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Who wants to know?

By J

A very odd case was noted on Lawtel this morning – AB v Leicester City Council, Court of Appeal, 19.2.09. ([2009] EWCA Civ 192)

AB had applied under Part 7, Housing Act 1996, to Leicester City Council (“Leicester”) for assistance as a homeless person. It appears that, at both the s.184 and s.202 stages, the City Council had rejected the application on the basis that AB refused to provide any personal information so as to enable Leicester to properly assess her application. AB had also refused to allow Leicester to make any enquiries from relevant third parties in order that they might gleam information about her history. I presume that there was also a s.204 hearing at some stage, because I don’t see how else this case could have got to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal adjourned the appeal. It was concerned that AB was acting in a manner which was contrary to her best interests, particularly in refusing to give any information about herself to Leicester. It may be necessary to appoint a litigation friend to assist AB in these proceedings. However, the Court questioned the value of the appeal proceeding. If AB lost, she could always make a further application under Part 7, whereas, if she won, it did not mean that she would necessarily be provided with permanent housing.

Does anyone have any more information about this – frankly bizzare – case?

J is a barrister. He considers housing law to be the single greatest kind of law known to humankind and finds it very odd that so few people share this view.


  1. Jon B

    Thanks for bringing this case to our attention Jon. I would also be really interested to know of any information relating to it. I look forward to the final outcome!

  2. the reaper

    as no doubt do the taxpayers of leicester.Court of Appeal can’t be cheap?

  3. Chris W

    Sorry, very late to the party here but I’m re-reading a few old posts.

    How could a s.184 decision or a s.204 decision possibly state that no application would be taken. Neither of these decisions can do this, they can only, at best, declare that the person isn’t homeless or threatened with homelessness (in the law of this time). Given this, the likely “decision” was just a letter stating that they did not have reason to believe that the applicant might be homeless and that no application had been taken. This would only be challengeable on JR, hence the CA.

    • Giles Peaker

      The whole thing is bizarre, but we just don’t have enough information (ironically), to know what went on.


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