The Renters (Reform) Bill and some other news…

26 Jun 2023


Some eight months have passed since our last Housing Newsletter and the eagle-eyed of out there will notice a change in editors. Tara O’Leary continues to edit the newsletter but she is joined by Sarah Salmon. We would like to extend our thanks to Andy Lane for all of his hard work over the years ensuring the newsletter is packed full of articles and of interest to its readers.

A lot has happened since our last newsletter and there is more to come from the Team. First, we give special congratulations to Kuljit Bhogal KC on her silk appointment.

Secondly, in April 2023, Sam Fowles’ bestselling book “Overruled: Confronting Our Vanishing Democracy in 8 Cases” launched in paperback and our pupils, Lois and Sam, started accepting instructions in housing cases.

Thirdly, the Housing Team has been busy with a series of housing webinars and preparing for our annual Housing Day conference on 9 October 2023 at which we hope to see you all.

Finally, and hot off the press:

  • Yesterday, in Leeds City Council v Persons Unknown [2023] EWHC 1504 (Admin), Fordham J decided that “premises” for the purposes of Part 4, Chapter 3 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, are not an “area” or a “locality” or “any line drawn on a map” but must be somewhere which is objectively identifiable as a distinctive property or a distinctive part of a property. Kuljit Bhogal KC acted for Leeds City Council.
  • Riccardo Calzavara, acting for Waltham Forest, has been successful in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal. In a judgment handed down on 19 June 2023, the UT held that FTT may have regard to matters of which the authority was unaware in order to increase the penalty under s.249A of the Housing Act 2004.

Members of the Team have a number of interesting cases coming up, including the following:

  • The Supreme Court judgment is awaited in Croydon LBC v Imam (on appeal from [2022] EWCA Civ 601). The case considers the circumstances in which it is appropriate to make a mandatory order compelling compliance with section 193, Housing Act 1996. Kelvin Rutledge KC and Riccardo Calzavara appeared on behalf of the London Borough of Croydon.
  • Global Guardians Management v Hounslow LBC is listed at the Court of Appeal on 10 to 11 October 2023. Ranjit Bhose KC and Tara O’Leary are representing the London Borough of Hounslow, Tara having successfully represented Hounslow before the Upper Tribunal which confirmed property guardianship companies must licence their premises as HMOs.
  • Hodge v Folkestone & Hythe DC is listed to be heard by the Court of Appeal on 4-5 July. The important issue being determined is whether so-called “move on” supported accommodation can lawfully be used to discharge Part VII homelessness duties. Matt Hutchings KC and Tara O’Leary act for Folkestone & Hythe, Matt having successfully resisted the appeal at first instance.
  • Judgment from the Court of Appeal is awaited in Waltham Forest LBC v Hussain (on appeal from [2022] UKUT 241 (LC)). The Upper Tribunal held that in considering an appeal against the local housing authority’s refusal of a licence application or revocation of a licence the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) is entitled to take into account matters that did not exist at the time of the authority’s decision. Riccardo Calzavara acts as junior counsel for Waltham Forest.
  • An application for permission to appeal to the High Court is pending in Lowe v Charterhouse (2022) EW Misc 8 (CC). The case raises issues relating to the statutory scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits paid by assured shorthold tenants. Shomik Datta represented the successful landlord at first instance.
  • Before the end of July, Alexander Campbell will appear in the High Court defending a local authority in a judicial review challenge concerning what level of women-only accommodation local authorities have to provide under their homelessness functions.

The Team also has a program of webinars coming up ahead of our annual Housing Day on 9 October 2023. A full programme of the webinars throughout the year is available on our website, but those coming up include:

In conclusion and returning to this newsletter, we have dedicated this edition to the much anticipated Renters (Reform) Bill; covering five areas from the impact on social housing to anti-social behaviour and unlawful evictions. In a May 2023 article, Andrew Lane and Jack Barber also summarised the Bill. Please scroll down to read the articles.

Enjoy the read!

Sarah & Tara