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The Editors speak


By Andy Lane and Tara O'Leary, Joint Editors, Housing Newsletter

We are, to say the least, living in exceptionally difficult times. In addition to the tragic loss of life, the situation is heavily impacting upon daily life. The lockdown has had an obvious effect on how lawyers are doing their jobs – working from home, remote hearings, vacation of possession hearings and navigating e-bundles to give just 4 examples.

As a chambers, we are "open for business" and have sought to be available to our clients and future clients, whether that be by way of case updates, webinars, video conferences or more traditional forms of contact. Many of these are mentioned later in this newsletter, and in particular we have included links where you can watch our past webinars. We are always keen to improve though, and your ideas as to how we can better assist you are always welcome.

In this edition of the housing newsletter, we have sought to address some important housing issues, such as domestic violence in the homelessness field, terminating fixed terms tenancies, right to rent developments, out of time homelessness appeals, updates in selective and additional licensing, and more.

The pandemic has not stopped the Housing Team's members being busy in the courts either, and this includes both reported and non-reported cases. For example, Ashley and Dean in R (Mohamed & Lahrie) v LB Waltham Forest & SSHCLG (Intervener) [2020] EWHC 1083 (Admin), Kuljit in Hacking v LB Waltham Forest, and Andy in Davies v Herefordshire CC [2020] EWHC 838 (QB). We have also seen judgments handed down in McMahon v Watford BC; Kiefer v Hertsmere BC [2020] EWCA Civ 497 (Michael, Catherine, Zoë and Rowan) and James v Hertsmere BC [2020] EWCA Civ 489 (Ranjit and Riccardo).

What will happen once the PD51Z stay on possession claims is lifted is not entirely clear, and the government's continued promise to 'discourage' rent possession claims thereafter remains unclear in its detail save that they are looking at new/revised protocols. What we can say is that Cornerstone Barristers will always be available to advise, inform and represent.

Stay safe and enjoy the read!