The long and sorry story of X & Y v Hounslow appears to have reached an end. As you will recall, this was the case that resulted from the horrendous abuse of two highly vulnerable Hounslow tenants in their home by youths. Hounslow had been aware of the danger to X & Y in the period leading up to the abuse but had failed to make any provision to transfer them to alternative, safer, accommodation. At first instance, the High Court found for X & Y on a claim based on negligence (our report), then … Read the full post
Thanks to Chief and with particular thanks to the UK Human Rights blog, we now know that the claimants in X&Y v Hounslow have gone to the European Court of Human Rights.
As you will recall, this was the desperately sad case which, at first instance, looked to establish a duty of care for local authorities to their tenants in certain circumstances. It was overturned at the Court of Appeal (our report) and then permission was refused to go to the House of Lords.
The ECtHR statement of facts and questions to the parties is here. It appears that the claimants are arguing breach of Art … Read the full post
This was the Court of Appeal hearing of an appeal by Rochdale MBC (the anor in this case) against the judgment of HHJ Grenfell in the Technology and Construction Court. The issue was the finding that Rochdale had a measure duty of care to the Claimants and had been in breach of that duty.
The facts and history of the case are not straightforward, but the relevant facts are that Rochdale owned an area of land, which were playing fields. It sold part of the land to Barrett for development as a housing estate and retained the … Read the full post
When news of X first reached the NL team, the near unanimous response was one of pleasure at the result. Once we obtained a transcript and saw the reasoning of the trial judge, it became clear not only that an appeal would be pursued but that it would be successful. Those feelings were only strengthened by the decision of the House of Lords in Glasgow CC v Mitchell. And we’re been proved right.
The facts of X are truly awful. X and Y are, on any view, vulnerable adults. They both have learning difficulties and have low IQs. In these proceedings, … Read the full post
The House of Lords will be giving judgment in Glasgow CC v Mitchell on Wednesday 18 Feb 09 (link is to a .pdf). This is a case that we’ve missed so far but, in essence, is about the scope of the duty of care (if any) owed by a landlord to their tenants in respect of liability for the anti-social acts of another tenant. In outline, it is said that Mr Mitchell complained to Glasgow CC about his neighbour. He told Glasgow not to let his neighbour know about the complaint. Glasgow then interviewed the neighbour and told him about the complaint, naming Mr Mitchell. The neighbour then killed Mr … Read the full post
Specifically, the negligent failure found was that housing did not invoke emergency transfer processes, despite a) social services involvement with the family and b) complaints and warnings from neighbours about the youths’ presence and activities in the claimant’s home. It arose from a found lack of communication between social services and housing and lack of appreciation of the seriousness of the situation and failure to give priority in both departments, despite the evidence.
A case is reported in the Guardian which apparently extends local authorities’ duty to protect tenants from third parties to include vulnerable adults, not only children.
A couple, both with learning difficulties, were terrorised in their flat by a group of youths over two days, during which they were assaulted and abused. Hounslow Council had failed to rehouse the couple, although the threat of attack ‘was foreseeable’.
At the High Court, Hounslow argued there was no duty of care, but Mr Justice Maddison held otherwise. The failure to rehouse was negligent. Damages of £100,000 were awarded. Hounslow were given permission to appeal.