Archived Legal Articles from 2014

Housing & Regeneration


Tenant Awarded £90,500 Damages for Unlawful Eviction


The Supreme Court has recently upheld a decision of the County Court, awarding the Claimant £90,500 in damages for unlawful eviction after a London Borough Council wrongly repossessed and re-let the tenant's property. In the case of Loveridge v London Borough of Lambeth, Mr Loveridge…

Something to 'Shout' About at this Year's Women in Housing Awards


Lucy Worrall was thrilled to be a judge at this year's Women in Housing awards which were held at the Hilton hotel in Manchester on 13 November. The glitzy event saw 450 women and men from the housing world attending and 11 awards given out. Diane Modahl hosted and Lulu was the special guest…

Opinion: North/South divide or North/South chasm?


With constant stories of soaring house prices in London and the South East the picture, according to recent press reports, in the North West is of stark contrast. It has even been stated that the North West housing market is reaching breaking point. The National Housing Federation has revealed the…

Regulatory Notice Issued for Gas Safety Failings


This month, the Homes and Communities Agency ('HCA') has issued another regulatory notice following the failure of a social landlord to ensure that they complied with annual gas safety inspections to secure the safety of their tenants. In this instance, Yorkshire Housing Limited contacted…

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Phillips v Francis - A Recent Update on Section 20 Consultation


On 31 October 2014, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision made by the High Court in Phillips v Francis about consulting leaseholders before commissioning work on a building. Following the High Court decision, landlords were left with impractical section 20 consultation requirements being imposed…

North West Housing Market Reaching Breaking Point


North West Housing News recently reported that the North West housing market is reaching breaking point. The National Housing Federations has revealed the extent of the fragmented housing crisis across the region. Despite house prices being below the national average in the North West at £…

Diversification Conference Attracts Top Calibre Speakers & Guests


On 23rd September 2014 Forbes' Housing and Regeneration Group hosted a full day conference "Diversify or Die? Funding Development post 2018". Registered Providers and consultants from across the country were represented and the packed audience listened to speakers from the HCA, Your…

Forbes' Housing & Regeneration Team Recognised As Social Housing Leader


Forbes' Housing and Regeneration Team has been recognised as a leader in the Social Housing field by two of the leading guides to legal services in the UK thanks to outstanding feedback and testimonials from clients. Praised by clients for their level of service whilst offering 'excellent…

Guinness Crowned Go Karting Champion


On a damp and cold November evening, The Forbes Housing & Regeneration Team pitted their driving skills against some the country's leading housing providers at an evening of Go Karting at Team Sport in Warrington. Competition between the registered providers was fierce, with several…

Shared Ownership - What's the Reality?


This week saw the publication of Social Housing magazine's 2014 shared ownership sales report. The report quotes that shared ownership first tranche sales across England fell by 10 per cent in 2013/14 but that more modest reductions were seen outside London and goes onto to say that the fall…

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Government Dismisses Gas Access Campaign


The government has dismissed a campaign for landlords to have greater powers to access the homes of tenants in order to carry out an annual gas safety inspection. The campaign, led by Home Group, the Association of Gas Safety Managers and Corgi, sought a change in the law to give housing associations…

Anti-Social Behaviour Laws Delay - Further Information


Following our update earlier this week, we now have further information on the delays in introducing new anti-social behaviour laws. The government has delayed the introduction of Part 1 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 ('the Act'), which is the new civil injunction designed to…

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Forced Access Injunction Granted to Enforce Fire Safety Rules


Last month, Croydon Council obtained an injunction to gain access to a leaseholder's property without consent, to change a uPVC door that did not meet the local authority's fire safety standards and posed a risk to the building's ability to resist a fire. Councils are facing increased…

Registered Provider Obtains ASBI against Serious Criminal


The Housing Litigation Department at Forbes Solicitors has recently been successful in obtaining an Anti Social Behaviour Injunction on behalf of a large Registered Provider of Social Housing. The Registered Provider issued proceedings against the Defendant after non legal interventions failed to…

Survey Reveals Dramatic Increase in Assaults on Housing Staff


A survey by Housing Quality Network (HQN) has found that the average number of physical assaults on staff working for social landlords has increased from 1.3 per organisation in 2007/2008 to 7.9 in 2013/2014. The survey also found that the recorded number of verbal assaults had doubled to 22.9 per…

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Right to Buy discount for houses is increased


Following earlier approval by both Houses of Parliament, The Housing (Right to Buy) (Maximum Percentage Discount) (England) Order 2014 came into force on 21 July 2014, offering a 70 per cent maximum percentage discount for prospective Right to Buy applicants of houses in England - an increase of 10 per…

The Care Act 2014 - an introduction


In May 2014 the government announced the introduction of the new Care Act 2014, which is set to deliver the government's response to the Francis Inquiry which unveiled the serious failures of the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. As a result of lobbying by the National Housing Foundation, social…

