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Islington shopkeeper fined for selling knives to underage boy

2nd July 2015

Islington Council has criticised the leniency of a £500 fine given to a shopkeeper who sold a 17-year-old boy knives that he used minutes later to stab a man seven times. In a prosecution led by Islington Council Trading Standards, Salman Capti, 26, of Warley Street, E2, was convicted of selling two knives to an underage person at City Supermarket in Goswell Road, as well as breaching his licence conditions by having inadequate CCTV in the shop. After finding the defendant guilty of both o...

Right to rent immigration checks ‘unworkable’

25th June 2015

Landlords and letting agents lack the necessary know-how and training to enforce right to rent immigration checks, a leading London property firm has warned, as it condemned proposed sanctions as ‘disproportionate’. Right to rent checks were introduced towards the end of the coalition government, to help combat concerns landlords were harbouring illegal immigrants in their properties. Those who fail to verify the immigration status of their tenants face fines of up to £5,000. The scheme has been ...

MP introducing measure to identify criminal landlords

24th June 2015

A senior member of parliament is today introducing a bill that will make it much easier for authorities to identify criminal landlords. The measure being introduced to parliament by the Conservative MP for Hornchurch and Upminister, Dame Angela Watkinson, would require tenants to provide details of their landlord on council tax registration forms. Under the current law, when new occupants move into a house they are obliged to notify their local authority to establish council tax payments. Nowher...

Prison sentence for housing and benefit cheat

22nd June 2015

A Northolt man has received a prison sentence for dishonestly claiming thousands of pounds for housing, council tax benefit and housing benefit. After making false representation, Ijaz Qayum, 48, of Taywood Road, Northolt failied to promptly declare a change in circumstances and disclose information to Ealing Council. Qayum was sentenced to a total of 15 months imprisonment at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday, 15 June, after previously pleading guilty to six offences involving housing and bene...

Five year licence required for HMOs in Camden

22nd June 2015

Camden Council is introducing new licensing conditions for landlords of shared accommodation. It will mean that landlords who rent out a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) must apply for a five-year licence.  A licence will only be granted if a minimum set of standards for the property are met. The scheme will tackle a range of health and safety issues, such as fire hazards, risk of falls, poor home security and excess cold – which is known to cause mould and damp. With a third of Camden house...

Council uses new anti-social behaviour power to close down cannabis factory

16th June 2015

Southwark Council and the police have used new anti-social behaviour powers to repossess a council flat that was being used as a cannabis factory. Earlier this year, the culprit was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for drug offences carried out at the property. The council applied for a mandatory eviction notice using new powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act, which came into force in October 2014. The new legislation allows local councils to seek immediate possession ...

Liberty calls for Oxford City Council to scrap plans for PSPO

11th June 2015

Liberty has today delivered a letter to Oxford City Council calling on its leaders to ditch plans to potentially criminalise homeless people and buskers. At its meeting this evening, the Council’s executive board will consider proposals to introduce a new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO). If given the green light, the order will ban sleeping in public toilets and “persistent begging” – defined by the authority as begging “on more than one occasion”.  The PSPO would give ...

'World’s rarest spider' stops housing development in Plymouth

10th June 2015

That’s a home win to the horrid ground-weaver spider (photo). The Western Daily Press said the "world's rarest spider", with some help from a planning inspector, has thwarted plans to build homes on its last habitat. The inspector rejected an appeal by developers seeking to build 57 homes on a quarry. Unfortunately for Wainhomes Holdings Ltd., the old limestone quarries in Plymouth quarry are one of the very few places where  the horrid ground-weaver spider has ever been spotted. Ply...

PlaceShapers respond to shared parenting bedroom tax appeal

21st May 2015

A Tenant Working Group on bedroom tax, one of the core tenant panels at Coast and Country Housing Association, has been supported to a first tier tribunal victory by their landlord. The case relates to a family where a child lives in two homes of their separated parents. In this decision the Judge has found that the child in the family is entitled to a bedroom at the residences of both parents. Joe Halewood's blog on the case contains the statement of reasons given by Judge Moss, as he contests the opinion given in a previous Upper Tier Tribunal case that a chi...

An anatomy of a bedroom tax appeal

21st May 2015

In the wake of Coast and Country's 'Tenant Working Group' on bedroom tax achieving a victory at a first tier tribunal for one of their members, Rob Gershon investigates the unique structure behind this project to empower tenants to mount their appeals. The election of a new government on the 7 May has elicited a lot of commentary and conjecture in the political and housing worlds. There are already concerns about how the actions in the former will affect people in the orbit of the latter. For o...