Equality Act and Public Law Defences to Possession Claims: SEMINAR

Increasing numbers of tenants in the social/council housing sector have comparatively limited security of tenure (introductory tenants, starter tenants, demoted tenants, and non-secure tenants). Others can face possession proceedings on mandatory grounds, including ground 8 and the 'absolute' ground for possession based on serious anti-social behaviour.

This practical, 'hands on' seminar highlights two additional lines of defence - public law arguments based on the landlord's decision making process, and defences under the 2010 Equality Act - which are often successful in practice despite the decisions of the higher Courts about proportionality defences.

Seminar includes

  • Is it illegal to evict a disabled tenant?
  • What reasonable adjustments do social landlords have to make?
  • Is an Equality Act proportionality review required before starting a possession claim?
  • What is the relevance of the public sector equality duty under the 2010 Equality Act
  • Key Court decisions
  • Practical exercises and case studies.

Learning outcomes

    After attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Identify potential public law defences
  • Evaluate when and how an occupier may be protected by the 2010 Equality Act
  • Confidently advise clients on this area
  • Apply the law in a practical context
  • Know what evidence to obtain and questions to ask.

Suitable for

Housing advisers, housing officers and solicitors working with starter, introductory, demoted and/or non-secure tenants in the local authority and social housing sectors. Also advisers from other voluntary agencies advocating for or representing clients facing eviction action. Please note: working knowledge of the provisions of the 1985/1988/1996 Housing Acts which govern these tenancy types, will be assumed.

Meet the trainer

Tony Martin is a solicitor specialising in landlord and tenant and housing law. Alongside his work as a trainer, Tony supervises a student led legal advice clinic and teaches law at BPP University. He qualified as a solicitor in 2001 in a private Legal Aid firm and then practised as a senior solicitor in a Law Centre. Tony has spent all his working life in housing, having worked in hostels, special needs housing and housing management in the voluntary sector and at a senior level in a homelessness service and in housing policy for a London local authority, prior to qualifying as a solicitor. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Tony has undertaken detailed homelessness and housing options case file reviews for local authorities and voluntary organisations, as well as undertaken staff performance interviews, workshadowing and written summary reports for Shelter Consultancy since 2013.

CPD hours 5