Over the decades, instability has grown in the housing market. The golden era of the council house for life will increasingly be consigned to the history books along with the Rent Act protected tenancies in the private sector. With Assured Shorthold tenancies the default in the private sector, instability has been a key part of the private rented sector for decades but social housing, save for some tweaks from time to time, stayed largely unchanged.

But the Localism Act and, more recently, the Housing and Planning Act have brought in major changes. Housing waiting lists are the preserve of the most vulnerable and local authorities and housing associations have been giving out flexible tenancies with fixed end dates, where tenants' eligibility will be checked before renewal.

Changes to possession brings with it challenges for solicitors, particularly those who act on the duty scheme; the courts, who will need to identify quickly whether the correct grounds are made out; and for landlords, who will need to manage their stock differently and comply with the new timelines that flexible tenancies will bring. With social housing increasingly kept for the most vulnerable, these parts will have to be navigated sometimes by those without capacity to litigate and this presents more challenges. These issues will be discussed by our expert panel at the conference with an opportunity for delegates to raise questions. The panel will be chaired by Martin Westgate QC.

This year's conference is also, inevitably, taking place in the shadow of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Many of our members have been at the forefront of efforts to help and advise former residents of Grenfell Tower and the surrounding estate, as well as tenants in other high rise blocks and estates who have been decanted after post Grenfell safety checks have revealed longstanding and serious safety risks at their homes. The fire has laid bare and magnified many of the issues that housing lawyers have been dealing with for decades, including gaps in tenant protections and the political and financial decisions which have an adverse impact on the lives of social housing tenants throughout Britain. We will be reflecting on these issues in a special session about the Grenfell Tower fire and the challenges and opportunities that we face in its aftermath.

There will also be a selection of informative seminars, including tips for the duty advisor in possession claims, the Homelessness Reduction Act and disrepair issues in more depth.

Delegates will have the opportunity to browse the stands of a number of fellow organisations to meet colleagues, discuss casework and pick up those all important giveaways. Our usual 'walk about' lunch will enable delegates to catch up with colleagues. Conference will include a concluding keynote speech from HHJ Jan Luba QC; your perfect precursor to the Christmas season, which opens with the HLPA Christmas social which will follow on after the conclusion of conference.

It will be another not to be missed event, so please note the change of venue for this year.

This year's conference will take place at Rooms on Regent's Park, located within the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists at 27 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RG (www.rorp.co.uk). The venue is situated on the Outer Circle surrounding Regent's Park, a few minutes' walk from Baker Street tube station.

Who should attend
The conference is aimed at all those involved in practising housing law, whether acting for tenants and occupiers of housing or local authorities and social or private landlords. It is relevant to solicitors, barristers, paralegals and advisers in the voluntary, public and private sectors, together with academics and policy workers in the housing and social welfare fields.

The conference is accredited by the Bar Council and the Law Society.




Conference administration

Professional Briefings
1 St Mary's Courtyard
Church Street
SG12 9EF

Tel: 01920 487672