Cornerstone Housing Newsletter – February 2021

22 Feb 2021



February 2021

The Editors speak…
Andy Lane and Tara O’Leary

We last produced a Housing newsletter in May 2020. That was the time of the first pandemic lockdown, and we are now in the third one with many of you therefore reading this whilst working from home. It has not been an easy time for any of us, and adaptations to ways of working have been inevitable. With the ongoing vaccination programme it is hoped that an “end is in sight” even if things will never be quite as they were before March 2020. We wish all our readers and their families well, and have tried as a chambers to respond as best we can to our clients needs to ensure our quality of service is maintained.
That we have been able to do so is in no small part due to our wonderful staff led by the brilliant Clare Bello and Elliot Langdorf. We retained our top ranking for Social Housing in Chambers & Partners  and Legal 500 in October 2020 and should also give specific congratulations to Dr Sam Fowles (nomination for Young Pro-bono Barrister of the year) and Kuljit Bhogal (appointment as a Recorder of the Crown Court).



Reasonable preference and local residence

Author: Matt Hutchings QC

Looking back twelve years to 2009, it is tempting to view that year as a golden moment for local authority housing policy makers. That is not to deny the ever-present reality of chronic excess of demand over supply of social housing, or the challenges presented by Government policies of austerity following the banking crash. However, within these practical constraints, the priorities for the allocation of much needed social housing were largely left for local democratic decision.


PSED and Housing: what’s left to decide?

Author: Ruchi Parekh

In housing law circles, 2020 was arguably the year of the Public Sector Equality Duty (“PSED”). The issue was the sole focus of a number of housing related appeals involving both possessions as well as homelessness applications.


Ending a tenancy following the death of the tenant: Court of Appeal clarifies Notices to Quit regime

Author: Dr Christina Lienen

When an assured or secure sole tenant dies and there is no other person entitled to statutorily succeed to the tenancy, a contractual tenancy will continue to exist despite security of tenure having, inevitably, been lost. Where the deceased tenant has left a will, the contractual tenancy will vest in their executors. Where no will exists, the contractual tenancy vests in the Public Trustee (Administration of Estates Act 1925, section 9(1)).


Homelessness and Allocations – what now post Brexit?

Author: Peggy Etiebet

At 11pm on 31 December 2020 (the implementation period (“IP”) completion date) the UK withdrew from the EU. What effect has this had on local authority assessments of eligibility for homelessness applications and allocations made pursuant to Parts 6 and 7 of the Housing Act 1996 (“HA 1996”)?


Pressing pause on bankruptcy and possession action under new the Debt Respite (Breathing Space) Scheme

Author: Richard Hanstock and Vicki Hanstock

On 4 May 2021, regulations will bring into effect two new forms of debt respite: the Breathing Space Moratorium and the Mental Health Crisis Moratorium. These periods do not extinguish the debts, but they do prevent enforcement action being taken against debtors for as long as they have effect. This includes the taking of possession action or the institution of bankruptcy proceedings.



Time is an illusion

Author: Catherine Rowlands

“Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so” said Douglas Adams. In lockdown, time seems to be a meaningless construct. What day is it today? Who knows, who even cares? Well, you may well care if you are dealing with the review and appeal procedure under the Housing Act 1996.


New Statutory Guidance on Data Sharing

Author: John Fitzsimons

In December 2020 the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘the ICO”) published its new Data Sharing Code of Practice. The Code aims to provide practical guidance for organisations about sharing personal data in a way which complies with data protection law.


Case law update

Author: Tara O’Leary

A summary of the latest important Housing Law cases…



UPCOMING WEBINARS – click to book!

 Dealing with homelessness appeals
Defending disrepair claims
Possession proceedings, where are we now?
PSED Defence and residential possession claims
Anti-social behaviour: closure orders and Community Protection Notices


Cases and Artilces

You both need it and have to use it – Kelvin Rutledge QC and Riccardo Calzavara

Possessions and the PSED: no news is good news – Ruchi Parekh

Court of Appeal confirms that licensing authorities can consider conduct underlying spent convictions – Riccardo Calzavara

The Court of Appeal consider the issue of “late” review decisions and section 204 (homelessness) appeals – Andy Lane and Riccardo Calzavara

A thorough soaking – Court of Appeal affirms that local authority is a water “re-seller” – Ranjit Bhose QC and Ruchi Parekh

COVID-19, homelessness and rough sleepers: how to help persons ineligible for support – Tara O’Leary

Past webinars 

Zoom webinar – Allocation Schemes (England) – Lessons from the Courts 

Zoom Webinar – The Lifting of the Possession Claim Stay

Zoom webinar – Airbnb, etc – can a tenant use their premises for such short term occupation?

Zoom webinar – Providing accommodation and support to those with an irregular immigration status

Zoom webinar – How to determine a flexible tenancy during its fixed term

Zoom webinar – Financial penalties under the Housing Act 2004: an overview of law, practice and procedure

Zoom webinar – Recent developments in mandatory, additional and selective licensing

Housing Week 2020 

Housing Week Day 1: Looking backwards to go forwards – Housing 2020 and 2021

Housing Week Day 2: Dealing with defendants with mental health problems/capacity issues in ASB cases

Housing Week Day 3: Housing-Related Judicial Review

Housing Week Day 4: Public law and discrimination challenges to possession claims – Where are we now?

Housing Week Day 5: Collection and Use of Personal Data: A Guide for Landlords

For queries regarding counsel and cases please contact our clerking team.

020 7242 4986


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