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Introductory tenancies

This pages deals with two cases on the review of decisions not to continue the tenancy and service of the appropriate notice - s128 and s129of the Housing Act 1996. The first with the time for the review and the second with whether or not it is possible to have a "conditional" review.


Review of decision

Time for review

R (on the application of Chelfat) v London Borough of Tower Hamlets
[2006] EWHC 313 (Admin)

Introduction

Section 129(6) of the Housing Act 1996 provides that:
    "The review shall be carried out and the tenant notified before the date specified in the notice of proceedings as the date after which proceedings for the possession of the dwelling-house may be begun."
What if the review is not carried out by that date? Does it nullify any subsequent proceedings?

Facts

In this case the review was not carried out within the time limit because of a misunderstanding. The local authority had understood the tenant's letter requesting a review to refer to a review of a housing benefit decision. The authority then obtained an order for possession. When the matter was clarified a review of the decision to bring proceedings was carried out at the tenant's request and enforcement of the order for possession was suspended pending the review. Notwithstanding the review the authority confirmed its decision to bring proceedings. The tenant then applied for judicial review arguing that the proceedings were a nullity because the review had not been carried out within the time period set out in s129(6).

Decision

The argument was rejected. Reviews carried out after the time period can be valid (McDonagh v Salisbury District Council [2001] EWHC Admin 567); and whether or not it is right to quash a local authority's decision to bring proceedings is a matter of discretion depending upon all the circumstances. In this particular case, the tenant's solicitor had positively requested the review out of time and so it would not be right to quash the decision. Sullivan J:
    "In the light of the express agreement that there should be a review and that the warrant ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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