Changes to the law on Rights over Village Greens and Houses in Multiple Occupation.

Rights over Village Greens

The Supreme Court (formerly “the House of Lords”) decided in March that local residents who regularly walked over a Council owned Golf Course and took their dogs for walks there could register it as “Common Land” under the Commons Act 2006. It is rare that the Supreme Court looks at property law in this way and the case will be of relevance to many private clients with an interest in property legal issues.

We are often asked to advise on property disputes. This case is interesting because it is from the highest court in the land about the Commons Act 2006. Property disputes range from disputes such as this over “common” land and village greens to the more common rights of way disputes with neighbours and planning matters. We provide a full range of property services to private clients and would be happy to advise on all issues such as this.

New Rules on Houses in Multiple Occupation

New regulations are due to come into force this year relating to what is a “home in multiple occupation”. For example 6 students might share a 3 bed roomed house. They are not
related and that would be a Home in Multiple Occupation. The Housing and Planning Minister says that the new rules will increase the circumstances where it will become necessary to obtain planning permission for houses or flats in single person or family occupation to be used as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). The minister said, “Private landlords play a big part in meeting the housing needs of millions so I want to raise the standards and stamp out the worst landlords that drag down the reputation of the rest. Councils know their communities and are best placed to help tenants facing landlords who rent unsafe or substandard accommodation and take little responsibility for the problems caused for neighbours”.

Owners who let property may need to be a bit more careful in future if the number of tenants falls down to only three unrelated people because if they then want to raise the number again they may need planning permission to go above three, whereas under the previous law the level was six people before the home was a Home in Multiple Occupation.

For further information call Stephen Proctor on 01924 387110 or eleccy-mail send an email


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