42 Bedford Row’s housing barristers include two part-time judges, a former solicitor in housing law and a founder member of the Social Housing Law Association.
This highly experienced group appears in and advises not only on the more common types of housing dispute, but also rarer disputes such as HMO licensing and licence breaches, environmental law and discrimination.
We regularly act for local authorities, housing associations/trusts, portfolio and private landlords and individuals, providing clear tactical advice and providing representation at short notice when required, such as when seeking, or responding to, injunctions.
Here is a summary of the areas of housing law in which we are active:-
Below are some examples of our recent work:-
Begum & Begum v Luton Borough Council EWHC 1044 (Admin) Appeal by way of case stated in the Divisional Court. Edmund Walters, who is a specialist in regulatory and licensing law successfully represented one of two appellants in an appeal by way of case stated which decided an important legal point about the six month time limit for laying informations in the magistrates’ court under section 127(1) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (“MCA 1980”) and the Criminal Procedure Rule 2015 (“Crim PR 2015”).
Anwar v Waltham Forest LBC - Mathew McDermott successfully represented the Respondent authority in this High Court appeal against a decision of the Valuation Tribunal, finding that the Appellant was liable for council tax. The Appellant argued that the authority had changed locks on the appellant’s property, which was let out by the Appellant to a number of tenants with a HMO in place, and so she ought not to be responsible for the council tax as she herself could not access the property. The High Court rejected this and the appeal was dismissed.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council v Persons Unknown - Naomi Hawkes was instructed by Southend on Sea Borough Council. A high profile case, as it concerned an injunction covering the entire borough to prevent severe nuisance (including risk to life and limb) from being caused to local residents by unauthorised “car cruising” events.Hounslow LBC v Alfred– Iris Ferber for the claimant. Iris won appeal before HHJ Luba QC, overturning judge’s refusal to make possession order in tenancy fraud case.
SJ v London Borough of Waltham Forest - Stefan Liberadzki represented a local housing authority in a s.204 homelessness appeal, in which it was held as a matter of law that young persons aged 19 or over cannot be treated as ‘dependent children’ for the purposes of assessing priority need.
In this Bulletin Niamh O'Brien looks at the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights in FJM v. the United Kingdom. Is the section 21 process compatible with the ECHR?6th December 2018 Read more
In this Bulletin, Michael Grant discusses a recent County Court judgment of His Honour Judge Luba, QC, concerning prohibitions in long residential leases and the well-known short-let website ‘AirBnB’.12th November 2018 Read more
Chambers are thrilled to have 17 individual recommendations/rankings in the new Chambers & Partners 2019.8th November 2018 Read more
London Borough of Haringey v Mulkhis Simawi  EWHC 2733 (QB)24th October 2018 Read more
Elizabeth England discusses an important Court of Appeal case on sentencing for contempt of court where issues are raised in respect of Legal Aid4th October 2018 Read more
In this Housing Law Bulletin, Mathew McDermott discusses some key changes that take effect from 1st of October 2018.27th September 2018 Read more
In this bulletin, Edmund Walters discusses a recent case in which he successfully appeared in the Divisional Court on a point concerning the laying of informations and doing so before the six-month time limit expires.10th May 2018 Read more
In this Bulletin, Christi Scarborough discusses banning orders: what are they? When would one be used? What are their consequences? Banning Orders – what are they and how do they work? Christi Scarborough looks at new powers available to Local Authorities from 6 April 2018, and the circumstances under which private landlords or letting and1st May 2018 Read more
Desmond Kilcoyne has been acting on behalf of the Defendant, Audra Wamsteker, in a six-day trial brought against her by her father, Paul David. Judgment has been reserved. The dispute concerns the ownership of two domestic properties, the proceeds of sale of four American properties and her late mother’s jewellery collection. The legal issues include17th April 2018 Read more
In this bulletin Elizabeth England discusses a recent Court of Appeal case that reminds us who has the burden of proving an error of law in homelessness appeals under Part VII Housing Act 1996 Avoiding exegetical sophistication: Rother District Council v Stephen Freeman-Roach  EWCA Civ 368 The Court of Appeal has handed down guidance16th April 2018 Read more
On 3 April 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 commenced, imposing a number of new duties on housing authorities to provide early intervention, in order to prevent homelessness. The Act makes significant amendments and additions to the Housing Act 19969th April 2018 Read more
