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We have been ranked in Band 1 in the Chambers Directory for social housing. It says of us:-

“Well-regarded team with nationwide recognition.  Offers a diverse range of services including advice on possession and eviction proceedings, homelessness and housing allocation, and the defence of anti-social behaviour actions.  Also fields a number of specialists in accommodation for the Traveller community”.

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We are seeking to recruit two experienced and dedicated housing lawyers to join our award winning, friendly and supportive team. Hours of work:- 9.00 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday.  To apply:- go to our website at www.communitylawpartnership.co.uk under noticeboard/vacancies and download the application form and email it to emma@communitylawpartnership.co.uk.   (Alternatively, if you require a paper copy sending in the post please telephone our office on 0121 685 8595 and we can send one to you).

Please select the appropriate attached form.

CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF COMPLETED APPLICATION FORMS: Friday 14th December 2018.

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The Claimants in this claim were Irish Travellers. TW was a single parent who was placed in Band D because she had not lived in the Borough for 10 years.  EM was a carer for his three adult disabled children and he was informed that he did not meet the criteria to be given social housing.  The Claimants argued that the residence criterion indirectly discriminated against them as Irish Travellers on the ground of race.  The Claimants also argued that LBH, in devising its Housing Allocations Policy, failed to comply with Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 which required LBH to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Supperstone J gave the Judgment in the case.  With regard to the residence requirement he stated:-

59.       Whether a residence requirement is lawful will depend on whether it can be justified.  A residence requirement, especially one as long as ten years, is highly likely to have a significant and adverse impact on Irish Travellers.  Irish Travellers are significantly less likely than members of other racial groups to have resided in a particular location in the UK continuously for at least ten years.  However there is no evidence that the Council sought to assess the extent of the disadvantage on Irish Travellers or considered whether it was justified or what might be done to reduce it. Further, there is no evidence from the Council to show that a shorter period than ten years would undermine their stated objectives.

60.       I am firmly of the view that the Council’s evidence fails to justify the impact of the ten-year residential qualification and uplift.

With regard to the Children Act he stated as follows:-

78.       It seems to me that the potential impact of the residency qualification on the education of children of Irish Travellers at the very least required the Council, pursuant to their s.11 duty, to give consideration “to the need to minimise educational disruption”…The Council did not engage with this issue at all.

79.       I am led to the conclusion that the Council breached their duty under s.11 (2) in relation to the imposition and maintenance of the residential qualification and uplift.

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The Claimants in this claim were Irish Travellers. TW was a single parent who was placed in Band D because she had not lived in the Borough for 10 years.  EM was a carer for his three adult disabled children and he was informed that he did not meet the criteria to be given social housing.  The Claimants argued that the residence criterion indirectly discriminated against them as Irish Travellers on the ground of race.  The Claimants also argued that LBH, in devising its Housing Allocations Policy, failed to comply with Section 11 of the Children Act 2004 which required LBH to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Supperstone J gave the Judgment in the case.  With regard to the residence requirement he stated:-

59.       Whether a residence requirement is lawful will depend on whether it can be justified.  A residence requirement, especially one as long as ten years, is highly likely to have a significant and adverse impact on Irish Travellers.  Irish Travellers are significantly less likely than members of other racial groups to have resided in a particular location in the UK continuously for at least ten years.  However there is no evidence that the Council sought to assess the extent of the disadvantage on Irish Travellers or considered whether it was justified or what might be done to reduce it. Further, there is no evidence from the Council to show that a shorter period than ten years would undermine their stated objectives.

60.       I am firmly of the view that the Council’s evidence fails to justify the impact of the ten-year residential qualification and uplift.

With regard to the Children Act he stated as follows:-

78.       It seems to me that the potential impact of the residency qualification on the education of children of Irish Travellers at the very least required the Council, pursuant to their s.11 duty, to give consideration “to the need to minimise educational disruption”…The Council did not engage with this issue at all.

79.       I am led to the conclusion that the Council breached their duty under s.11 (2) in relation to the imposition and maintenance of the residential qualification and uplift.

