Abimbola Badejo's posts
In answer to the question on intentionality, a person would be found to be intentionally homeless if the person does or fails to do something as result of which they cease to occupy accommodation which is available for their occupation and reasonable for them to continue to occupy. If people are now not able to afford their rent because of changes in legislation leading to arrears of rent due to people not able to afford the shortfall, I think it will be difficult for a local housing authority to find such an applicant to have become homeless intentionally. In respect of the human rights angle, successful challenges are the exception rather than the norm. The applicant's circumstances have to be truly exceptional to prevent a landlord recovering possession where the grounds for possession are proved and there is no requirement for the court to consider whether or not it is reasonable for possession to be granted.
Posted in: HA, court, ASB
The evidence of the person who saw or heard what happened is the best evidence. However that evidence is still admissible in court if given by someone else who did not see or hear what happened. Housing officers can give evidence of what they were told. The landlord can engage relevant operatives to assist in gathering evidence. My earlier response deals with how the court will treat hearsay evidence.
Posted in: management move
Your landlord has agreed to rehouse you under one of their policies which allows them to move you in the interest of proper housing management. This is a mover outside the allocation rules but would be contained in your landlord's allocation scheme.
The landlord cannot move you if there is no available property for you to be moved to. So it is a case of waiting whilst your landlord continues to try to locate suitable alternative accommodation for you.
You may wish to ask them to give an indication of the likely wait but any indication would be just that.
This a difficult one because ultimately the landlord is not obliged to agree to proceed.
Posted in: HOUSING Allocations and Notices
Question 1 the advise is perfectly correct because until a person is evicted they have a legal right to remain in property so they are not homeless although they would be regarded as threatened if likely to be made homeless in the next 28 days.
Question 2 Once the landlord regains possession, the client is likely to be unintentionally homeless and in priority need. If the person has lived in the area for 6 out of the last 12 months or 3 years out of the last 5 years then the person will have a local connection with the area. If the client is likely to suffer DV in that area she can apply to another area and she will have local connection with that area due to DV. Once a full housing duty is accepted the local authority is under a duty to secure that suitable accommodation is available for the applicant until such time as a permanent property can be allocated. That essentially is how the scheme works.
Posted in: Witness Statements in Court Proceedings
The officer who gave the witness statement does not have to attend court if it is not reasonably practicable for the witness to attend court. Any officer can give evidence of what the officer would have said. The evidence is however hearsay evidence and although such evidence is admissible in court, the real issue is weight which the court will attach to the evidence and that depends on a variety of factors such as the extent to which there is other corroborative evidence and the contemporaneous nature of the evidence of the officer.
Clearly first hand evidence is preferable to hearsay evidence but if there are difficulties in getting the former officer to attend court then you solicitor would be able to serve the usual hearsay notices in respect of the evidence so that another witness can deal with the evidence.
Posted in: What defines a 'living' room
I do not believe that the dining room will count. In the context of a mutual exchange, I think the council will confine itself to the actual number of rooms. So what you have at the moment is a 2 bedroom property. When considering the question of overcrowding in the context of homelessness applications, councils are allowed to take into account the total room space. I do not believe that is relevant here. You are giving up a two bedroom property. That really is what matters for the purpose of this mutual exchange.
Posted in: Tenancy status and mutual exchanges.
The relevant provision is section 158 of the Localism Act 2011. Provided your tenancy was granted to you before 15th January 2012, if you exchange your tenancy with another tenant of a housing association, then tenancy that you would be granted would be an assured tenancy. You basically keep the sort of tenancy that you have subject to the landlord's capacity to grant such a tenancy. So if you are lucky enough to find a council tenant to exchange with, your new tenancy will be a secure tenancy.
Posted in: Repairs ban
A landlord is under a duty to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the property. The landlord must also keep in repair and proper working order installations for the supply of hot water electricity and gas. This obligation is implied into every weekly tenancy agreement and a landlord cannot sidestep the obligations by the sort of blanket ban that you have suggested. Therefore if the defect that needs to be repaired falls within the implied obligations (damp walls, defective windows ,leaking roof, defective boiler or radiators etc), the landlord must repair within a reasonable time of been notified of the defects. Any blanket ban is of no effect.
Sorry for my late response to this very important post. If the council insist on taking possession they have to satisfy the court that it is reasonable for possession to be granted. In determining reasonableness, the court looks at all relevant circumstances existing at the date of the hearing. Clearly the presence of your child and partner are very important. I am assuming you are now back in the property with your partner and child residing with you there. If that it is the case, the Council would have an uphill struggle in perusading a court that it is reasonable to grant an order for possession in those circumstances.