module specification

LC7039 - Housing Law and Practice (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Housing Law and Practice
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 13.5
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 120
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
96 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Open Book Examination 100%   Examination
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester North Thursday Evening

Module summary

 This module aims to equip students to act as a trainee solicitor for landlords and tenants in the process of litigious housing law matters.

Prior learning requirements

 Stage 1


 1. Investigating a case and funding
2. Classes of occupation and impact of statutory protection
3. Housing Possession Procedure
4. Staying and suspending the warrant of possession
5. Claims and Counterclaims against Landlords
6. Homelessness


Covers all Learning Outcomes

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

8 one-hour tutor led sessions and 8 two-hour student led sessions. The tutor led sessions are one week ahead of the student led sessions to allow students time for reflection.

Students are required to test their preparation for each student led session by completing short answer/ multiple-choice questions on WebLearn in advance of the session.

Learning outcomes

 At the end of an elective, successful students, under appropriate supervision, should be able in the context of housing law and practice to:

1. Demonstrate their knowledge and understanding and employ the applicable skills in housing of law and practice
2. Use the legal knowledge, skills, procedures and behaviours appropriate to each housing law client and each housing law  matter
3. Identify the overall nature of the housing law matters, then plan and progress that
matter through a series of steps and  decisions including, where appropriate, drafting
4. Identify the housing law client's goals and alternative means of achieving those
goals, and deal appropriately with client care
5. Investigate and identify the relevant facts, research and identify the relevant housing
legal issues, and advise the client on the legal consequences
6. Recognise and act within the rules of professional conduct
7. Identify the client’s reasonable expectations as to quality and timeliness of service

Element 1: Investigating a Case and Funding

Students should be able to act for a range of clients, both landlord and tenant, and be able to:

1.Investigate and identify the relevant facts at a client interview and help the client to
identify their goals.
2. Advise a client on the availability of Community Legal Service funding, in particular legal help and legal representation, in   a range of housing matters and draft the appropriate Community Legal Service forms.
3. Understand the effect in a housing matter of a client’s entitlement to income based benefits and Housing Benefit.

Element 2: Classes of Occupation and Impact of Statutory Protection

Students should be able to:

1. Distinguish between various classes of occupation, particularly the various statutory schemes for secure tenants, assured tenants, assured shorthold tenants, rent act protected tenants, and also tenants/ licencees without security, mortgagors and trespassers.
2. Advise a client a client in relation to the rights attached to the above classes of occupation and the grounds for possession under the Housing Act 1985, Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act 1996 and the Rent Act 1977.
3. Advise a client on the impact of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
4. Understand the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 in relation to housing matters.

Element 3: Housing Possession Procedure

Students should be able to conduct and defend housing possession cases, on behalf of both the landlord and the tenant, which involve the classes of occupation referred to under Element 2 and be able to:

1. Advise on the pre-action protocols in housing possession cases.
2. Bring or defend housing possession proceedings including drafting appropriate supporting paperwork such as letters,   legal forms, notices and court documents.
3. Advise on the importance of negotiation and alternative means of resolving disputes in housing matters.
4. Take into account the various practical considerations surrounding housing disputes, including the need to deal with a range of personnel, such as Housing Officers, Housing Benefit Officers, Environmental Health Officers, the police, social workers and voluntary advisors.

Element 4: Staying and Suspending the Warrant of Possession

Students should be able to:

1. Advise a client on the grounds for staying/ suspending the warrant of possession, including setting aside the possession order and postponing the date of possession
2. Follow the appropriate procedure to achieve the client’s goal.
3. Draft appropriate court documents.

Element 5: Claims and Counterclaims against Landlords

Students should be able to:

1. Identify and advise in cases where the landlord is in breach of various provisions, in particular in cases of harassment, unlawful eviction and disrepair.
2. Be able to carry out the appropriate procedure to bring and/or defend claims and counterclaims, including applications for injunctions where appropriate.
3. Draft appropriate court documents.
4. Liaise with a range of personnel, including the Tenancy Relations Officer and the Environmental Health Officer at the local authority.

Element 6: Homelessness

Students should be able to:

1. Advise a lay or local authority client on the duties owed by local authorities under the homelessness provisions contained in the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002.
2. Advise on the procedure for review and appeal of the local authority’s decision.

Assessment strategy

The assessment is an open book exam with advance disclosure of documents and is of a transactional nature. This form of assessment is designed to replicate practice and enable students to demonstrate the application of legal principles in a realistic, practical context.

Students are given a formative assessment and receive examiners’ guidance.


Basic Text
Housing Law and Practice Manual, University of Law Publishing

Online Materials
Supporting WebLearn materials and student study materials