Pat Reddin: update

 Since the beginning of the year, the housing surveyor Pat Reddin has been unavailable for work for health reasons. Andrew Arden QC tells us why, and that he’ll soon be back.

Since the beginning of the year, I have fielded so many enquiries about Pat Reddin that I thought I would abuse LAG’s hospitality – and spare myself a lot more individual responses – by offering a general update.

For those – few – housing practitioners not familiar with his work, Pat has been the ‘go to’ surveyor both for tenants and for social landlords since the early 1970s. Indeed, the founders of housing law at that time were not only Law Centre and legal aid lawyers but others, without whom our work would have been impossible to deliver, who put flesh on the bones of cases involving housing conditions, by whom I mean pre-eminently Pat Reddin and the independent environmental health adviser, David Ormandy (and if it wasn’t them, it must have been Mel Cairns!). It felt like there wasn’t a disrepair claim that didn’t feature one or other of them, though that’s probably memory playing tricks.

Last year, Pat was diagnosed with a brain tumour, a dreadful shock to him and to his family – and to those close to him who hadn’t realised he had a brain at all (a joke he does not tire of making!). Early this year, Pat underwent surgery and he has been out of action since. Given the difficulty finding surveyors to do this sort of work, small wonder the enquiries have been coming thick and fast!

The news is good. The operation was successful. Pat’s recuperation and rehabilitation have exceeded all medical predictions (now that wasn’t a surprise!). He has experienced some minor loss of functionality (which will continue to diminish) but nothing that impedes his imminent resumption of work. He expects to be back at the end of August.

In the meantime, he and his wife, Vincina Mellor, the independent housing consultant, want everyone to know that the good wishes they have been sent, and the support expressed in various ways, has been the most enormous morale boost. They thank you.

As his friend, so do I!

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