Back to Basics: The Government's Homelessness Consultation Paper

Date01 July 1994
Published date01 July 1994
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1994.tb01962.x
The
Modem Law Review
[Vol.
57
effect is simply to eliminate the liability of an option-giver where the option has
become void for perpetuity against his successors.52
E
Summary
It has been argued that the rule against remoteness of vesting should be retained
and reformed.53
The reformed rule should be made applicable to dispositions without any
requirement of first applying the common law rule.
The principle of wait-and-see should be retained, but there is much to be
said for following the
US
example of abandoning perpetuity periods based
on lives-in-being
in
favour
of
a fixed-period rule.
Any reforms to the operation of the rule should have retrospective effect
subject to a saving for vested interests acquired as a result of the operation
of the unreformed rule.
No
general cy-prks jurisdiction should be created
in
order to save
dispositions which fail to vest in time.
The rule against perpetuities should cease to apply to certain types of
disposition outside the policy of the rule, most importantly all pension
schemes. But the rule should continue to apply to charitable trusts. And,
while some specific reform of the application of the rule in certain
commercial contexts is required, there should be no general exemption of
commercial transactions from its operation.
Back to Basics: The Government's Homelessness
Consultation Paper
David Cowan" and Julia Fionda""
Introduction
On
23
January
1994,
the Government published their Consultation Paper
on
the
homelessness legislation
.-
Housing Act
1985,
Part I11
-
and access to local
authority and housing association tenancies. At present,
a
reasonable preference
on the housing waiting list is given to those homeless people who have a priority
need and are not intentionally homeless.2 Broadly, a person is homeless
if
they
52
53
M
&
L, 1st supplement
(1964)
p
17.
The report also addresses the question
of
excessive accumulations. As with the rule against
perpetuities, the Commission's view
is
that the rule against excessive accumulations should be either
abolished or reformed
(6.34).
On
the question 'abolish or reform?' broadly similar policy
considerations are likely
to
produce the same answer as for the perpetuity rule
(6.17-6.21).
If the rule
is
to be retained and reformed, it should surely
be
made clear that wait-and-see applies
(6.31).
And,
as
the Commission explains
(6.23-6.26),
there seems
to
be wide support for lengthening the time for
which accumulation is permissible
-
perhaps by providing for a single period of a prescribed number
of
years; or perhaps by reference to the attainment by young beneficiaries of the age of twenty-five
years rather than as, at present, majority.
*Lecturer in Law, University of Sussex.
**Lecturer in Law, King's College London.
1
2
Access
to
Local
Aufhority
and
Housing Association Tenancies
(hereafter 'Consultation Paper')
(London: HMSO,
1994).
Housing Act
1985
(hereafter the
'1985
Act'),
s
22.
610
0
The
Modem
Law
Review
Limited
1994

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