Anti-social Couple Banned From Keeping Dogs at House Following Swift Action


An Accrington woman has been taken to court for anti-social behaviour after neighbours complained about threats of violence and that her dog had attacked an eight-year-old child. Janine Thompson, aged 33, and her partner Basha Ullah, aged 28, of West Crescent, have each been served with an Anti-Social…

Forbes' Housing & Regeneration Team goes from strength to strength


Lachlan McLean has been promoted to Partner in the Housing Litigation Department. Lachlan has considerable litigation experience including emergency Anti Social Behaviour Injunctions, breach of injunction hearings, and claims for possession. He is an experienced advocate, conducting his own hearings and…

Land inclusive deals - a need to know FAQs for RPs


· What is the common structure of the deal? The parties usually involved are the landowner, the developer/land agent who puts the deal together and the RP. The developer either finds the site and offers it to the RP as a land inclusive deal or the RP wants a particular site and approaches…

Affordable Housing


Recent reports from the National Housing Federation ("NHF") have revealed that the housing shortage in the North West is pushing house prices and private rents out of reach for local workers, and things are only going to get worse by 2020. The NHF warns that while workers in the region…

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The Guinness Partnership gets Tough on Anti Social Behaviour


The Guinness Partnership, one of the country's leading providers of affordable housing, has sent out a strong message to residents who commit anti social behaviour in its properties by securing a Possession Order against one of its residents. The Guinness Partnership began accelerated possession…

Article 8 and Private Sector Tenancies


Earlier this week, the Court of Appeal decided that a possession order granted to a private landlord of an assured shorthold tenancy did not breach Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In the case of McDonald v McDonald [2014] EWCA Civ 1049, the tenant appealed against a…

Commencement of New ASB Tools - 20 October 2014


Following commencement of the new discretionary grounds for possession in May, the Home Office has confirmed that the remainder of the ASB Powers which were introduced by the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 ('the Act') will come into force on 20 October 2014. At Forbes Solicitors, we…

The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 - 9 Months On


Since the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 ('the Act') came into force in October 2013, social landlords have been able to apply for an unlawful profit order, requiring a tenant to repay any profit they made from unlawfully subletting their property. We are now beginning to see the impact…

Mitchell Update


On 4th July 2014, the Court of Appeal issued new guidance in granting relief from sanctions, following several months of uncertainty in the lower courts following the decision in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd. Lord Dyson upheld three appeals relating to relief from sanctions under rule 3.9 Civil…

Challenge to Joint Tenant NTQ Rule Looks Set to Fail


A human rights challenge to the rule that one periodic tenant can end a joint tenancy by serving a notice to quit on their landlord looks set to be dismissed. In the case of Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council v Monk [1992], it was established that one joint periodic tenant could end a joint…

A winning combination


Development package deals can lower risk and cost, but there are pitfalls. A land inclusive, back to back or package deal may be an attractive option for social landlords as they look to meet their house building targets, because the developer brings the land and build contract to the social landlord…

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Party Walls Act Injunctions


A recent case has offered a timely reminder of the need to comply with the provisions of the Party Walls Act when carrying out building work on or near an adjacent boundary. In the case of Rashid and Akhtar v Sharif it was alleged that the Defendant had demolished a party fence wall without complying…

Ground Rent & Service Charge Recovery


Forbes has recently been instructed by housing clients, and commercial landlords, to collect historic arrears of ground rents and service charges. By taking bulk instructions these are handled in a cost effective way. In one recent case - · Forbes were instructed to recover unpaid service…

Amended TUPE Regulations - Key Changes


After a lengthy Government Consultation process, The Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 came into effect earlier this year. These Regulations amend the existing TUPE Regulations. With the promise of reduced bureaucracy and…

Partnership Working for Development Teams - The Issues and Pitfalls


The hot topics this week may be the debate of key housing issues but at the recent Forbes' Development and Regeneration seminar on Partnership Working, we debated the not quite so exciting (!) yet still hotly debated topic of options vs conditional contracts. It won't be news that over the last few…

Right to Buy Discount Increases


The Right to Buy scheme was introduced in 1980 and is designed to assist social tenants buy their home at a discount throughout the UK. Since 2012 the maximum discounts were increased from as little as £16,000 in some areas, to £75,000 in others. Under new legislation, the maximum…

Forbes' CIH Round Up


As the CIH conference draws to an end for another year, we highlight some of the main talking points from the conference. DAY 1 CEO Welcome and Address CIH Chief Executive Grainia Long outlined her vision for housing in the lead-up to the election in 2015 including · The emphasis is on 'Get…

Housing Associations Lobby HSE for Change in Gas Access Law


Following 3 housing associations being reprimanded by the Homes and Communities Agency for issues with their gas safety procedure, some social landlords have begun to complain that it seems unfair that they are subject to strict requirements yet have very little power to force tenants to allow access.…

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The diversification Debate Is Set To Continue…


