MSB’s Social Housing Highlight – October

Bringing you all the latest updates from the world of Social Housing.

The latest at MSB

Earlier this month, Louise Murphy and Andy Moore delivered our free monthly webinar, “A Social Housing guide to trespass possession proceedings”.

The team has also been out delivering bespoke training to organisations. If you are interested in arranging training sessions with the team, please contact

Our Social Housing team were incredibly proud to be ranked and spotlighted in the Legal 500 guide once again this year. We have received some wonderful feedback from our clients, which you can read more of, here.

Some of the team took part in both the Liverpool and Manchester Legal Walks this month to raise money for North West Legal Trust. We love supporting great and important causes, so if you have any projects you would like us to get involved with, please contact

Throughout October, MSB have been celebrating Black History Month. To mark the annual awareness month, Phillip Coburn took the opportunity while at the Royal Courts of Justice to visit The Antelope Sculpture by Samson Kambalu – which was unveiled in September this year – and the sculpture of John Chilembwe.

Tom Stockton and Jess Jones represented the team along with other colleagues from MSB at the Navajo Merseyside and Cheshire LGBTIQA+ Chartermark Annual Awards, where we were proud to receive the accreditation. Read more, here.

Our recommended Book Club read this month is ‘Let me be Frank’ by Frank Bruno. Read the latest newsletter, here.

Updates and insight

Amy Tagoe summarises some of the recommendations highlights in the latest Housing Ombudsman spotlight report. Read More.

Phillip Coburn offers some guidance on avoiding becoming a victim of empty home fraud. Read More.

October saw National Hate Crime Awareness Week. Andy Moore shared his thoughts on how we can tackle hate crime in Social Housing. Read More.

Housing Law News

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has announced that it will be sitting in Manchester for the first time between the 6th and 9th March 2023. The Hearings will be open to the public and will be live-streamed.

Housing Ombudsman

From 1st October 2022 changes will be brought in to the Housing Ombudsman Service to make it easier for residents to access the service. Read more about the changes directly on the Ombudsman website. Read more.

Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm Regulations

The new Regulations came into force on 1st October 2022. Julia Michalczyk explains more. Read more.

Legal Aid

On 17th October 2022, the Ministry of Justice announced reforms to the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme confirming an extra £10 million a year will be invested in Housing Legal Aid from August 2023.

Social Housing Regulation Bill

On 18th October 2022, the Social Housing Regulation Bill completed Report Stage in the House of Lords and has been amended to enhance the powers of the Regulator of Social Housing to enforce standards.

Mortgage and Landlord Possession Statistics

Earlier this year the Ministry of Justice released the “Mortgage and landlord possession statistics: April to June 2022”, detailing the significant increase in the number of possession claims compared to the same quarter in 2021. It was highlighted that the majority of claims were brought by private landlords rather than social landlords.

This may not come as any surprise to many in the housing sector who are aware of to the backlog that was created with the COVID-19 restrictions, as well as the current cost-of-living crisis meaning more tenants will struggle to maintain their tenancies, and more landlords will be thinking about selling their properties.

The current figures published show an increase in landlord possession claims of 160%; orders for possession have increased by 164%; and warrants of possession by 104%. The time is also decreasing for a possession claim, although it is still considered a lengthy process.

The figures are not as high as they were prior to the pandemic but they seem to be on course to reach those levels, if not surpass them.

Upcoming events

2nd November 2022

Our next free webinar, ‘Tenancy Fraud and Sublet’ is on 2nd November 2022 via Zoom. Please email to book your place. If you want to be added to our mailing list to receive updates on free training and events, please get in touch.

2nd November 2022

MSB are sponsoring the CIH Housing Camp on 2nd November 2022 at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, M1 5BY. Find out more about the event on the CIH website. Find out more here.

23rd November 2022

Andrew Fairman and Julia Michalczyk will be hosting the seminar ‘Coffee, Compliance and Building Safety’ later in November, see here for further details and contact to secure your place.

Case of the month

Eaton v Auto-Cycle Union Ltd & Ors {2022] EWHC 2642 (kb)

While not a housing case, it is one that could have impact in several areas. Mr Justice Turner was critical of the expert evidence called by the claimant when saying: “Quite simply, he lacked the necessary expertise to substantiate and justify his conclusions.”

The claimant did not attach any weight to their own expert report in their closing submissions and this case offers a very good example on why parties to litigation should instruct an expert who has expertise in the area they are being asked to report on, e.g., this could be damp and mould growth in a disrepair case or psychiatric or psychological illness in an anti-social behaviour case.