HOUSING ADVICE CONFERENCE 2015
Friday 11 November 2016
An update on law and practice for housing advisers
in the statutory and voluntary sectors
The key annual event for Housing Options and Housing Advice staff in local authorities
and for Housing advisers in CABx, Law Centres and independent advice centres.
09.50 Chair’s welcome Joanna Kennedy
10.00 Homelessness: an update on recent cases and changes to law and regulation
Connor Johnston - Housing barrister, Garden Court Chambers
- Emerging trends and themes in homelessness law following on from last year’s trilogy of landmark Supreme Court cases, Hotak (on vulnerability), Haile (on intentional homelessness) and Nzolameso (on out of borough placements and the best interests of the child).
- Touch briefly on the recent changes to the rules on eligibility contained in the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016, which come into effect on 30 October 2016.
10.40 Challenging homelessness decision
Sara Stephens -Member of Housing Law Practitioners Association committee, Partner at Anthony Gold. Solicitors (South London)
- Preparing successful s202 review letters
- ‘minded to’ letters
- Pursuing appeals
- Accommodation pending review and appeal
- Challenging intentionality decisions and the courts approach to intentionality
11.40 Disrepair – Counter claims to possession proceedings
Diane Astin - Solicitor, author of Housing Law Handbook and Senior Law Lecturer
- The basics of a disrepair claim
- What is still in scope for legal aid
- Alternatives: Environmental Protection Act and Ombudsman complaints
- Bringing disrepair counterclaims in possession proceedings
12.20 Private sector landlords and their letting agents: standards & enforcement
Ben Reeve-Lewis - Freelance Tenancy Relations Officer and housing enforcement consultant
- The effects of the cuts in housing advice services by local authorities and how they are impacting on tenant's rights.
- Recent notable renting scams being employed by rogue landlords and letting agents.
- The impact of the Deregulation Act 2015, which at the last conference was still conjecture.
- The growing roll of the law centre project I am piloting called "Safer Renting" contracting proactive housing rights services back into councils to protect tenants from criminal landlords - we need helpers for this so would be a useful recruitment tool.
13.00 The Speaker Panel Answer Your Questions
Sam Madge Wyld - Barrister, Arden Chambers
- Consider how to challenge post Localism Act allocation schemes
- Recent successful and unsuccessful challenges in the court.
14.40 Housing and Planning Act: an update on its impact
Liz Davies - Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Housing & Planning Act 2016:
- When does it come into force?
- Duty on local housing authorities to sell vacant “higher value” properties;
- “Pay to stay”: mandatory higher rents on higher income tenants;
- An end to periodic secure tenancies and their replacement with 2 – 10 year fixed term tenancies;
- Changing succession rights.
15.40 Homelessness Reduction Bill
Matt Downie - Director of Policy & External Affairs - Crisis
16:20 The Speaker Panel Answer Your Questions
16.30 Closing Keynote Address:
Advising & representing people with housing cases in the county court
Jan Luba QC - Circuit Judge County Court at Central London
- Which housing cases are covered by legal aid?
- Who qualifies for legal aid?
- How do you find a legal aid lawyer?
- What help is there for those on low incomes who cannot get legal aid?
- What help is available at the court for an unrepresented party?
- ‘Lay representation’ and ‘McKenzie friends’.
- Top tips for legal representatives in housing cases
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Zacchaeus 2000 Trust
The Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K) is a London-based charity addressing poverty issues caused by unfairness in the law, legal and benefits system. We help vulnerable debtors to gain justice against these unfair systems.