With reports last week of Peabody Trust, a 152 year old Social Landlord based in London, launching a £500 million scheme to sell 1,000 properties on outright sale to generate funds for new social housing, the diversification debate is set to continue for some time. The launch is part of an up and…

Meet the Forbes' Housing and Regeneration Team at CIH


The Forbes' Housing and Regeneration Team will be at The Chartered Institute of Housing Exhibition in Manchester from Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th June. Join us on stand F3 (to the right of the main entrance) and test your speed on our Scalextric track to be in with a chance of winning a fantastic…

Association of Women in Property North West Annual Dinner


Amidst balloons and champagne bubbles, Forbes' Housing and Regeneration Partner Lucy Worrall welcomed over 180 guests to the Association of Women in Property North West branch's annual dinner. The event, which had been sold out since February, was held at the Midland Hotel in central Manchester on 9…

Soho Housing Association Clamps Down on Unlawful Subletting


Soho Housing Association has sent a clear message to those who engage in unlawful subletting in their properties. Soho Housing Association was granted an indefinite injunction against Victor Dollero of Dufours Place, Soho, prohibiting him from subletting the apartment he occupied under a shared…

Changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act


From 13 May 2014, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 made changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 ('the Act') in order to deal with people who allow their dogs to attack people or assistance dogs. The maximum prison sentences in England and Wales for allowing a dog to attack someone…

Enhanced Possession Powers for Social Landlords


From today, two new discretionary grounds for possession, which were introduced by the Anti Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, are available for use by social landlords. The new provisions have been inserted as grounds 14(aa) and 14ZA in the Housing Act 1988 which relates to assured…

Forbes' Help to Buy Guide for RPs


Are you a RP considering registering with the HCA to provide Help to Buy funding on new build properties? There are a number of issues and practicalities that RPs should be aware of; the requirements regarding a RP's consumer credit licence and requisite time limits on plot sales involving Help to Buy…

Gas Safety Seminar a Success


Over 90 delegates attended Forbes' Gas Safety: A Legal Update seminar on 30th April which was held at the Reebok Stadium. The seminar, delivered by members of the Forbes' Housing Litigation Team with guest speaker Alan Parker of Morgan Lambert, provided practical advice and guidance to Registered…

Universal Credit roll out across North West


It has been reported that twelve local authorities in the North West are in discussions with the Government about expanding universal credit throughout the North West. These are Salford City Council, Wirral Borough Council, Preston City Council, St Helens Borough Council, Cheshire East Council, Cheshire…

Housing and Exceptional Legal Aid Funding


Since the 01 April 2013, the government reduced the range of cases eligible for legal aid and the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 removed financial support for the majority of housing cases. This means that many cases, which were previously dealt with by housing solicitors,…

Green Vale Tenant Evicted for Antisocial Behaviour


A Green Vale Homes tenant who made her neighbours' life a misery over the past year has been evicted by the housing association. Lesley Edwards, of Staghills Road, Bacup, and her partner Darren Melody threatened neighbours and caused noise nuisance for over a year before finally being removed. Forbes…

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Social Housing Heavyweight Joins Forbes Solicitors


Forbes Solicitors is pleased to announce the appointment of Social Housing heavyweight Lucy Worrall. Lucy's joins Forbes as a Partner and Head of Housing and Regeneration (Property) and will be instrumental in spearheading the firm's further expansion into the development and regeneration sector…

Housing Panel Appointment for Forbes Solicitors


Forbes Solicitors has reinforced its position as a leading provider of social housing work after being appointed to the legal panel of The Riverside Group. Forbes will provide Housing Management advice to the Group which owns and manages over 50,000 properties across the UK. Stuart Penswick, Head of…

The Guinness Partnership gets Tough on Anti Social Behaviour


Guinness Hermitage, a division of The Guinness Partnership, one of the country's leading providers of affordable housing, has sent out a strong message to residents who commit antisocial behaviour in its properties by securing both an Anti Social Behaviour Injunction and a Possession Order against one…

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Defendant Jailed For Breach of Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction


Green Vale Homes has sent out a clear message to those who commit anti-social behaviour in its neighbourhoods. Darren Melody, 32, of Edward Street, Bacup, was given an eight-week custodial sentence after breaching an injunction, which excluded him from entering an area which included the Staghills Road…

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Expansion For Forbes' Housing Team


Forbes Solicitors is pleased to announce the expansion of the Housing Team following the appointment of Solicitor Amy Stirton. She is part of the Housing Litigation team and will work predominantly on behalf of Social Housing clients on a range of matters including antisocial behaviour injunctions, gas…

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Recovery of Costs and Service Charge Disputes


Alexander Christoforou & Diogenous v Standard Apartments Ltd The Upper Tribunal last month ruled that although a party to proceedings before a LVT (now the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) are not required to pay costs incurred by the other party, it does not stop a party being required to…

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05 Feb 2019

Housing & Regeneration


A Vision for Social Housing - Report

This month saw the release of 'A Vision for Social Housing', a report written by Shelter's Social Housing…

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