SECOND EDITION- review
INVOLVED IN HOUSING LAW? HERE'S A COMPLETE HOUSING LAW RESOURCE FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVISERS
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
Housing is a fundamental need. So when things go wrong, few problems in the spectrum of civil law can cause more upheaval, unpleasantness and distress. The issues that frequently confront housing lawyers can be formidable - and if you're a practitioner in this field, having this new second edition of `Housing Law' provides the advice and guidance you need, in a clear, readable and convenient format.
Published by the admirable, dedicated and very thorough Legal Action Group, `Housing Law' takes a practical and knowledgeable approach to just about all the common problems you are likely to deal with as an adviser, from proceedings in court...to tactics...to how to challenge decisions and obtain remedies.
The author, a solicitor and lecturer in this area of law has brought specialist expertise and years of experience to the task of producing this book, which has already established itself as an essential resource for all those working in, or interested in, housing issues, including students and academics as well as practitioners.
Since the first edition came out in 2008, a number of new developments have emerged, which are dealt with comprehensively within this 1,000+ page volume. For example, the implications of the Localism Act 2011 and the Equality Act 2010 are dealt with and there is an expanded section on the Children Act 1989.
The latest case law on the rights of EU nationals/rights of children is included and there is commentary on the various proposed changes to legal aid and funding of civil litigation, some of them of course, controversial.
As Astin points out, `the fact that people will be unable to get help with their debt problems and their welfare benefit or employment issues is likely to lead to an increase in people facing the loss of their homes.' This may mean, she adds, that there will be a greater need for housing advice than ever. This book is dedicated to fulfilling that need in a clear and accessible way.
Usefully, the book contains ample resources for additional research including tables of cases, statutes, statutory instruments and European legislation. The detailed contents list facilitates looking things up when you're in a hurry, as does the comprehensively detailed 70-page index at the back.
As stated, the author has endeavoured to describe accurately the law in England and Wales as at 1 November 2011, bearing in mind that certain provisions are different in Wales.
Recession or no recession, this is a book that has been desperately needed for a long time. Its publication by the Legal Action Group is a welcome development, especially in view of the current rampant rate of home repossessions.
Whether you are a practitioner, or an adviser, you'll come to regard this book as a very valuable and eventually, a very well thumbed reference indeed to go with the other works which LAG have published including the Housing Law Casebook.
Originally, as Astin points out, the aim of housing law was to help people get, improve and keep homes. Whether in the private or public sectors, the aim still prevails and is applicable to rented or purchased properties alike. Certainly the breadth and complexity of the changes that have been taking place in housing law, even during the past two decades, now require a depth as well as a breadth of knowledge on the part of advisers if they wish to reliably advise.
The practitioners must use community care law for the benefit of the client; must be familiar with the different types of occupation rights, the statutory rights of tenants and the different kinds of tenancy, plus a demonstrate a grasp of immigration law and the application to housing law of human rights.
A subject of such complexity and scope requires no less than several volumes, but, as Astin explained at the launch, she has endeavoured to give sufficient attention to those areas of housing law which, in her experience, the housing adviser will regularly encounter.
As a solicitor and specialist in housing law, Diane Astin knows whereof she speaks, as a trainer and lecturer in housing law, community care and asylum support for the Legal Action Group and a number of other leading organisations, including Shelter, Carers UK and the Refugee Council. She comes over as a person who really knows her subject and can put it across to both lay people and professionals- and I loved her cat on the mat by the green door!
The ethos of the book is heartening, being both practical and compassionate, and its scholarship is formidable. Covering all the basic aspects of housing law, it focuses on the common problems advisers must face, from court proceedings and the tactics of running a case, to challenging decisions and seeking remedies.
"Housing Law" comprehensively surveys all the major areas of housing law from occupiers' rights, to defending possession claims, to housing benefit, to challenging decisions by public bodies...and of course, much more.
Aptly sub-titled `an adviser's handbook', it fits in nicely with the other titles which LAG have published and it's ideal for those new to housing law as well as experienced practitioners who will welcome its clear and accessible approach to this diverse and complex subject- it is the on-stop housing shop referencer for all...thank you Diane.