Director of Housing at Duncan Lewis, Heather Iqbal Rayner was solicitor with lead conduct in this landmark judgment. The Court of Appeal has ruled in Cardiff County Council v Lee (Flowers)  EWCA Civ 1034 that residential landlords must apply for the court's permission before being able to apply for an eviction warrant if a Suspended Possession Order is breached.
Following the handing down of a significant judgment by the Court of Appeal, landlords must now seek the permission of the Court before looking to request a warrant of possession in respect of breach of a possession order suspended on terms.
The case was extremely important in housing law in that it has, to a degree clarified the Courts position relating to the issue of warrants of eviction.
Heather comments that: ‘Following the changes in 2014, our position was that all warrants must have permission before they are passed to a bailiff. The rules are quite clear on this point but the local authorities, housing associations and private landlords seemed to be ignoring them. According to the figures for national statistics this could mean that almost 200,000 warrants have been unlawfully issued since 2014 and if the case law is not now followed many more may be to come.’
Heather further comments, "the case is one, which in the first instance, had an almost exclusive female cast in that -I was the instructing solicitor and both barristers were female. In addition, one of the two judges included the Right Honourable Lady Justice Arden. The opposing barristers both practice in the same chambers in Cardiff and my office is based in Cardiff. The clarification the case sets is however relevant to both English and Welsh law"
The decision will have considerable ramifications for all landlords who will now be faced with the additional expense and delay of having to apply to the County Court for permission in those circumstances.
Heather Iqbal Rayner has been recognised by Legal 500 2016 as an elite leading lawyer in Housing and she is Director of Housing for Cardiff Duncan Lewis Solicitors. Heather is a housing, civil and social welfare law specialist. Heather acts for housing clients in South Wales and Bristol, dealing predominantly with housing possession, disrepair, anti-social behaviour, injunctions, homelessness and allocations. She also specialises in presenting Equality Act defences for vulnerable tenants. Heather has also undertaken numerous social welfare tribunals. Her civil litigation work includes contentious probate, party wall disputes and s17 appeals against the employment of illegal workers. Heather has public law experience in immigration, housing and community care undertaking judicial review claimant work. Heather is the immediate past chairs of the Junior Lawyers Division a Law Society Division which currently has 75,000 members. Many of these members are solicitors of up to 5 years qualified. She spends much of her time campaigning on behalf of solicitors who need assistance and support, as well as responding to many legal consultations to enable as many clients as is possible to have access to justice. Heather also works on a pro bono basis for many clients and is an active member of Law Works running Duncan Lewis's Cardiff Pro Bono Clinic.
Duncan Lewis’ Housing team is ranked by Legal 500 2016 as a leading practice for its services to social tenants and landlords across South Wales and London on all housing issues. We are highly experienced at finding solutions to your housing issues and aim to address cases quickly and effectively. We can guide you in any matter or issues arising with local housing authorities, housing applications, tenants, landlords, ownership, repairs and many more. The housing department also regularly represents clients in the courts, ensuring they receive the highest quality assistance throughout their case. If you would like assistance or advice do not hesitate to call our specialist Housing team on 033 3772 0409.