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BOOK NOW: Mental health and housing - Devonshires - 27 February.
Complaints about repairs still biggest category of complaint as Housing Ombudsman publishes insight report on data

The report highlighted a finding of severe maladministration in a case where a landlord removed a contractual service from a certain category of elderly residents in supported accommodation without following an appropriate legal process.

Social landlord to take legal action over "unfair" assessment by legal regulator

A provider of homes for vulnerable adults is to seek judicial review this month of an assessment issued by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) after the watchdog said its governance and financial viability were both inadequate.

Lambeth reaches "first of its kind" memorandum of understanding with housing associations in borough

Lambeth Council has reached a joint agreement with all ten housing associations operating in the borough, with the ‘memorandum of understanding’ said to be the first of its kind in London.
London borough recovers council home and £105,000 after securing housing fraud conviction

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has recovered a council home and £105,000 after a former resident was sentenced earlier this month in relation to two charges of housing fraud.

Vulnerable people "refused fair hearing" in way some councils deal with appeals against housing benefit decisions: Ombudsman

Families face homelessness because of errors in the way some councils deal with appeals against decisions on housing benefit claims, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has warned.

Government to set up new regulator for oversight of high-risk buildings

Secretary of State Robert Jenrick also said that in cases where there is no clear plan for remediation, the Government would work with local authorities to support them in their enforcement options against building owners.

Council rapped over treatment of pregnant woman who was made homeless

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has agreed to consider service resources and “the changes it needs to make to work in line with the law” after a Local Government and Social Ombudsman investigation into how a pregnant woman was left in an unfurnished flat, miles from her support network.

Ministry awards £4m to 100+ councils to help tackle criminal landlords and letting agents

Social landlord to procure £1.8m legal services framework
Housing case law update: January 2020

Paul Lloyd and Sarah Christy round up recent cases from courts in England and Wales relevant to the housing sector.

New pre-action protocols for disrepair and possession claims

New pre-action protocols will bring clarity for disrepair and possession claims, writes Sian Evans, setting out the key changes.
Securing approval for selective licensing

David Smith considers the lessons to be learned from the Government's most recent decisions in relation to selective licensing schemes.

Governing in uncertain times

Victoria Jardine and Peter Hubbard assess the latest developments in relation to governance issues for social landlords.

Multi-storey residential buildings: the latest government advice

Mark London, Michael Wharfe and Yaasica Hamilton-Haye examine advice issued last week by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for owners of multi-storey and multi-occupied residential buildings.

Community Infrastructure Levy reforms and registered providers

Lucy Worrall sets out some practical points for developing registered providers when it comes to the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Adult safeguarding and the Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Kevin Chan explains how his local authority recently used the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to safeguard a vulnerable man from abuse using a civil injunction.

A balancing act? - Enfranchisement valuation reform

The Law Commission has now published its report on options to reduce the price payable in lease extension and enfranchisement claims. William Bethune and David Zong analyse its findings.
42 Bedford Row: Specialist housing barristers
Director of lettings and property management agency jailed for two years over £230k fraud

The director of a lettings and property management agency who defrauded more than £230,000 from the landlords and tenants that were his clients has received a two-year prison sentence, following an investigation by Southampton City Council’s Trading Standards Service.

Ombudsman hits out at council after housing benefit miscalculations lead to eviction of young family

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) has criticised the London Borough of Haringey after a young, single-parent family, including a disabled child, had to leave their home after the council miscalculated their housing benefits.

Proposals for changes to Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme "do not address fundamental issues of sustainability": Law Society

Court of Appeal rejects council bid for borough-wide injunction, issues guidance on tackling unauthorised encampments

Council prosecution sees landlord fined £27k for multiple HMO breaches

Council secures injunction to ban proposed "tent city" homeless encampment
High Court judge rejects argument by council that unincorporated association did not have capacity to challenge site allocations plan
Elephant, Dove, Old Oak, RICS

It is time to return to fundamentals when it comes to the delivery of social housing, writes Simon Ricketts, as he reviews recent developments in relation to two major projects.

Agent of change planning appeals

The crossover between the licensing and planning regimes is growing and it is becoming less and less viable to administer either in a watertight compartment, writes Sarah Clover, after she successfully resisted an agent of change planning appeal.

(How) can planning speed up delivery? Part 1

In the first of two articles Ralph Kellas examines the factors behind slow build out rates and analyses proposed ways to tackle the issue.

(How) can planning speed up delivery? Part 2

In Part 1 of a two-part series, Ralph Kellas considered the expectations and challenges around build out and some of the reforms proposed to address it. He now considers the implications of slow build out for local authorities and what they, and the planning system more broadly, can do to speed up delivery.

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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