News, events and consultations

September Meeting

Wednesday 16 September 2015 at 6.45 pm – members meeting and EGM

6.45 pm EGM to approve accounts

7. 00 pm Money Claims

Rebecca Chan, Barrister, Arden Chambers
Andrew Brookes, Anthony Gold Solicitors

University of Westminster. Exact location to be confirmed.

Meeting July 2015

Wednesday 15 July 2015 at 7 pm – members meeting

Defending Possession Claims

Amy Knight, Barrister, Arden Chambers
Thul Khan, Solicitor, Osbornes Solicitors LLP

Portland Hall,
School of Law, Regent Campus, University of Westminster, 4 Little Titchfield
Street, London W1W 7UW.

Meeting 20 May 2015 – homelessness special event

20 May 2015 at 7 pm – Members meeeting

Following the Supreme Court judgment in Johnson, Hotak & Kanu (available here), the meeting will focus on vulnerability and priority need in the light of the judgment. The speakers all acted for an appellant or intervener in the appeals.


Jan Luba QC – Garden Court

Matt Hutchings – Cornerstone Chambers

Zia Nabi – Doughty Street Chambers

Note changed venue

The Boardroom
First Floor
University of Westminster Headquarters Building
309 Regent Street
London W1B 2UW

2 hours CPD for solicitors and barristers


Consultation responses

Three recent consultation responses by HLPA

Evidence to the Welsh Assembly on the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill. May 2015 (Download)

Enhanced Court Fees consultation. February 2015 (download)

DCLG Review of property conditions in the private rented sector. March 2014. (Download)


Guidance on Legal Aid in Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction cases

This paper is intended to provide guidance to HLPA members on the circumstances in which they can continue to represent clients and get paid for Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction work under legal aid following the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014. The changes came into effect on 23 March 2015.

It should however, be noted that at present there are still issues upon which clarification is being sought from the Legal Aid Agency (“LAA”). It is therefore likely that further supplementary guidance will be issued once further information is provided by the LAA.

The Guidance can be downloaded here. [docx format]

Wales – evidence on ‘Renting Homes’

On 20 May 2015, Justin Bates is giving evidence to the Welsh Assembly on the Renting Homes Bill, on behalf of HLPA.

Justin would welcome any member’s views on comments on the Renting Homes Bill, by 3 May 2015. Email

Special Event 13 May 2015

The Housing Law Practitioners Association and Shelter Children’s Legal Service present a seminar on

The impact of child welfare duties in housing law

13th May 2015 6.30 – 8.00 pm

Speakers: Martin Westgate QC and Lindsay Johnson, Doughty Street Chambers, Shu Shin Luh, Garden Court Chambers

In two recent cases, SG v DWP and Nzolameso v Westminster CC, the Supreme Court has highlighted the importance of examining the interests of children in the housing or housing related context. In SG v DWP the Court held that the benefit cap violated the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and in Nzolameso v Westminster CC it held that the authority failed to show that it had properly considered its obligation under s. 11 of the Children Act 2004 to safeguard and, more importantly, promote the welfare of children when considering an out of borough placement.

The impact of section 11 and the UNCRC continues to grow and is becoming ever more important. The seminar considers the current state of the law, the relationship between the international and domestic duties, how theycan be deployed in English Courts, and how they can assist those in need of housing.

Venue: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, 65 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1HT

To Book:

Cost: Free

Pat Reddin: 1947-2015

Andrew Arden QC records and reflects on the loss of the leading housing surveyor of our times.

This morning, April 13, a day before his 68th birthday, housing surveyor Pat Reddin died following a fall.

For those – few – housing practitioners not familiar with his work, Pat has been the “go to” surveyor for both tenants and social landlords since the early 1970s. Indeed, the founders of housing law at that time were not only Law Centre and legal aid lawyers but others, without whom our work would have been impossible to deliver, who put flesh on the bones of cases involving housing conditions, by whom I mean pre-eminently Pat Reddin and the independent environmental health adviser, David Ormandy. It felt like there wasn’t a disrepair claim which didn’t feature one or other of them.

As many in housing law will know, in 2011 Pat was diagnosed with a brain tumour which he courageously, vigorously and (for the most part!) with the best of humour fought throughout 2012, allowing him to return to work less than a year after surgery (and long before the doctors had predicted he would be able to): he had continued to recover, and to work, and was, as he always has been, much in demand as an expert witness, readily acceptable to social landlords and tenants alike as a joint expert and indeed in the courts.

It is too early to say what caused the fall or how far it was linked to the tumour, although his annual scans showed that the residue had not grown and that the operation was a considerable sucess. His sudden death has accordingly come as a complete shock to his family and friends.

Pat leaves behind his wife, Vincina Mellor, four daughters – Tania, Sarah, Jada and Francesca – and five grandchildren – Cassius, Ava, Tulah, Sheyo and Kosi – as well as a host of friends many of whom are active in housing and housing law and all of whom know how lucky we were to have had him in our lives and who will miss him dreadfully. Pat and the family were deeply grateful for the outpourings of concern and support during 2012, the most enormous morale boost through what Pat remarked in his client letter as he returned to work was a truly horrible year.

When I first wrote on his condition (July 6, 2012), I recorded that the tumour had been

“a dreadful shock to him and to his family – and to those close to him who hadn’t realised he had a brain at all (a joke he does not tire of making!)”.

This was also a line I had used to his youngest daughter – Frankie, my god-daughter (as Pat was my daughter’s god-father) – across his bed in the ICU the morning after an 11½ hour operation in early January 2012, when there were very real doubts both about his chances of recovery and about how far he was (or would be) capable of comprehension. I was quite clear in my own mind, though, that I saw in his eyes a flicker of recognition – of humour – at the line and it is one of the enduring joys of my life that as soon as he could communicate again, he confirmed that I had read him right: he had not left us but briefly.

That last thought struck me again today, when I found a draft will written way back when – from its contents, probably 20 years or so ago – and which contained this line.

“This is a time of celebration and adventure. I am going on another journey. I will return and I will always be available for you. Hold me in your thoughts for that is where I reside”.


AGM and Meeting 18 March 2015

The AGM begins at 6.30 pm on 18 March 2015.

The meeting follows at 7 pm.

The topic is Community Care and Court of Protection (including the Care Act 2014)

Bethan Harris: Garden Court Chambers
Dominc Prestion: Doughty Street Chambers

NB Changed Room
Room 3.07 on the third floor
4 Little Titchfield Street
London W1W 7UW

2 hours CPD for solicitors and barristers

Legal Aid – matter starts

The LAA has issued new matter starts guidance with immediate effect. The key element is that providers “will be able to request or self-grant supplementary matter starts up to 50% of their original allocation.”

This is good news for those who had worked through their allocation. The change follows tireless efforts, argument and meetings with the LAA by Sara Stephens, HLPA Exec member heading the legal aid working group.