Trouble out west

In O’Brien v Bristol CC [2014] EWHC 2423 (Admin) [heard at the RCJ instead of in the Bristol admin court?  Not on Bailii yet but we have seen a transcript], a range of issues arose out of the council’s decision to seek and obtain a possession order of an unauthorised encampment below the M5 at Avonmouth.  The real aim of this judicial review, though, was not the possession order, but the council’s decision not to allow the O’Brien’s and their four caravans to return to the temporary transit site, which had available pitches.  The O’Briens had stayed at that temporary site for the allowable period (13 weeks) and had been … Read the full post

Temporary accommodation at a peppercorn rent

This is a fascinating judicial review case. While the specific facts might only apply to a very few people, there is an interesting principle in it which may have wider application.

R (OAO Yekini) v LB Southwark [2014] EWHC 2096 (Admin)  [Not on Bailii yet. I've got a transcript]

Just to set the scene, Ms Yekini was a Zambrano carer (meaning no immigration leave to remain of her own, but as the carer for a British citizen child , see here).  Ms Y had applied to Southwark as homeless in February 2012 and Southwark had accepted that she was eligible and owed the housing duty. She was placed in … Read the full post

Bad reviews and a future of bunk beds

Temur v London Borough of Hackney [2014] EWCA Civ 877

This second appeal to the Court of Appeal from a s.204 Housing Act 1996 appeal raises three important questions. Unfortunately, the answers to them are rather brief and rather negative. The issues are i) whether a s.202 review of a s.184 decision can come to a finding which is substantially worse for the applicant that the original s.184 decision; ii) whether a review officer should conduct a hazard assessment (Housing Act 2004) when considering whether it is reasonable for an applicant to occupy their accommodation; and iii) how far should a review officer look to the future when considering whether … Read the full post

Pregnancy and Worker Status

Saint Prix v SSWP Case C-507/12 must be one of the more obvious decisions of the CJEU in the sense that the outcome should have been apparent (although the rationale less so), but no less important because of that.  The question on reference from the UKSC was, in essence, whether somebody who becomes pregnant loses their worker status for the purposes of Article 7(1), Directive 2004/38/EC.  As one of my colleagues put it, the case is of “mild interest”.

Bearing in mind the significance of losing worker status, in terms of eligibility for homelessness assistance/allocation and the range of benefits, this is a question of some importance.  The outcome, which … Read the full post

What’s the Din?*

In Haile v Waltham Forest LBC [2014] EWCA Civ 792, the question for the Court of Appeal was the relevant date for determining whether an applicant is intentionally homeless.  On the facts, this was a significant question: Ms Haile had left her room in a hostel on 25th October 2011 to go to stay with a friend.  Only one person was entitled to occupy the room.  She said that she left the room because of unpleasant smells in the hostel.  At the time she left the room, she was pregnant and she gave birth to the beautifully named Delina on 15th February 2012.  Now, clearly, as of Delina’s birth, the … Read the full post

Not a Good Idea

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One to be filed under ‘Do not do this, ever’.

R (Grimshaw) v LB Southwark [2013] EWHC 4504 (Admin) [Not on Bailii, I've seen a transcript]

This started out well enough, as a judicial review claim of Southwark’s decision to terminate temporary accommodation. Soon after issue and interim relief had been granted, Southwark entered into discussions and, on 10 December 2012, an offer of accommodation was made to and accepted by the Claimant. Thus, one would have thought, the claim was effectively settled and its purpose fulfilled.

Nobody told the Admin Court. On 19 December 2012, the claim was given permission on the papers, with no update on the … Read the full post

Not adding up

As the number of people becoming homeless from private sector accommodation continues to rise, and as private sector accommodation is used for discharge of duty and temporary accommodation by Councils, the issue of affordability becomes more and more important. Both intentional homeless decisions and suitability decisions can rest on affordability.

The Court of Appeal considered affordability and the proper approach to it in Farah v London Borough of Hillingdon [2014] EWCA Civ 359.

This was the second appeal of Hillingdon’s s.202 review decision upholding the first decision that Ms Farah was intentionally homeless from her private sector tenancy because she had failed to pay the full rent.

Ms F applied … Read the full post

Let’s all talk about Wales

We don’t often publicise events here, but given that this one involves at least couple of the NL team, we are damn well going to.

Housing Law:
The Welsh Devolution Effect
1st May 2014

Cardiff Law School, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX

 

A one day conference run by the University of Bristol Law School, Anthony Gold, and Arden Chambers examining the two major housing Bills in Wales, the Housing (Wales) Bill and the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill.

The Welsh Government is carrying through a substantial legislative programme reforming all aspects of housing and tenancy rights and responsibilities. These significant changes will ultimately lead to an effective separation of Wales … Read the full post