Wednesday, 13 October 2010

HMO rules to face High Court challenge?

I have still not found the time to get my head round the new rules for HMOs, which came into force on 1st October, but at first sight they certainly seem to give remarkable freedom of action to landlords to create HMOs as permitted development.

However, it seems that several LPAs are so unhappy about the changes that they are seeking permission from the High Court to challenge the changes by way of an application for Judicial Review. Successful challenges to subordinate legislation are few and far between, but are not impossible. Nevertheless I am inclined to be sceptical of the chances of persuading the court to upset the new rules. The first hurdle for these councils will be to obtain the Court’s permission to proceed, and they could conceivably fall at this first fence.

We shall see.

[This challenge initially failed to obtain the necessary permission from the High Court to proceed. However, following its initial dismissal in late October, the three authorities (Oxford, Milton Keynes and Newcastle) renewed their application for oral hearing, and permission was granted by Lindblom J at the end of January. The substantive hearing of the application for judicial review took place in April 2011, and was dismissed.]


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