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Accommodation pending review – getting it wrong at s.189B stage


R (on the application of Laryea) v London Borough of Ealing (2019) QBD (Admin) 29/08/2019 (Not on Bailli, note of extempore judgment on Lawtel)

Mr L was homeless and suffered from epilepsy and PTSD. He had applied to Ealing as homeless.

He was placed in temporary accommodation and Ealing accepted he was in priority need, but then found that he was intentionally homeless. Ealing wrote discharging its duty under s.189B Housing Act 1996, such that it no longer had a duty to help to secure accommodation.

Mr L sought a s.202 review of this decision and asked for the exercise of the council’s discretion to accommodate him pending review. Ealing refused this on the basis that Mr L had not taken the reasonable steps agreed in his personalised housing plan.

Mr L sought judicial review of this decision. He argued that Ealing had failed to take into account his personal circumstances and the consequences to him of not exercising the discretion. In particular, Ealing had ignored the medical evidence that his epilepsy became worse when homeless.


While Mr L and not taken full advantage of the opportunities set out in his personalised housing plan, that had to be considered against his medical situation, including physical and mental disabilities.

Ealing’s letter had errors and did not identify the likely consequences of a decision, or consider whether those consequences should bear on the decision. R v Camden LBC (1997) 5 WLUK 486.

The medical evidence was that Mr L’s epilepsy was worse when he was homeless, and Ealing’s letter did not engage with that, or with Mr L’s personal circumstances and the consequences to him of being homeless.

Relief granted.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


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