For part 3 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews senior associate Madhur Sharma on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
The Bill received “pre-legislative scrutiny” by the Home Affairs Committee who published their report on 15 February 2013 making recommendations for changes before the draft Bill goes through Parliament. It is not likely to become law until 2015.
There has been much debate about three changes in particular – getting rid of the ASBO; changing the well-established Injunction (ASBI) and introducing a mandatory possession option for ASB. The Home Affairs Committee addressed the first two in some detail but strangely their Report is entirely silent on the mandatory possession proposals even though this issue occupied much of the evidence before the committee.
The Bill as it stands proposes five conditions which if they exist can lead to a mandatory possession order such as where they have already been convicted of a serious offence or have breached an ASB injunction. These ‘mandatory grounds’ would in theory speed up the process of eviction and thus reduce costs and the impact on suffering witnesses and their communities. The concern remains that “proportionality” challenges will be brought and derail the process but in our view the recent case law is proving more helpful to landlords and it is becoming much harder for occupiers to succeed in such challenges.
The proposed new Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNA) will extend to minors aged 10+ and is likely to still be the main tool used by landlords. However, the Home Affairs Committee considers that the definitions of ‘nuisance’ used within the IPNA are too broad, and wants to introduce “intent or recklessness” to the definition. This will be messy to prove.
The Bill also proposes a greater level of community involvement in the punishment of ASB offenders. This is called the “Community Remedy” and means that local areas would be able to decide (within reason) what punishments are used to tackle low level crime and ASB out of court. The Committee want to avoid creating a “modern day stocks”.
Helpfully the Committee recognises that current court timescales do not reflect the misery caused by ASB and that cuts to court services have not assisted. As they noted, housing providers deal with over 300,000 ASB cases each year and due to cuts to other services it is not likely this number will decrease. This is why we support the mandatory ground – even if cases are defended it should be a quicker route than at present. We continue to experience significant delays in listing contested cases for trials and can only hope ASB cases will get more priority in future.
Helen Tucker is a partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors.
Last week, the NHF published its final version of its new Code of Governance and made some important changes from the previous draft that will impact on those housing associations looking to adopt it.
As the end of 2020 beckons, we take a look at what progress the Sterling market has made in its preparations for the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) on 31 December 2021.
Finally, there is a glimmer of hope that perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic could be reaching its end.
For part 2 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews senior associate Lisa Whitehouse on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
Delayed since Spring 2020 as the Government tackled the Covid-19 crisis, Tuesday 17 November saw the publication of the Social Housing White Paper, setting out the future regulation of the sector
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Following Katherine's "heads up" last week, the Government has now confirmed that for claim periods post 1 December, employers will not be able to claim for employees who are serving their notice
For part 1 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews solicitor Puja Desai on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
Over 100 trainees and future trainees from Birmingham joined the BTSS for a webinar to address concerns around training remotely and qualifying during a possible recession.
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