Nicholas Nicol. Legal Aid barrister and mediator. Defending people from homelessness and discrimination. 1 Pump Court.
Nicholas Nicol. Legal Aid barrister and mediator. Defending people from homelessness and discrimination. 1 Pump Court.

Housing Law

The resources available through this page relate to the security and condition of your home. It includes landlord and tenant law, mortgages, the law relating to homeless people, housing allocation and housing conditions.

 

You can find links to interesting housing law websites here:

NACAB's Adviceguide gives a good description of the rights of tenants and homeless persons under the heading "Housing".

NowMedical

Dr Keen & NowMedical are well-known amongst those who act for the homeless and those in need of housing. I maintain a page on their work, including producing a list of court cases in which they have been mentioned.

Housing and Human Rights

The UK has incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR") through the Human Rights Act 1998 ("HRA"). However, the ECHR mostly deals with civil and political rights rather than economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to housing. Although the courts have acknowledged that shelter is a basic human right (R (Limbuela) v SSHD [2005] UKHL 66; [2006] 1 AC 396), the European Court of Human Rights has decided that there is no right to housing in the ECHR (Burton -v- UK (1996) 22 EHRR CD 135).

 

However, there is such a right in a number of other human rights instruments, see the links below:

 

See my articles Applying the Right to Housing [2002] JHL 11 and The Other Human Rights [2001] Human Rights 156 as to how the right to housing could be used in English courts. Note that the Disabilities Convention has a special status in being deemed to have the status of an EU treaty: European Communities (Definition of Treaties) (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Order 2009.

 

In July 2015 Just Fair produced a report, Protecting the Right to Housing in England: A Context of Crisis, which measured the performance of the UK against the right to housing and found it severely wanting. The Report made a number of recommendations as to how performance could be improved, although implementation seems unlikely in view of the current government's attitude.

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The information and any commentary on the law contained on this web-site is provided free of charge for information only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary accurate and up-to-date but it is not intended to amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a lawyer about your case or matter and not to rely solely on the information or comments on this site.

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