Tom’s well established practice covers all areas of social housing litigation and landlord and tenant disputes. He regularly writes articles and gives seminars and lectures on all aspects of housing law and is called upon to advise social landlords including local authorities, on matters of policy including homelessness, allocation and registration of social housing providers. His many years’ experience, clarity of advice and pragmatic approach is brought to bear in his particular areas of expertise.
Areas of Expertise
Anti-social behaviour possession cases and injunctions
Bringing and defending claims in housing cases where the tenant lacks capacity, including community care assessment and provision
Claims arising out of the Human Rights Act and Equality Act
Claims concerning unlawful eviction
Claims for possession and demotion
Commercial landlord and tenant disputes
Disputes over the right to buy and succession claims
Disrepair claims relating to residential premises
Public law challenges concerning homelessness and allocation of housing, public law defences to possession claims, s. 204 appeals to the county court and applications for judicial review
Service charge disputes and housing regulation maters before the Property Chamber of the FTT
Incommunities v D (2014 unreported, High Court) -
Appeal against committal order, sufficiency of evidence and relevance of coexisting criminal proceedings.
WDH v S (by his Litigation Friend the Official Solicitor) -
Appeal involving the meaning of ‘as if they were civil partners’ in succession provisions; the scope of the proportionality review where the court has already found the defence to be ‘seriously arguable’. (2011 Permission granted by Court of Appeal, compromised before hearing)
WDH v D - Starter tenancy, public law defence, sufficiency of review and whether public law defence limited to Wednesbury unreasonableness. (2013 Permission granted by Court of Appeal for second appeal, compromised before hearing)
Wall v Sheffield CC and others  EWCA Civ 922 – secure tenancy,succession claim, whether foster child a member of the family and entitled to succeed; effect of execution of possession order later set aside; validity of subsequent grant of secure tenancy to third parties.
Leeds CC v Price (Kay v Lambeth LBC)  2 AC 465 – the scope of Article 8 ECHR as a defence to proceedings against trespassers; effect of Human Rights Act on doctrine of precedent.
Sheffield CC v Wall  EWCA Civ 495 - secure tenancy succession, residence criterion.
Smart v Sheffield CC  HLR 34 – non-secure tenant; impact of Articles 6 and 8 ECHR on proceedings for possession.
Sheffield CC v Hopkins  HLR 12 – extent of court’s discretion to suspend warrants of possession and impose terms; guidelines given for exercise of that discretion.
LB Tower Hamlets v Long (2000) 32 HLR 219 – anti-social; behaviour injunction; breach; sentencing.
All proportionality defences are equal, but some are more equal than others - Ackerman-Livingstone v Aster Communities Ltd  UKSC 15
Magic beans for that cow? - Scott v Southern Pacific Mortgages  UKSC 52
Teather’s Tether - Will the Tenancies (Reform) Bill be a sticker?
Assistant Editor: "Tolley’s claims to the Possession of Land" (5th Edn 2000-2003)
Lectures and Seminars
Tom regularly lectures on housing law subjects and is known for his relaxed and amusing style of presentation. Tom is also happy to provide bespoke training to housing providers on areas of particular concern, recently including defending claims for disrepair. Please contact the clerks for further details.
"Very helpful and approachable." "Very experienced and an effective cross-examiner." "An excellent advocate."Chambers & Partners (2019)