Property and Social Housing
BSB Barristers’ Register
Wesley regularly represents Private and Social Landlords in their possession claims from first hearing to trial. He often deals with complex multi-day trials, involving issues of mental capacity, the Equality Act 2010, tenancy fraud and/or serious anti-social behaviour.
Wesley assists with all manner of cases including:
- housing fraud, including obtaining possession, seeking unlawful profit orders and criminal prosecution.
- contested succession of Secure and Assured Tenancies, as well as issues of none- occupation “two home cases”.
- disrepair/ Fitness for Human habitation counterclaims
- trespass – unauthorised occupiers and encampments
Wesley represents a Ministry of Justice-approved Bail Hostel provider in their excluded licence possession claims.
Wesley also has a busy paperwork practice: drafting court pleadings, providing oral and written advice and regularly contributes to Chambers’ blog on housing law updates and provides to Housing Officers and local authority lawyers on all aspects of possession claims.
Civil injunctions & Committal Applications
Wesley regularly attends applications for injunctions (including exclusion orders) both with and without notice from the first hearing to contested trial.
Wesley provides advice on the scope and terms of injunctions, issues of mental capacity, and the interplay between injunctions and possession proceedings.
Wesley frequently represents Local Authorities and Social Landlords at committal hearings from first appearance to contested trials. He has an in-depth understanding of the complex procedural requirements for committal proceedings and is an experienced trial advocate.
Disrepair & Fitness for Human Habitation
Wesley has a busy disrepair practice attending fast-track disrepair trials on behalf of Local Authorities and Social Landlords. This often involves complex repair issues, vulnerable tenants and issues surrounding lack of notice and access to undertake works.
Wesley is able to advise and assist throughout the entire process from pre-action correspondence to the final contested trial. He regularly drafts defences (including counterclaims), applications including to strike out the claim, and provides advice on liability, quantum and legal costs.
Wesley has also considered the interlinked obligations of the intermediate and superior landlord, and drafted Part 20 additional claims against the superior landlords for failures to comply with their obligations where appropriate.
Wesley provides training on behalf of Local Authorities and Social Landlords on the law surrounding disrepair and fitness for human habitation claims and best practice.
N v H – Exclusion Order from home obtained on an ex-parte basis in a hearing in front of a Circuit Judge as a result of serious acts of violence.
S v B –Successfully secured outright possession for the local authority after a 1-day trial before a Circuit Judge, on the basis of the Defendant’s repeated anti-social and criminal behaviour.
W v H – Relief from sanctions obtained. Obtained relief from sanctions on behalf of the local authority and brought the claim back on track, after it had been struck out due to non-payment of court fees.
N v H – Successfully secured a possession order after legal argument. Secured possession after successfully countering the duty advisor’s submissions that the agreement was a tenancy rather than a licence, the notice to quit was defective and it had not been properly served. Secured possession in 14 days despite the Defendant seeking 42 days to vacate.
B v T – Defendant remanded in custody in committal proceedings during the adjournment to obtain legal advice. This provided peace of mind for his elderly neighbour whom he had threatened and at the adjourned hearing (with legal representation) the Defendant ultimately surrendered his tenancy and an exclusion order was granted preventing him from entering the area.
B v B – Defendant remanded in custody for multiple proven breaches of the civil injunction following a contested breach trial with numerous witnesses called by the Council.
E v M –Persuaded the Judge to strike out the tenant’s claim for disrepair. The Court had previously provided directions for trial despite the tenant’s own expert evidence not supporting any claim for disrepair. With reference to the law and the landlord’s updated expert report the Judge was persuaded to strike out the claim.
B v C –Persuaded judge to set aside default judgment entered against the local authority and award its costs of the application despite the local authority’s oversight in missing the claim form. Complex legal argument based on the erroneous manner in which the tenants’ solicitors had obtained default judgment.
S v H –Represented and advised tenants in a tenancy deposit and disrepair counterclaim to final trial. Following a one-day trial obtained substantial damages and legal costs for the tenants, and beat the tenants’ Part 36 offer.