Housing Law and Advice: a Foundation (Part A)

This popular, well-established four-day course provides a comprehensive introduction to the most important aspects of housing aid and advice work.

Delegates gain the legal knowledge and practical skills required to determine housing status and become familiar with the principles, processes and duties inherent in the homelessness legislation.They look in detail at the Homelessness Code of Guidance and consider the main principles relating to housing allocations. The course also takes a brief look at the changes introduced under the Homelessness Reduction Act.

N.B. The next available date for this course is in June 2020. However we are running the two courses that make up this programme prior to this in London on the following dates: 'Homelessness Law Introductory' on 10-11 March or 19-20 May, 'Tenancy Status and Rights' on 12-13 May.

PLEASE BOOK EARLY: We confirm/cancel courses three weeks in advance. Book your place early to give us an accurate idea of delegate numbers and to avoid disappointment.

Group training (5-18 staff): Commercial rate £3,580; Standard / Concessionary £3,320 + plus trainer’s expenses + VAT

‘Excellent trainer - detailed, thorough clear, patient. Lots of re-caps and quizzes/case-studies to help consolidate learning.’

Delegate from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

‘Very good training. Made a lot of heavy information easily accessible and understandable.’

Solicitor, Central London Law Centre

Course contains

Day One

  • Housing status
  • History of housing legislation
  • Rent Act 1977, Housing Acts 1985, 1988 and 1996
  • Changes to social housing law under the Localism Act 2011
  • Tenancies and licences
  • Occupiers outside mainstream protection
  • Excluded occupiers
  • Tied accommodation
  • Notice rules.

Day Two

  • Grounds for possession
  • Possession orders and brief overview of the role of the court
  • Bailiffs' warrants
  • Basic defence of proceedings and counterclaims
  • Joint tenancies
  • Fixed-term tenancies
  • Impact of order for possession on security of tenure.

Days Three and Four

  • Policy options for allocations and homelessness legislation
  • Legislation and the Code of Guidance
  • Duty to make enquiries
  • The Homelessness Reduction Act
  • Housing options and prevention of homelessness
  • Key elements of the basic definition sections of the legislation
  • Assessing eligibility, intentionality, homelessness, priority need and local connection
  • Important case law
  • Review and appeal rights
  • Allocation of housing.

Learning outcomes

After this course, you will be able to:

  • Diagnose security of tenure
  • Advise an occupier on notice entitlement
  • Instruct an occupier on criteria the court can use to make an order for possession
  • Identify where an occupier has a defence against possession proceedings
  • Find out when the council has a duty to start a homelessness investigation under the Housing Act 1996 (Part VI)
  • Describe key factors relating to eligibility for assistance, homelessness, priority need, intentional homelessness and local connection
  • Advise on the duties of a local authority towards a homeless person
  • Identify the legal issues which arise in allocation of social housing under the Housing Act 1996 (Part VI).

Suitable for

Recently appointed advisers from the statutory and voluntary sectors, as well as those who wish to broaden their knowledge or catch up with recent changes in housing law and policy. This course assumes little or no knowledge of legislation.

Meet the trainers

Ian Dunn & Rita Parmar: 20-21 & 27-28 November 2019, 3-4 & 10-11 Feb 2020, 10-11 & 17-18 Jun 2020

Rita Parmar

Rita has run advanced housing law courses for Shelter Training since 2000. She has specialised in housing law since 1996. Rita worked in Shelter’s Legal Team from 1999 to 2016 as a solicitor and managing solicitor where her caseload included Court of Appeal cases, emergency judicial review applications for homelessness, possession actions and urgent injunctions for unlawful evictions and disrepair. She also had a 6 month attachment to Haringey Women’s Forum giving housing law assistance to women fleeing domestic violence. Additionally, Rita has taught housing law to undergraduates on the LLB course and to graduates on the MA course in legal advice at London Metropolitan University. Her experience in running housing cases led to her co-authoring "Court Procedures and Housing Cases: A Practitioner's Guide".

Ian Dunn

Ian has worked for Shelter as a trainer and consultant since 2004. He has been working and training in housing law for 14 years. As well as lecturing in social welfare law at the University of Westminster he has many years’ experience working with housing associations and local authorities providing tailored courses. Ian excels at conveying complex information in an easy to understand way and adapting to the knowledge and experience of the group. Ian encourages interaction and questions from participants and has a warm, approachable manner.

CPD hours 20