Services
People
News and Events
Other
Blogs
Joanne Ellis
 

Private landlords get tougher

  • Posted

The annual possession statistics have been published and once again it is said that possession cases are going down. Whilst the amount of possession cases started at court have fallen (hardly a surprise given a hike in the issue fee), the number of...

Counting the cost of Christmas

  • Posted

Figures released last week by the TUC found debt per household to be the highest ever. The average has risen a staggering £600 since the third quarter of 2014 a year ago to a massive average debt of £11,800 per household. The figure...

Suspending statistics - possession orders

  • Posted

Statistics show that 42 per cent of possession orders made in the first quarter of the year were suspended. That means that a court was convinced to give the tenant an opportunity to prove they could turn the situation around. In our experience...

Supreme Court does away with the ordinary homeless person

  • Posted

On 14th May the Supreme Court made a huge decision which is set to have a significant impact on homeless people. In order for a local authority to accept a duty to provide accommodation to anyone a vulnerability test has to be met. Until now, that test...

Asbestos and social landlords

  • Posted

Housing Associations and other social landlords have been in the news in recent years thanks to the large number of asbestos related claims that are being made against them as a result of the handling and disposing of the substance in their properties. ...

Conditons of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

  • Posted

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (“the Act”) introduces major changes for court proceedings relating to the anti-social behaviour injunction and anti-social behaviour possession proceedings. The Act introduces new...

Your responsibility for other people's Anti-Social Behviour

  • Posted

It has recently been announced that the new Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions which can be granted by the County Court under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, will now come into force on 23 March 2015. They were originally intended...

Positive requirements and the new Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction

  • Posted

We still await the introduction of the new Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions which can be granted by the County Court under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. The word was they were expected to come into effect in January 2015,...

Changes to Anti-Social Behaviour Legislation

  • Posted

Police in Merseyside are concerned about the increase in anti social behaviour due to the late kick off at this weekend’s Merseyside derby. The concerns are the late kick off will lead to increased alcohol consumption and therefore increase the...

Is that party really worth getting an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction?

  • Posted

It is quite easy to get carried away when you’re having a house party and many of us may not think twice about turning up the volume of our music as it gets into full swing. However, persistent and intrusive noise can have a negative impact on a...

Good will to all men

  • Posted

It’s not always criminal solicitors that are called out to people finding themselves arrested and in the cells over the Christmas period, it could also be a specialist housing solicitor. Breach of an anti-social behaviour order can, under certain...

New injunctions could lead to many more evictions in 2015

  • Posted

The new Anti-Social Behaviour Injunctions which can be granted by the County Court under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 are expected to come into effect in January 2015. The injunctions can be made against individuals where...

New law will see anti-social behaviour injunctions for children

  • Posted

A new law has been passed which allows injunctions to be obtained by housing providers, amongst others, against children as young as 10. The civil injunctions will replace ‘ASBOs’ which are currently dealt with in the criminal courts. Housing...

Increase in interest rates on the horizon - can you still afford your home?

  • Posted

BBC News reported recently that the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has signalled that interest rates may rise this year. To some this will come as a shock, as originally it was thought that this rise was to start next year. To others they...

Revenge eviction for the complaining tenant?

  • Posted

At present there is no housing legislation in place to protect private renting tenants facing eviction from vengeful landlords. The term ‘Retaliatory Eviction’ has often been used to describe a situation where a tenant raises a complaint to...

Ground 8 possession claims and counterclaims

  • Posted

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the precise wording required in a Ground 8, Section 8 Notice Seeking Possession, issued by landlords to regain possession of properties where tenants fall into rent arrears. The law states that if a tenant is more...

Are rent controls the solution to Britain's housing crisis?

  • Posted

Ed Miliband intends to place a cap on rent rises and introduce three year tenancies as part of proposed housing reforms in the private sector if Labour is elected at the next general election in 2015. Mr Miliband has cited housing costs as one of the...

300,000 children fed by food banks

  • Posted

Statistics from the Trussell Trust have confirmed the obvious; more people are resorting to food banks to feed themselves and their children. The Trussell Trust, just one of the many organisations helping people who can’t afford to buy food, handed...

The (not so) shocking disappointment in the bedroom tax results

  • Posted

BBC News has recently reported, after receiving information requested through the Freedom of Information request from 331 social housing providers, only 6% of those households who have been affected by the bedroom tax have actually moved homes. For those of...

Don't disrepair - responsibility for repairs between landlord and tenant

  • Posted

If you have a residential lease not exceeding seven years, certain repair obligations are imposed on the landlord by virtue of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. These are: To keep in repair the structure and exterior of the...

The bedroom tax: A disaster for both landlords and tenants?

  • Posted

The bedroom tax was introduced in April 2013 with promises from the Government that it would save the taxpayer £1 million per day and increase the availability of larger properties to families that need them. However, the BBC has reported that 28% of...

Article 8 and private landlord update

  • Posted

In previous blogs I have discussed the progress which has been made in the argument that Article 8 should also apply to private landlords. The courts in previous cases, such as that Manchester City Council v Pinnock [2010] 3 WLR 1441 and Hounslow LBC v...

Atlee suggests starting up a business at home to avoid Bedroom Tax

  • Posted

Conservative peer, Earl John Atlee, has recently suggested that tenants should start up businesses from their homes in order to avoid the Bedroom Tax. The Bedroom Tax was brought in in April 2013 and means that tenants have to...

