Recently, Donna has spoken at a number of external conferences including presenting a seminar on pets and tenancy breach for Resolve ASB and on the implementation of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 for the Social Housing Law Association and the Tower Hamlets ASB Forum as well as in house for a number of clients. She has recently hosted Breakfast Briefings at Devonshires Solicitors on topical issues including how to combat claims under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Safeguarding and the introduction of the Care Act 2014.
Areas of Expertise
Donna heads up a team advising on all aspects of housing management law and practice, acting for Local Authorities, Registered Providers and private landlords in complex litigation, including possession proceedings; actions to restrain Anti-Social Behaviour; injunctions and disrepair actions. She also advises social landlords on matters of housing policy and procedure. She has particular specialism in matters relating to mental health, capacity and safeguarding.
Donna is Devonshires Solicitors most prolific trainer, regularly presenting seminars to clients and is responsible for co-ordinating the Housing Management training programme.
Donna heads up LandlordPLUS, a service dedicated to social and private landlords offering properties for market rent.
Donna started her legal career in the in house legal team at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, combining part time studies with a mixed litigation practice including housing law. She qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 1994 and, bitten by the housing bug, has specialised in housing law ever since. Between 1994 and 1999 she worked for TV Edwards and HCL Hanne and Co, predominantly advising and representing tenants with particular specialism in representing those with mental health problems and capacity issues, regularly taking instructions from the Official Solicitor.
In the past year Donna has had articles published in “Knock Knock” (a publication of the Tenancy Fraud Forum), has contributed to an article on the new ASB legislation for Inside Housing and provided articles for several client newsletters. She is also a regular contributor to the Housing Management Brief.
Donna is an enthusiastic if unskilled cook who enjoys reading, kick boxing and tap dancing.
Donna is an active member of Resolve ASB (formerly the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group) and has presented a number of seminars for them at both regional and national level.
She is also a member of the National Landlord’s Association.
Donna recently secured an outright possession order for Catalyst in a complex claim involving an allegation of forgery in a purported tenancy transfer.
Donna recently secured an order from the Court of Protection permitting the termination of tenancy where the tenant did not have capacity to do so.
Donna acted for City West Homes on behalf of Westminster City Council in a complex claim for possession involving long standing nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour, capacity and Equality Act issues. She was successful in ensuring alternative accommodation was made available for the Defendant and secured enforcement of the possession in order to bring some relief to the local residents.
Donna represented a Registered Provider in a lengthy and fiercely contested claim for rent arrears with a Counterclaim for specific performance for breach of repair obligations; damages and contested service charges. The matter was heard over 3 days in Central London County Court and the client was delighted when it was awarded a possession order, successfully rebutting most of the Defendant’s counterclaim against them.
Donna's team secured one of the first injunctions under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.