Areas of Expertise

As Head of the Housing Practice Group Michael pioneered the development of Housing Law within Chambers.  As such he is involved in all aspects of housing law and related fields, including:

  • Possession claims, particularly those involving anti-social behaviour, tolerated trespassers and human rights issues.
  • Injunctions under anti-social behaviour legislation, particularly where part of larger strategic objectives.
  • Disrepair, including claims under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
  • Regulatory work including Environmental Protection Act 1990, unlawful eviction, planning enforcement and health and safety proceedings.
  • Regularly instructed by and on behalf of local authorities, housing associations and specialist tenant advisers.

Michael also lectures on most aspects of Housing Law and is a Pupil Supervisor.

Recommendations

Chambers & Partners 2018: “Hard-working, very clever and a nice guy.” “He is the oracle of social housing. He is very experienced and has great knowledge. If he doesn’t know it, it isn’t worth knowing.”

Legal 500 2017:  “A walking encyclopaedia in social housing management.”

Chambers & Partners 2017:  Michael Singleton: Long-standing, esteemed member of this set who has recently demonstrated great insight and skill in matters pertaining to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. He is also distinguished by his regulatory work in areas such as unlawful eviction, planning enforcement and the Environmental Protection Act.

Strengths: “Excellent with difficult defendants, thorough on complex legal issues and dogged in court.” “An absolute specialist in his area, he knows the whole range of issues in housing law and his knowledge of case law is second to none.”

Recent work: Successfully defended Shepherds Bush Housing Association against a prosecution by a tenant alleging Statutory Nuisance based on damp and vermin infestation.

Chambers & Partners (2016): “He has a phenomenal amount of knowledge of the law and the housing sector.” “His advocacy skills are excellent.”

Legal 500 (2015): “Excellent in trials concerning anti-social behaviour and disrepair cases”

Chambers & Partners (2015): “He is a good analytical lawyer and very careful. He does his research thoroughly.” “He is robust but always fair and appropriate. Nothing gets past him. He has a great eye for detail.”

Legal 500 (2014): “He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of housing law.”

Notable cases

Birmingham CC v Pardoe [2016] EWHC 3119 (QB)

Birmingham CC v Ashton [2012] EWCA Civ 1557

Corby BC v Scott [2012] EWCA Civ 276

Birmingham CC v Frisby [2011] UKSC 8

Knowsley HT v White [2008] UKHL 70

Porter v Shepherds Bush HA [2008] EWCA Civ 196

O’Neill v Sandwell MBC [2007] EWHC 3004 (QB)

Knowsley HT v Revell [2003] EWCA Civ 496

Jones v Walsall MBC [2002] EWHC 1232 (Admin)

Hall v Kingston upon Hull CC [1999] 2 All ER 609

R v Dudley MC ex p Hollis [1997] 1043 EWHC (Admin)


Michael has considerable experience in claims arising from occupation or use of property, including:

  • Acts for local authorities, housing associations, defendant insurers and claimants.
  • Particular experience in respiratory illnesses arising from environmental factors.
  • Regularly advises on claims for asthma alleged to be caused or exacerbated by poor housing conditions.

Notable cases

Wells v Mutchmeats ltd & anor [2006] EWCA Civ 963


Michael is experienced in regulatory claims, including:

  • Offences involving land and the control of property.
  • Considerable experience in claims for statutory nuisance.
  • Has acted for local authorities co-ordinating responses to attempts to overwhelm by issuing multiple statutory nuisance claims on the same day.
  • Unlawful eviction, planning enforcement and health and safety proceedings.
  • Acted for race track operators in a noise abatement appeal.
  • Recently prosecuted unlawful eviction trial in the Crown Court.
  • Defended a Housing Association in a prosecution brought under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 following a serious fire at one of its properties.

Recommendations

Chambers & Partners (2016): “He is noted for his skilled handling of regulatory matters that intersect with the Environmental Protection Act.”

Notable cases

Tewkesbury BC v. Dennis Deacon [2003] EWHC 2544 (Admin) 

Emma Jones v Walsall MBC [2002] EWHC 1232 (Admin)

Hall v Kingston upon Hull CC : Ireland v Birmingham CC [1999] 2 All ER 609.

R v Dudley Magistrates’ Court, ex parte Hollis: Hollis v Dudley MBC: Probert v Dudley MBC [1999] 1 WLR 642

Amos v Worcester CC [1996] EWHC (Admin) 32


Qualifications

LLB (Hons) University of Leicester 1985

Memberships

Social Housing Law Association (Founder member)

Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health

Birmingham Medico Legal Society

Publications

Guidance Notes to The Community Harm Statement (Chartered Institute of Housing).

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