It is not often realised by those outside the profession, that the Law Society produce some excellent handbooks on all sorts of legal topics. This book is a good example.
This book is really intended for housing law practitioners, essentially those looking after landlords and tenants in the social housing sector – mostly local authority housing, and housing associations.
A big part of that area of law, is the whole issue of homelessness and when a local authority is obliged to provide housing for someone in its area (allocation). This is looked at in the first two chapters.
There is then a big chapter looking at other circumstances where housing may or may not be provided, including issues relating to immigration and asylum seekers, accommodation under the Mental Health Act, housing and community care assessments, and accommodation under the Children Act. This takes us up to about half way through the book.
The following section looks at hazardous and unhealthy housing, and includes local authorities powers under the Housing Act 2004 and the Housing Health and Safety Rating system. There are then sections on prosecutions under the Environmental Health Act, and on disrepair where the authors look at claims under the Defective Premises Act 1972, the Occupiers Liability Act, the Human Rights Act, and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. This useful chapter ends with guidance on procedure (for example for getting injunctions), set off, and long leases, and a table on personal injury awards made under the Defective Premises Act.
Chapter 5 looks at anti social behaviour and the measures available to social landlords to control this, such as ASBOs, and includes a section on measures available to victims.
The final part of the book looks at possession proceedings, chapter 6 being a general chapter, chapter 7 looking at housing benefit and possession proceedings based on rent arrears, and chapter 8 looking at mortgage repossessions, followed by chapters on procedure and possession orders.
This is a well written and helpful book and will be enormously useful for all those working in social housing. It will also be helpful for those, such as myself, who practice more in the private sector, and I have already found matters of interest which I may well be writing about in the future. It can be purchased from Amazon for £49.95 (affiliate link).
The authors of the books are all practising barristers at Garden Court Chambers, and the book is aimed at a professional readership. This is reflected in the price, which many will think is a bit pricey. However notwithstanding this, it will be a valuable addition to the housing lawyers bookcase.