And in Other News (April)

Court of Appeal allows private landlord's appeal against licence conditions imposed by local authority

Court of Appeal allows private landlord's appeal against licence conditions imposed by local authority

We got quite excited when we saw this one when our friend John Saulet of Saulet Townshend LLP sent it through, as we thought it might show that local councils are asking for more than they are allowed to as part of their Selective or Additional Licensing schemes - but unfortunately, on reading the detail, we believe this will be of limited value locally - but feel free to prove us wrong...

The appeal raised a question of general importance as to the extent of the powers conferred on local housing authorities (LHAs) under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 (HA 2004) to include, as part of the licence, conditions regulating the management, use or occupation of the relevant house. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of a private landlord, holding that section 90(1) of the HA 2004 did not permit the LHA to lawfully impose a licence condition requiring landlords to maintain a carbon monoxide detector and obtain a valid Electrical Installation Certificate Condition Report at the relevant house. The decision will be disappointing for LHAs given the Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal and restored the decision of the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber (Residential Property). It means that LHAs are not entitled to interpret section 90 of the HA 2004 widely to impose licence conditions as a proportionate means of ensuring the safety of tenants within a selective licensing area.


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