane from Cornerstone Barristers.

Possession proceedings - Helen Tucker and Bex Sembuuze from Anthony Collins Solicitors.
Books: Gypsy and Traveller Law This is the key reference guide for lawyers and advisers working with Gypsies and Travellers and an essential guide for local authorities and government bodies on their duties to the Travelling community. See also: A Practical Guide to Antisocial Behaviour Injunctions, Statutory Nuisance, The Law of Compulsory Purchase, A Practical Guide to the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, Cornerstone on Anti-Social Behaviour, Housing Regeneration: A Plan for Implementation and Housing Allocation and Homelessness Law & Practice Sixth edition (with CD-ROM)
BOOST YOUR CAREER: Being a legal locum in local government
An increasing number of legal professionals are becoming locums. Rayhaneh Tehrani and Laura Smith explain the reasons why this is the case, and set out what they think candidates should consider when looking for jobs in local government.
Act Now: GDPR Practitioner Certificate
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