This is particularly the case with our common law which is based largely on legal cases, building up case on case over millennia like leaves on the forest floor.
Even statute law, which you would have thought was easier as after all you can just look it up in the Act depends on case law to help us understand what it means.
Where do you find these cases and how do you know which ones apply to your situation?
The answer is the Housing Law Casebook.
This has been around for a while and this is not the first time it has been reviewed here. Cases are being heard all the time so it is a never-ending task to keep up with it.
The most recent edition is the seventh edition and is penned by Nic Madge and Sam Madge-Wyld, although much of the work by previous co-authors Jan Luba and Claire Sephton remains. As always this is a superb and authoritative book.
Due to an overabundance of material though, the authors have had to cut certain elements and so now
anything relating to enfranchisement (right to buy, leasehold and collective enfranchisement), management disputes (right to manage and to appoint a manager), enforcement under the Housing Act 2004 (HMOs), criminal sanctions for unlawful eviction, Rent Act 1977 rent registration and other leasehold rights under Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (lease variations and right of first refusal) are no longer covered in this book
So if you have old editions which include these topics – hang on to them.
However, even with these exclusions, there is still a vast amount of content and this is a chunky book. Indeed if you have weak wrists you may want to consider getting one of the electronic versions.
My review copy this year was an epub version which, as I have a MacBook, I was able to read on iBooks even though I don’t actually have an epub reader device. It is also, of course, available in Kindle format as well as paperback and hardback.
I like the electronic versions as it is easier to search for content – an important consideration in a book like this where you will usually bs looking for something relevant to your case, rather than reading it from cover to cover. Plus it is, of course, easier to hold upright.
However, even without electronic search, the book should be easy to find your way around as it is helpfully ordered by topic with the more important Supreme Court and Court of Appeal cases first in each section followed by the lower court cases.
As is the case with practically all law books (save perhaps the history ones) this book is already out of date, the law being up to 8 February 2017. However, you can look for more recent cases in the ‘Recent Developments in Housing Law column in LAG Magazine or (for free) in Housing Law Week from Lime Legal.
If you are a housing law practitioner or advisor though you should really get the book as you never know when you will want to look something up. With the Casebook, you will have all the authorities to hand including those lower court cases which show how Judges are dealing with topics on a day to day basis.
You can get the book from LAG website for £70 or from Amazon where you can shave £3.50 off the price of £70 by getting the Kindle version for £66.50. I couldn’t find the link to purchase the epub version but no doubt if you email LAG they will tell you.