Sarah Salmon specialises in local government, housing, and property law.
She has represented public bodies (including the police), charities, local authorities, housing associations, individuals and companies in her specialist areas. She was chair of the Social Housing Law Association from January 2019 to December 2022 and remains on the committee. She is chair of the newly formed Wales branch of SHLA.
Sarah is recommended in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 for housing and was Highly Commended in the 2020 Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year category at the Advocate Bar Pro Bono Awards. In October 2020, she was chosen to take part in the Bar Council’s inaugural leadership programme.
In 2020, Sarah participated in the Master of the Rolls Working Group on possession proceedings. In 2019, she was part of the JUSTICE housing disputes working party. In 2018, she was part of the advisory board from the report Closing the Gaps: Health and Safety in Housing, commissioned by the charity Shelter following the Grenfell Tower fire.
- Public Law and Judicial Review
As part of her housing and local government practice, Sarah deals with public law, Equality Act and human rights issues on a regular basis. In addition, she has been instructed in a broad range of public law work. Her work has included cases concerning s.222 Local Government Act 1972, fraud investigations, duties owed to children, discrimination claims, Gypsy and Traveller law and mobile homes.
Her more recent work includes:
- representing West Midlands Police in relation to an application under the Policing and Crime Act 2009 for gang injunctions against a number of gang nominals operating in the Coventry area (with Kuljit Bhogal KC and Jack Barber);
- successfully representing a charity in a claim brought against it by a prisoner. The Claimant was Jewish and alleged the charity and Ministry of Justice had indirectly discriminated against him contrary to the Equality Act;
- advising a housing association in respect of the Physical Adaptations Grant scheme (PAG) and duties to make reasonable adjustments. PAG was developed around Welsh Government standards, the Equality Act, the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 and the Well-Being and Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015;
- drafting grounds of resistance in a number of judicial review claims for various clients dealing with issues under Part 7, Housing Act 1996, the Equality Act and the Children Act 1989; and,
- advising as to the treatment of an area of land acquired as a Traveller site and future council land holding in the absence of a Housing Revenue Account.
Sarah is the co-author of Judicial Review Proceedings: A Practitioners Guide, 3rd edition (LAG, 2012).
- London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Others v Persons Unknown (London Gypsies and Travellers Friends, Families and Travellers and National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups intervening)  EWHC 1201 (QB) – junior counsel for the London Borough of Hounslow led by Ranjit Bhose KC.
- R (oao (1) Mercy Amaranye and (2) A) v London Borough of Croydon  EWHC 1088 (Admin) – junior counsel for the authority successfully defending judicial review proceedings into its decision to launch a fraud investigation into someone who lied to obtain accommodation under s.17 Children Act 1989.
- Birmingham City Council v SS and SA  EWCA Civ 1211;  HLR 6 – a case concerning the proper approach to be taken by housing benefit authorities to the restriction of benefit for occupiers of “exempt” accommodation to which the normal local housing allowance and “maximum rent” rules do not apply (junior counsel).
- James v Birmingham City Council  EWCA Civ 552 – the first time the Court of Appeal considered gang-injunctions under section 34 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 (junior counsel). Morrison Facilities Services Limited v Norwich City Council  EWHC 487 (Ch) – junior counsel for the authority.
Sarah advises and represents in all areas of property law. Sarah has experience of service charge disputes, leasehold enfranchisement, proceedings relating to breach of covenant or condition, rent repayment orders and has advised on matters under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Sarah has advised local authorities in relation to cladding on their leasehold properties.
During 2022 and 2023, Sarah led a project to draft a suite of documents, and advise where necessary, in relation to new and converted occupation contracts required under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. Renting Homes was implemented on 1 December 2022.
Some of Sarah’s other recent work includes:
- advising as to issues associated with the refusal of an easement;
- advising as to a compensation matrix for potential dilapidation claims in relation to a development of mixed tenure (including leasehold, freehold and shared-ownership);
- providing a high-level advice in relation to the condition of a leasehold property arising out of a threat to bring a claim against the landlord; and,
- advising in respect of a potential claim against a landlord by intermediate market rent tenants in relation to the condition of various flats.
Sarah also accepts instructions from residential and commercial landlords and tenants. She is able advice on various issues, including type of tenure, service of notices, bringing and defending possession proceedings, including those relating to mortgaged properties, claims for unlawful eviction and harassment, landlord licensing and registration and injunctions to enforce access and other covenants.
Sarah appeared for the tenant in Jarvis v Evans (Shelter Cymru intervening)  EWCA Civ 854;  1 WLR 24 – a case concerning landlord licensing in Wales.
She is a contributor to the Affordable Housing – Modern Guide to Construction and Delivery (2016, Lexis online publication).
Sarah is ranked in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for housing. Her caseload involves all aspects of housing law including possession, homelessness and allocations, Equality Act 2010 duties, welfare benefits, anti-social behaviour, unlawful eviction and housing conditions (including issues with cladding).
She acts for local authorities, private registered providers and tenants.
During 2022 to 2023, Sarah has led a team in Chambers working on contracts for social housing providers and private landlords in Wales – including the Welsh Government – following the wholesale transformation of housing law in Wales by the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.
Her recent work has also included:
- advising as to the allocation of social housing and reviewing an allocation scheme;
- advising on issues associated with homelessness applications and how an authority provides temporary accommodation pursuant to duties under Part 7, Housing Act 1996;
- advising in relation to proposed adaptations of a property and the interaction between an authority’s policy and a disabled facilities grant under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996; and,
- successfully acting in an appeal by the local authority against the dismissal of a possession claim based on allegations of subletting.
She is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, vol 24(1) Landlord and Tenant (Social Housing) (2019).
- Jarvis v Evans  EWCA Civ 854;  1 WLR 24 – the first case to see the provisions of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 before the higher courts. The case held that a section 8, Housing Act 1988 notice served by a landlord was a “notice to terminate a tenancy” and if such a notice was served by a landlord who was unlicensed in Wales, it was invalid. Sarah was lead counsel for the tenants.
- Gil v Camden LBC  EWHC 735(QB) – counsel for the successful local authority.
- Royal Borough of Greenwich v Charlotte Tuitt  EWCA Civ 1669;  HLR 10 – Sarah acted for the successful local authority resisting a challenge to the making of an immediate possession order in circumstances where the behaviour was caused by the tenant’s son as opposed to the tenant herself.
- Octavia Housing v Winter  EWCA Civ 436 – appeared for the successful landlord.
- Gang and anti-social behaviour injunctions: Supreme Court confirms the standard of proof to be applied19 Jul 2023
- Sarah Salmon chairs the Social Housing Law Association Annual Conference01 Nov 2022
- Effective Legal Responses to Gang-Related Violence and Drug Dealing 25 Oct 2022
- Procedural rules for claims under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 – due to come into effect 1 December 202229 Jul 2022
- Cornerstone Barristers’ Sarah Salmon and Kuljit Bhogal speak at SHLA Virtual Annual Conference 202116 Nov 2021
- Cornerstone Barristers welcomes new tenant Sarah Salmon21 Jul 2021