Bedroom tax decision - are you sure your child is really living with you?

  • Posted

Further good news has been received in relation to another successful ‘bedroom tax’ appeal. This one has come from my home city of Liverpool and was first reported on in February by Nearly Legal . I have blogged on occasion in relation to...

Disabled people less likely to be helped with the bedroom tax

  • Posted

Statistics revealed recently by leading disability charity Papworth Trust confirm that almost 90 percent of disabled people refused DHP (Discretionary Housing Payments) are cutting back on essentials such as food and household bills. Discretionary Housing...

Advantage Murray! Eviction notices served on tenants close to tennis ace's hotel

  • Posted

Andy Murray, the Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic tennis champion, has made the news this week after it was revealed tenants living next to his hotel grounds are being ‘evicted’ to make way for hotel staff. Mr Murray purchased Cromlix House Hotel...

Communication is the key to preventing Court action

  • Posted

It has recently been reported by Shelter that 2% of the British population have recently used a payday loan company to help them to pay their rent or mortgage payments. This may not sound like a lot but that amounts to around 1 million households in the UK....

A right to park?

  • Posted

Is it a problem if a neighbour regularly parks on a part of your land? You may not use that particular section of land and have never objected to it. You may think that because it is your land you can ask them to move and reclaim your space when you need it....

Never mind the turkey, it's eat or stay warm

  • Posted

The results of the second round of Real Life Reforms study were published in December deepening concern for those in social housing accommodation. The study aims to track the impact of welfare reform across 70-100 representative social housing households...

"They'll fight tooth and nail for their clients"

  • Posted

Our housing law team has been ranked in Chambers UK 2014. Chambers UK ranks legal firms and lawyers in the UK each year following intensive research carried out by 100 researchers. This is a real positive for our growing team. In Chambers...

Legal aid cuts 2013 - Can you still get legal aid for housing cases?

  • Posted

The Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) introduced sweeping cuts to legal aid from April 2013. As a result, the social welfare law category (consisting of welfare benefits, debt, employment/discrimination, community care and housing)...

Bedroom tax breaches human rights

  • Posted

On Friday a Judge in Scotland ruled that applying the bedoom tax to a couple who cannot share a room because one of the couples disability is a breach of human rights. The Judge said that the bedroom tax should not apply “where separate...

Catch 22 - bedroom tax, backing you into a corner

  • Posted

Catch 22 situation; ‘A situation in which a desired outcome is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions’. In my view, perfectly describing that which has become known as the bedroom tax. Imagine the...

Bedroom tax tribunal rulings

  • Posted

The first tribunal rulings on appeals in regards to bedroom tax have emerged, confirming that four out of five have been upheld. The appeals were held in the Social Entitlement Chambers within Kirkcaldy on 26th August 2013 and have been reported by Inside...

Bedroom tax increases homelessness applications

  • Posted

Today Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council has reported a 28% increase in people presenting as homeless since the introduction of the bedroom tax in April 2013 and it is expected that the figures will be similar across the northwest. The cut in Housing...

Over half of people affected by bedroom tax are at risk of losing their homes

  • Posted

The bedroom tax’s spiralling consequences have plunged over half of those affected by the new charges into arrears. The bedroom tax which was introduced in April 2013 applies a 14% deduction in housing benefit where the claimant lives in social housing...

Threat of eviction increases as families feel the hit of the bedroom tax

  • Posted

National Housing Federation figures published this month suggest that a quarter of tenants hit by the bedroom tax are unable to pay their rent for the first time ever. It is estimated that over 50,000 families are in rent arrears and facing eviction as...

Three bedrooms or one?

  • Posted

The first-tier tribunal in Scotland has allowed an appeal against the bedroom tax cut for a tenant. Fife Council decided to cut Annie Harrower-Gray’s housing benefit in accordance with the bedroom tax. Annie appealed the decision on the...

Court awards maximum compensation to tenants for landlords' deposit failings

  • Posted

You may be aware that for the last 6 years, any tenancy deposit paid to a private landlord for an assured shorthold tenancy must be placed into one of three government tenancy deposit schemes. Generally speaking this applies to deposits paid for assured...

Not so simple...

  • Posted

In 2012 there were over 150,000 possession orders granted by the courts. This number is expected to increase this year following the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’ in April 2013. However, is enough being done to help people who find...

Bedroom tax hits housing officers

  • Posted

Housing officers have been advised to cover up uniforms and badges outside of working hours through fear of bedroom tax protestors taking matters into their own hands. Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT), owner of around 14,000 homes in Merseyside issued a safety...

Home repossessions have fallen to their lowest level in six years

  • Posted

15,700 properties were repossessed by banks in the first half of 2013 which is in line with the Council of Mortgage Lenders forecasts for 2013 of 35,000. The Council expects the 2013 to mirror the figures in 2012 which were in themselves a five year...

Highest level of mortgage repossessions in the North West

  • Posted

Government statistics have shown that the number of mortgage repossession cases have been falling steadily since 2008. It has been reported that in the first quarter of 2013 there were 14,375 mortgage repossession claims issued in England and Wales but just...

Housing officer and bailiff shot during eviction

  • Posted

On July 3rd 2013, Police officers and an armed response unit were sent to an address in Brixton in response to a shooting. Whilst enforcing a Warrant of Eviction, A Housing Officer working for Metropolitan Housing and a Court Bailiff were shot at. Luckily...