In this bulletin, Matthew Feldman discusses the important recent Supreme Court case of Barton v. Wright Hassall LLP  UKSC 12, a case that is of relevance well beyond the housing law field.19th March 2018 Read more
Is it fair to treat the children of secure tenants differently for the purpose of succession depending upon how their deceased parent became the tenant? This, in essence, is the question at the heart of the long-running case of London Borough of Haringey v. Simawi. The question will be answered at trial in October 201828th February 2018 Read more
Niamh O’Brien discusses the recent Court of Appeal decision on ‘settled accommodation’ and asks: when is accommodation ‘settled’? Doka v London Borough of Southwark  EWCA Civ 1523 Introduction The ‘full housing duty’ owed by local authorities to house homeless applicants does not apply to those who have become intentionally homeless. In order to be7th November 2017 Read more
Matthew Feldman discusses the recent Upper Tribunal decision dealing with the thorny issue of letting agents’ administration fees. In this case, the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) found that Foxtons Limited (‘Foxtons’) were in breach of the requirements of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (‘the Act’) in connection with published details of its relevant fees in three branches and on its website, and imposed a penalty of £4,500 in respect of each breach, amounting to £18,000.30th October 2017 Read more
Panayiotou v Waltham Forest, Smith v LB Haringey  EWCA Civ 1624 The demise of significance The Court of Appeal have considered the conjoined appeals of two homeless applicants who claimed that the Respondent housing authorities had applied a wrong legal test when considering whether or not they were ‘vulnerable’ within the meaning of s.189(1)(c) of the Housing Act 1996.23rd October 2017 Read more
Mathew McDermott discusses how relevant, if at all, the questions of hindsight and one’s own understanding of one’s security of tenure are when looking at whether or not accommodation is ‘settled’. To what extent is a tenant’s mistaken but honestly-held understanding of their security of tenure relevant when asking if accommodation is ‘settled’ for the4th September 2017 Read more
19 and 21-year old son and daughter of a homeless applicant are not ‘dependent children’ for the purposes of assessing ‘priority need’ Introduction Stefan Liberadzki recently appeared for a local authority in a homelessness appeal under s.204 of the Housing Act 1996. Here he discusses the Court’s decision that the appellant’s children could not count5th July 2017 Read more
Mental Health Issues in Housing Litigation During April and May 2017, we ran a 2-part workshop in Chambers exploring the law and procedure on dealing with mental health issues in housing cases. This Bulletin is intended as a follow-up note for those of you who attended, and as a general practice note for those of30th May 2017 Read more
Christi Scarborough discusses the recent Supreme Court case of Poshteh v. RBKC, addressing the overlap between the Part VII procedure and Article 6 ECHR as well as the discretion given to reviewing officers. Poshteh in the Supreme Court: (i) Part VII Housing Act 1996 entitlement and ‘civil rights’ and (ii) a restatement of the importance16th May 2017 Read more
Double-edged sword: Can you have two possession orders at once? In a recent case an interesting point arose around whether or not it was possible for a landlord under an AST to have two possession orders in respect of the same property at the same time. Facts The facts of the case were fairly typical.13th March 2017 Read more
Article 14 European Convention on Human Rights and treating private sector tenants differently from secure tenants for the purposes of a local authority’s Part VI housing allocation scheme R (on the application of Osman) v. LB of Harrow  EWHC 274 (Admin) 42 Bedford Row’s Mathew McDermott successfully represented the Defendant in this challenge brought22nd February 2017 Read more
Welcome to this, the 19th bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org New evidence, settled section 204 appeals and costs LB Croydon v. Lopes  EWHC 33 (QB) It is well known that usually1st February 2017 Read more
Welcome to this, the 18th bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to email@example.com Forfeiture for non-payment of service charges Last month, we ran a workshop in Chambers exploring the law and procedure of forfeiting a9th January 2017 Read more
Welcome to this, the 17th bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org Anti-social behaviour injunctions: can the Court rely on historic bad behaviour? Birmingham City Council v Glenn Parode  EWHC 3119 (QB) In14th December 2016 Read more
Welcome to this, the sixteenth bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to email@example.com Warrants for Possession Cardiff City Council v Lee (Flowers)  EWCA Civ 1034 The Senior Master has today issued her practice note22nd November 2016 Read more
