Housing Litigation

Our team of lawyers provides advice on all forms of housing litigation, primarily for local authority and housing association clients. We deal with possession proceedings of all types, including cases based on anti-social behaviour and nuisance, claims for possession based on trespass and unauthorised occupation and claims where possession is sought on the ground of under-occupation on succession. We also deal with all types of leaseholder disputes, including claims to the Tribunal, and provide advice on lease terms in relation to service charges.

Often, the cases we deal with involve tenants who have mental health issues or who are vulnerable and we are experienced in advising landlords on how to deal with Equality Act issues and/or Human Rights Act defences which may be raised.

Members of the team regularly advise on disrepair claims. In order to minimise any costs exposure to the landlord, our aim is always to provide swift and pragmatic advice on the landlord’s potential liability (if any). We have an excellent record of both reaching early settlements with claimants and defending more complicated claims for disrepair. We are also experienced in analysing claims for costs submitted by solicitors acting for tenants and in successfully negotiating reductions in the costs claimed.

The team deals with claims for injunctions in anti-social behaviour cases, where the tenant is a hoarder and where access to a property is required. We also advise local authorities on homelessness appeals and applications seeking Judicial Review arising from homelessness decisions.

Our legal specialists receives regular instructions from a large London Borough to advise and represent it on a range of proceedings under the Housing Act 2004, including Improvement Notice appeals under Part 1 of the Act, HMO licensing issues under Part 2 of the Act, and Selective/Additional Licensing issues under Part 3. This work includes appearing as a prosecutor in the magistrates’ court, handling appeals in the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), as well as handling related Judicial Review proceedings in the High Court as well.

The team works closely together and has experience of dealing with a large volume of cases. We are very used to advising and dealing with cases quickly and effectively, including issuing urgent without notice injunction applications.

Case highlights

  • Successfully obtaining a possession order for a Borough Council where tenant’s son claimed to be entitled to the tenancy on his mother’s death.
  • Acting for a Borough Council in a possession claim based on the absolute ground of possession under section 84A Housing Act 1985 following the making of a Closure Order.
  • We are acting for a large London Borough in two joined appeals to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) by private landlords appealing against the imposition of financial penalties for failing to licence properties under the local authority’s ‘selective licensing’ scheme.

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Housing Litigation