Early in her career, Stephanie was periodically seconded to a large local authority to advise and represent on all aspects of anti-social behaviour. She regularly acts for local authorities in relation to obtaining and enforcing injunctions preventing nuisance and annoyance and possession proceedings. She has expertise in the new legislative scheme under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and regularly provides training on the powers available to local authorities and the police.
Stephanie has experience in all aspects of housing, including leasehold disputes (construction of covenant, service charge recovery, appointment of managers, enfranchisement, right to manage, lease extensions), possession proceedings, the right to buy, shared ownership, housing fraud, disrepair/dilapidations and unlawful eviction/harassment. She has written extensively about, and provided training in, these areas.
Stephanie also regularly appears in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in respect of complex residential leasehold matters including challenges to Borough-wide qualifying long-term agreements and high-value contracts for works to housing stock.
Stephanie routinely represents and advises both local authorities and applicants in homelessness matters including s.204 appeals and applications to the High Court for judicial review of refusals to accept applications and provide accommodation under ss.188(1) and (3).
Stephanie has frequently advised on and acted in HMO enforcement matters for local authorities, including policy development, appearing in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court for breach of licence requirements and management regulations and in the Tribunal in relation to appeals against Civil Penalty Notices.
Stephanie also has experience of prosecuting breach of bye-laws (successfully appearing in the Crown Court on appeal) and representing local authorities at coroner’s inquests.
Stephanie accepts instructions directly from organisations, companies and members of the public. She frequently acts in leasehold disputes on such a basis.
Stephanie’s practice regularly involves public law issues. Her appearances in the Court of Appeal in Durdana, Wilson and Haque (see below) concerned the interrelationship between the public-sector equality duty under s.149, Equality Act 2010 (in the context of disability) and local authority housing and homelessness functions. She has acted frequently for both local authorities and tenants in possession proceedings raising equality and human rights defences.
Stephanie also advises and represents local authorities in cases involving the Care Act 2014 and the Children Acts 1989 and 2004 and has experience advising on policy regarding the recovery of care fees.
Stephanie has experience advising and representing in disputes under the Electronic Communications Code (particularly rights of access over land and the installation and/or removal of telecommunications equipment).
She has also advised and represented local authorities and private individuals in cases concerning disputes over freehold and leasehold land (both residential and commercial) as well as adverse possession and encroachment.
She also acts for private individuals in cases concerning inheritance disputes, trusts of the family home, the Party Walls etc. Act 1996 and other boundary disputes.