Many in the housing law world have been awaiting the decision in this case with interest, as it has potentially far reaching implications for homeless applicants and local authorities alike.
In the case of Gzala Saddique v Zarina Begum and Muhammad Munir we have successfully represented our client to set aside two transfers of the legal estate of her property on grounds of duress and undue influence so as to gain full legal title.
 EWCA Civ 692, 16 April 2019
Ms Ward and Mr McDonagh were Irish Travellers who applied for housing to LB Hillingdon (LBH) and were placed in the lowest band on the waiting list because they had not resided in the borough for 10 years. Mr Gullu was an asylum seeker who was also placed in the lowest band for the same reason. At first instance, Supperstone J held that LBH had indirectly discriminated against Ms Ward and Mr McDonagh but Mostyn J dismissed the calm by Mr Gullu. The Court of Appeal concluded that the 10 year residency requirement amounted to indirect discrimination against all 3 claimants and that LBH had failed to justify that indirect discrimination. However the Court of Appeal did not uphold Supperstone J’s finding that the 10 year residency requirement also amounted to a breach of Children Act 2004 s11.
What happens when a landlord wants to evict a tenant for anti-social behaviour (ASB) having already obtained an order for possession on the ground of rent arrears?
The landlord will usually ask the court to consider whether or not to suspend the warrant in light of the allegations of ASB, even if the court would be prepared to suspend the warrant in light of the rent arrears.
FJM – v – The United Kingdom, European Court of Human Rights, application number 76202/16 – 6th November 2018
The applicant is a vulnerable adult with psychiatric and behavioural problems. She had lost two public sector tenancies on account of her behaviour. In May 2005 the applicant’s parents purchased a property with the assistance of a mortgage. They then granted the applicant an assured shorthold tenancy of the property and she claimed housing benefit to pay the rent. The parents fell into arrears with the mortgage repayments and, in August 2008, the finance company exercised its powers under the mortgage to appoint receivers. The mortgage arrears persisted and, in January 2012, the receivers served notice on the applicant under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 which permitted the Court to make an order for possession of a property let under an assured shorthold tenancy if it was satisfied that the landlord had given the tenant at least 2 months’ notice in writing that possession was required. The applicant sought to resist the possession order on the basis of violation of her rights under Article 8 of the European Convention (the right to respect for private, family life and home). The Supreme Court had previously rejected the possibility of such a defence. The ECtHR also rejected this possibility. The ECtHR concluded:-
The London Borough of Hillingdon (LBH) allocates social housing in accordance with an Allocations Policy from 2016. Under that Policy, applicants for social housing are placed into Bands (A, B, C or D) according to priority for social housing which they have under the policy. Obviously a person in Band A has a better chance of being allocated housing than a person in Band B and so on.
See our report of the First Tier Tribunal judgment below.
The park owners took possession action against the defendants. They argued that, since the park involved mixed residential and holiday use, it was not protected by the Mobile Homes Act 1983. A holiday site is outside the protection of the Act.
A Circuit Judge has ruled that an order for possession made under Ground 8 Schedule 2 Housing Act 1988 be set aside because the notice sent to the tenant omitted certain words in reciting the statutory ground relied upon. Ground 8 is a ground for possession available to certain landlords when arrears of rent are seriously high (usually 2 months or more). Where this ground applies, the Court usually does not have the power to refuse to make the possession order (although there are numerous ways of defeating a Ground 8 claim).
John Romans Parks Homes Limited v Hancock CH1/19UM/PHC/2017/0002
This was a First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber case. In August 2003 Mr and Mrs Hancock sold their bungalow and purchased their mobile home at the Morn Gate Park Site in Dorchester. John Romans Limited purchased the park from A & M Properties Limited in May 2015. John Romans Limited sought to evict Mr and Mrs Hancock from the park simply by serving them with notice to leave.
Birmingham City Council v Stephenson  EWCA Civ 1029, 27 September 2016.