The Housing Law Casebook is one of THE classic housing law textbooks. So it is good to see a new edition.
Cases are the life blood of virtually all areas of law – but there is so much of it.
How do you find the right case for your situation?
Enter the Housing Law case book.
The old pdf version
When I got the last edition, it had a handy pdf in a back pocket which I duly installed on my PC and laptop.
I found myself using it more and more, until I hardly ever opened the paper book.
It is so much easier to do a search on a case name or a word, and clicking on the search result takes you straight to the page.
So when I got my review copy of this new edition from LAG, the first thing I did was to check the back cover.
I was dismayed to find no CD there. Horrors! Would I be reduced to having to find cases once again in that unwieldy and heavy paperback?
“Aren’t you doing a pdf version?” I asked LAG plaintively, and was delighted to learn that, although there was no pdf, there WAS a kindle version. So they very kindly allowed me to review that.
Reading kindle books without a kindle
It is commonly believed that you HAVE to have a kindle to read kindle books. Not true! Because those nice Amazon people (recognising that many people don’t have a kindle and aren’t gong to buy one any time soon – and wanting to sell kindle books to them anyway) have created kindle apps.
When I discovered this, it was a revelation.
I don’t have a kindle. But I now I can read kindle books on my Macbook, my PC and even on my iphone, using an app. MUCH better!
In fact I tend to read mostly on my Macbook nowadays, although it is nice to know that if I’m stuck somewhere I can also read on the iphone.
It is also a good thing for the home. We have a small house and a lot of books. A lot. It was starting to get silly. Maybe now when we clear them off the stairs it will stay clear for a while.
But what about the book?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s the product as before. Although as there is so much more case law they have had to lose a bit. We are told to hang on to our older editions, as some of the older cases have had to be omitted. For example cases on
- rent registration
- the right to buy
- home loss and disturbance payments, and
- most human rights cases from other jurisdictions
So don’t delete that last edition pdf from your laptop just yet.
Searching on the apps
The important thing with the casebook is to be able to search inside it easily. So how do the apps work here?
The cloudreader – this allows you to read kindle books on your internet browser. I couldn’t find a search box, so I won’t be using this for the casebook. Its fine for reading novels though.
The Mac app – this is great. There is a handy search icon on the left, and you can toggle open and shut the search pane by clicking on it. I easily found R v. Rent Officer of Nottinghamshire Registration area ex parte Allen just by inputting Nottinghamshire.
The iphone app – this also has a handy search icon which works in a similar way. An intial search though, worryingly, brought up nothing. However, closer examinisation revealed I had put in Mottingham, so that was not surprising. A quick edit and there it was.
The app experience
There is not much more to say about the case book other than, if you do housing work, you need to have it. Period.
So what about the kindle apps? How did they work with the casebook? Well, good and bad really. FIrst the good points:
- The kindle version is about £16 cheaper. Thats a big saving
- They are convenient
- You can do searches on most of them
- You can have the book synced across all your devices, so you can bookmark your place on one and carry on reading from the same place on another.
BUT, and its a big but:
- you can’t select and copy and
- you can’t print. Both of which you CAN do with the pdf version.
You can’t select and copy with the paper book either of course, but you can photocopy pages to take into court with you.
So if you think you are going to need extracts and don’t want to do endless copy typing (and who has time for that?) then you will need to have the hardcopy book as well.
Although actually, pretty please LAG, it would be nice to have the pdf version back again.
You can buy the book on Amazon online here. (Affiliate links)