Archive for the ‘Law stuff’ Category

Tea Time Teaser

Just a little one for housing bods out there.

If a person accrues arrears on a fixed term tenancy which then expires can a LL rely on those arrears to end a new fixed term tenancy on the same property? Does rent lawfully due only relate to the new tenancy?

Answers on a postcode please.


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Currently if you receive help with your mortgage payments because you’re on JSA, IS, PC, ESA etc then you the DWP pay as if the interest being charged on your mortgage is 6.08%. This means that regardless of your interest rate 6.08% is what you get.

Because interest rates have been rather low for sometime there are people on tracker or even standard variable rate mortgages who are having more than their interest paid.

Apparently according to the DWP

The current system of mortgage interest support means that 92% of customers get more help than they actually need.

Anyhow’s from 1st October 2010 Unfortunately from October 2010 the rate at which the DWP pay will change to the Bank of England average, currently 3.67%.

Apparently this is  To ensure that Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is better targeted

House doesn’t quite understand that but in any event it’s going to cause a lot of pain to a whole lot of subprime borrowers stuck on standard variable or fixed rates which are far higher than the ‘average’ and who do not a lot of chance of re-mortgaging to a better, cheaper lender.

Hrm… the Statutory Instrument’s explanatory notes state that

For that reason it has decided to change the standard interest rate to a rate based on the average interest rate published by the Bank of England for loans to households secured on dwellings on the grounds that this will continue to provide SOME (House’s edit) claimants with protection against repossession at the same time as providing better value for money to the taxpayer and addressing the deficit.
The explanatory note goes on to say that

Under a standard interest rate of around 3.66%, about 50% of support for mortgage interest claimants would continue to have their eligible housing cost met in full by their benefit award. 52% of support for mortgage interest claimantswould have at least 90% of their eligible mortgage interest outgoings covered by their benefit awards and 93% of claimants would have at least 60% of their outgoings covered.

House has done some digging and according to the latest information House could find there are about 220,000 people who receive Support from Mortgage interest. Now if 52% of people have at least 90% of their eligible mortage interest outgoings covered this means that 48 pct or 105,600 wouldn’t. Of these 15400 wouldn’t have even 60 pct of their outgoings covered.
 As those in receipt of SMI are obviously on rather low income then at least those 105,600 are going to be in some serious pain if they don’t get a job or something…

* House isn’t the best at statistics so apologies if any mistakes!

If you are an adviser best warn your clients!

Oh wait never mind the guidance says

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has told us that:

“lenders will continue to exercise forbearance where it is fair to do so for the borrower, and the borrower has a chance of rehabilitation. Although arrears levels may increase for those few borrowers whose new Support for Mortgage Interest payment does not cover their mortgage, this does not translate into an immediate possession risk.”.

What a load of old codswallop. House isn’t  sure how over 100,000 people can be considered a ‘few’.

The CCCS have a press statement here

The SI is here

The average rate can be found in the first tab of Table G.1.4 under the heading “CFM”, column “HSDE” on the Bank of England website (thanks Disability Alliance)

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Legal type question!


Please forgive House for being daft but House has a question.

Let’s say a periodic assured shorthold tenant is served with a section 21 notice which is all fine and dandy. Let’s say the last day of the monthly period is the third of each month and the notice say expires on 3rd November and requires possession after that date. Rent is payable on 4th of each month for that month.

Now let’s say that the tenant doesn’t pay their rent on 4th november for november. The tenant moves out on 18th November without telling the Landlord. How much rent is the Landlord entitled to?

1. Are they entitled to rent up until the 18th

2. If the LL tries to recover the whole months rent can the Tenant say well the LL wanted possession after the 4th so that’s what I gave? Would the Tenant have to get the LL to agree to a surrender even though the LL have already indicated they required possession?

Apologies if a silly question!

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Stupid question probably


Being not overly clever House was wondering whether if Richardson v Midland Heart Limited High Court (Chancery) 12/11/2007 was rightly decided (I know it’s just a County Court decision) then if someone has purchased their 50 pct share outright with no mortgage can a Court make a charging order against the property following an application by a creditor of the ‘tenant’?

Actually does the fact they paid outright with a mortgage make a difference?

House apologises for even thinking about this but it popped up today and if the creditor applies for an order for sale then there might be a defence, but then again if they get the Order for Sale they wouldn’t get anything back would they, possibly, as there isn’t any ‘equity’ in the property. Hrm could you even apply for an Order for Sale? Oh dear.

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Public Law refresher!

Salford City Council v Mullen [2010] EWCA Civ 336 is a rather handy review of many public law issues pending the outcome of Pinnock which is due to be heard by the Supreme Court in July.

Thanks to a colleague for this pointing this out to House which makes a change from House just looking at the feed on Nearly Legal :).  Nearly Legal will undoubtedly have a jolly good post about it after digesting its contents. If you haven’t read the Nearly Legal blog then do so NOW. If you want.

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A Handy Homeless Case

Fresh from the Court of Appeal is

Bury Metropolitan Council v Gibbons [2010] EWCA Civ 327

As Nearly Legal will cover it in their usual excellent fashion House won’t bother but suffice to say some it contains some useful information regarding review procedures and decisions of Intentionally Homeless.

Bury’s decision appears typically slapdash and as per many decisions that House sees these days doesn’t actually address the legal test laid out in section 191 but rather looks at what the person might have done differently.

Link added in the Case Links page at the top.

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And so it came to pass

From the Daily Mail


Tis a shame that it was all so predictable.

One thing to note, the case was not funded by Shelter, the case was funded by the Legal Services Commission.

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