Welcome to this, the fifteenth bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org Some Top Tips for Tenancy Fraud Cases Six years ago, the National Fraud Authority launched its Social Housing Tenancy Fraud Project that5th September 2016 Read more
Welcome to this, the fourteenth bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to email@example.com On 13th July 2016 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in this case where a tenant (Mr Edwards) in a block of21st July 2016 Read more
On 29th June 2016, Desmond Kilcoyne and Matthew McDermott were invited by the London Housing and Regeneration group of Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) to conduct a half-day seminar (headed by Alexander McDowall, a lawyer in Legal Services at the London Borough of Camden) on the radical new housing law being introduced by the Housing5th July 2016 Read more
Welcome to this, the thirteenth bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org This bulletin discusses the judgment in the case of McDonald (by her litigation friend Duncan J McDonald) v McDonald & others  UKSC 28.20th June 2016 Read more
The Supreme Court in Arnold v Britton  A.C. 1619 has ruled that there are no special rules of interpretation which apply to service charge clauses. The old “restrictive” approach to the interpretation of service charge clauses has been criticised. The recovery of a landlord’s legal costs as a service charge remains a troublesome area, where the impact of Arnold v Britton is still being worked out.23rd February 2016 Read more
Welcome to this, our twelfth updating service of 2015 on all issues relating to housing law — whether social or private, landlord or tenant. Here, Niamh O’Brien offers a case law update : Mansing Moorjani v Durban Estates Limited  EWCA Civ 1252 An unusual set of facts permits the Court of Appeal to review the legal basis for damages to be awarded for disrepair to premises let on a long lease.22nd December 2015 Read more
In this issue of 42 Bedford Row's Housing Bulletin Desmond Kilcoyne discuses Section 21 Notices: new law in force.10th November 2015 Read more
In this issue of 42 Bedford Row’s Housing Bulletin Peter Jolley discuses covers changes to the ’section 21 possession procedure' being introduced on 1 October 2015 by the Deregulation Act 2015, specifically restrictions upon certain landlords in using the section 21 procedure if a complaint has been received by their tenant about the condition of the property.24th August 2015 Read more
In this issue of 42 Bedford Row’s Housing Bulletin Stefan Liberadzki discusses the law relating to regaining entry to a property after the eviction has taken place.13th August 2015 Read more
This bulletin discusses what constitutes a ‘good reason’ for not attending a possession hearing when the Defendant is seeking to set aside the order made in their absence’.6th August 2015 Read more
This bulletin discusses the recent Court of Appeal case of Poshteh v the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea  EWCA Civ 711.29th July 2015 Read more
Topic: The Supreme Court explains the meaning of 'ordinarily resident'22nd July 2015 Read more
Topic: “How should the courts assess whether a homeless applicant is vulnerable and in priority need of housing, with reference to the Housing Act 1996 s.189 (1)(c)?”2nd July 2015 Read more
Topic: Changes to the tenancy deposit protection rules. On 26 March 2015, sections 30 to 32 of the Deregulation Act 2015 came in to force. What are the implications of this for landlords in relation to tenancy deposit schemes?2nd July 2015 Read more
Welcome to this, the second bulletin from the Housing Team. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to email@example.com. Topic: Akerman- Livingstone v Aster Communities Ltd “Can the court summarily dispose of a defence to possession based on an allegation of unlawful31st March 2015 Read more
Welcome to this, the first bulletin of what will be a regular updating service on all issues relating to housing law — whether social or private, landlord or tenant. We hope that you will find the content of interest: if you wish to receive further updates you can subscribe by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org “Can a4th March 2015 Read more
On 1 September 2012, section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 came into force. Greeted by much excited commentary in parts of the media with claims that it ended “squatters’ rights”, the section creates a new offence of squatting in a residential building. The section provides that a person14th October 2012 Read more
£350m cut to legal aid judged a 'false economy' and block to swift justice for most vulnerable "But it would actually be a false economy. Without legal advice more private family disputes would end up in court; without legal representation the hearings of them would take longer; and without assistant legal navigators the trial judges would more often be blown off course so there would be more appeals.1st September 2012 Read more