The post R (TW, SW and EM) – v – London Borough of Hillingdon and EHRC (intervener) [2018] EWHC 1791 (Admin) 13 July 2018 appeared first on The Community Law Partnership.

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The Upper Tribunal decided that the First Tier Tribunal had been right to distinguish Berkeley Leisure Group Ltd v Hampton [2001] EWCA Civ 1474. Although the site in that case was also a mixed residential and holiday site, the pitches on which permanent residential occupation was permitted were specifically identified in the planning permission and site licence. The court held that where the permission and licence distinguished between different parts of the park as regards the permitted user, the park had to be treated as being sub-divided, and part of it could be a protected site. The pitch in question was not one of those on which permanent residential occupation was permitted, and it was therefore held not to be protected. In the instant case, the planning permission and site licence did not expressly restrict permanent residential occupation to specific parts of the site, and they did not require that a mobile home situated on any particular pitch should be occupied either seasonally or permanently. While it limited the number of pitches that could be occupied for permanent residential use, that was not the issue. Unlike in Berkeley, it did not distinguish between individual pitches and did not specify that any individual pitch should be for holiday use only. Rather, it permitted mixed holiday and residential use across the whole site and did not require any particular part of the park to be used for any particular type of occupation. Similarly, the restrictions in the site licence did not apply to specific pitches or parts of the park. The Upper Tribunal concluded that the whole of the park was a protected site to which the 1983 Act applied.

The barrister for the Hancocks was Jamie Burton of Doughty St Chambers and the solicitor was Pete Johnson of Laceys in Bournemouth.

See the judgment here: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/uk/cases/UKUT/LC/2018/249.html&query=(john)+AND+(romans)+AND+(park)+AND+(homes)+AND+(v)+AND+(hancock)

The post John Romans Park Homes v Hancock & ors [2018] UKUT 249 (LC) appeared first on The Community Law Partnership.

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HHJ Worster sitting in The County Court at Birmingham also found that tenant eviction company Remove A Tenant had acted in breach of the Legal Services Act (LSA) 2007, or had come perilously close to so doing, in conducting litigation when not authorised.

The consequence of this case is that the Defendant who was represented by Solicitor-Advocate Ranjit Bains from CLP and barrister Michael Singleton (St Ives Chambers) under the legal aid scheme has retained her family home.

CLP was instructed two days before the possession order was to expire whereupon emergency legal aid was granted. The case had already been transferred to the High Court. CLP settled the grounds of appeal and sought an urgent stay of execution the afternoon before the order was to expire. At a later on notice hearing before Mr Sweeting QC, Deputy High Court Judge, the Defendant, represented by Ranjit, was given permission to appeal on grounds relating to an abuse of the court’s process and a defective section 8 notice[1]. Permission was refused in relation to bringing a counterclaim for housing disrepair.

The final appeal hearing was listed for 6 July, about 3 weeks after permission was granted, and days before the final hearing there was a contested application for disclosure and for attendance of the landlord’s witnesses to attend for cross examination. An order for disclosure against Remove A Tenant was granted without notice and the next day, the court having given the landlord and Remove A Tenant permission to be heard, the court varied the disclosure order and made an order that the witnesses attend for cross examination.

Mr Singleton persuaded the court that the appeal should be allowed and Aaron Walder of Landmark Chambers (instructed by Martyn Liberson of Elms Gilmore Liberson) successfully argued that, even if there had been a breach of the LSA 2007, the claim should not be struck out.

The case highlights the importance of tenants getting advice as soon as possible and the availability of legal aid for defending possession cases, even after an order has been made. It also shows the importance of carefully scrutinising the notice of seeking possession when representing tenants and raises an interesting question as to the appropriate sanction where there has been an arguable breach of the criminal law in the course of litigation.

The approved judgement is available here

[1] A Section 8 Notice is a form of notice seeking possession that landlords must usually serve on tenants under Assured or Assured Shorthold tenancies before applying to the court for an order for possession. This is different to where an Assured Shorthold Tenancy has been brought to an end by service of a s21 notice which is a separate form of notice entirely.

The post Remove a Tenant? Maybe not this time! appeared first on The Community Law Partnership.

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