The Editors speak
By Andy Lane and Tara O’Leary
Since the last Housing Newsletter in September last year a lot has happened, both in the social housing world and in Cornerstone Barristers’ Housing Team. In respect of the former, to give four examples, we have seen:
- The call for evidence from the MHCLG on the question of a specialist Housing Court (which closed on 22 January 2019).
- An apparent move away from fixed term tenancies from the housing association sector “led” by the London & Quadrant Housing Trust on 21 September 2018.
- The passing of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 at the end of last year, which is discussed at length in an article by Catherine Rowlands in this edition.
- The passing of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 on 12 February. From 1 June this year, this Act will ban the imposition of tenant letting fees and cap the maximum deposit which may be taken by landlords in the private sector.
As for the Team, allied to the recent arrival of Riccardo Calzavara we have seen Dr Alex Williams and Dr Sam Fowles join after the successful completion of their pupillages. We are also very proud that both Riccardo and Matt Lewin have recently been appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel.
On the training front, the Team held another well-received Annual Housing Day on 2 October 2018 and the final event of the 2018 programme, on fixed term tenancies, took place on 21 November 2018. The 2019 Chambers’ seminar programme has been drawn up, including:
- A Birmingham Housing Day on the 21 March 2019.
- An evening seminar on Cladding and Fire Doors on 25 March 2019.
- A seminar on ‘the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 – One Year On’ on 3 April 2019.
There is also the Third Annual Bryan McGuire Lecture on Homelessness, the speaker this year being Polly Neate (Chief Executive of Shelter) on 26 March 2019.
In terms of reported cases, members of the team have been involved in Farakh Rashid v Teyub Nasrullah (acting as executor of the late Mohammed Rashid)  EWCA Civ 2685, Abdelrahim Alibkhiet v Brent LBC, Amounah Adam v City of Westminster  EWCA Civ 2742, Dylan Powell v Dacorum Borough Council  EWCA Civ 23, TW (No.2) v London Borough of Hillingdon  EWHC 157 (Admin), Z & ors v (1) Hackney LBC (2) Agudas Israel Housing Association  EWHC 139 (Admin) and Adesotu v Lewisham LBC  EW Misc 3 (CC).
There are forthcoming Court of Appeal cases involving members of the team which concern 2nd possession claims and abuse of process, PSPOs, and the extent to which the court may consider claims for direct or indirect discrimination in the context of s. 204 appeals. There is also an appeal to the Divisional Court concerning the offence of failing to licence an HMO.
This edition includes articles on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, consideration of McDonald v McDonald  UKSC 28 (FJM v United Kingdom) at the ECtHR, an insider’s view on Powell v Dacorum BC and a look at private companies providing social housing.
Enjoy the read!
Andy and Tara