We have submitted our response to the White Paper Consultation based on the discussion held at the “Planning for the Future - what does this mean for affordable housing” webinar we held on Fri 9 Oct
Social landlords are seeing a rising number of Equality Act defences to possession proceedings. A recent Court of Appeal decision made on 29 July in Steven Forward v Aldwyck Housing Group Limited helps shift the likelihood of such defences succeeding.
The case held that a landlord could still progress with possession proceedings even if they fail to consider the public sector equality duty (PSED) under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 – if, on the facts, it could be shown that the decision to grant possession would not have been substantially different.
This case involved an anti-social tenant, who had numerous complaints made against him. The landlord made a claim for possession of the property after warning the tenant about the anti-social behaviour of the visitors to the property.
The landlord began possession proceedings without conducting a PSED assessment, despite the tenant having physical disabilities. The trial judge held that the tenant had breached the terms of his tenancy agreement and rejected his claim of indirect discrimination. The trial judge believed that possession of the property was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim and that there was no causal link between the anti-social behaviour and the disability.
On first appeal at the High Court, the court held that even if the PSED had been considered, possession would have been granted regardless.
The case was appealed once more to the Court of Appeal who held it is not a general rule that if a landlord fails to conduct a PSED assessment, then a possession order should automatically be set aside. The court should look at the facts of the case and if it is decided that it’s highly likely the decision of the case would not have been substantially different if the PSED had been considered, then the order does not need to be set aside.
This decision does not mean that landlords can now ignore their duties under the PSED and should still carry out an assessment before issuing proceedings where they know or strongly suspect a disability exists. For example, a landlord might decide to offer or refer to support first. However, it is a significantly helpful case for social landlords undergoing possession proceedings where they have failed to do a PSED assessment if the facts support an argument that the decision would have been the same, even if they had.
Anthony Collins Solicitors is pleased to have been ranked as a Band 1 firm once again.
Since March 2020, commercial property owners and occupiers across many sectors, whether housing associations, charities, care providers or local authorities, have been impacted by the rules regulating how they deal with their tenants and their landlords. It seems each week there is a change in policy, regulation or legislation, governing how they must respond.
A key element of the Bill is the establishment of a duty holder regime and requirement to maintain the ‘golden thread of information’ throughout the life cycle of high-risk residential buildings
We have been working with care homes to update their contracts and advise on the risks of charging the resident a regular “top-up” or additional fee where a resident is funded through NHS CHC
The parliamentary processes are complete and the Restriction of Public Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (“the Regulations”) which cap exit payments in the public sector at £95,000 will be in force from 4 November.
As the UK’s social housing sector recovers from the initial Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown, now is the time to focus on the challenges that may emerge next.
There is no universal approach to regenerating town centres. However, housing must be considered a key part of any regeneration project – providing well-needed new homes and economic growth.
Friday 16 October marks the 6th annual Wear Red Day in England, Wales and Scotland. Wear Red Day is the brainchild of the charity; Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC). SRTRC aims to educate young people so they are equipped to recognise and challenge stereotypes, misconceptions and negative attitudes towards race.
Alongside the Building Safety Bill published in July 2020, the Fire Safety Bill is a key step in the Government’s strategy to improve building and fire safety in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy
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