Priority need

Hotak v Southwark LBC [2013] EWCA Civ 515 concerned a short point on whether an authority was entitled to have regard to the assistance that a homeless person would receive, in the event he became homeless, when determining whether he was vulnerable or not. The facts of the case were this: Mr Hotak had come […]

The Shape of Things to Come.

In which two [now confirmed as four] Housing Associations behave very badly in anticipation of the benefit cap. Haringey is one of the pilot boroughs for the benefit cap, limiting the total amount of benefit, including housing benefit/LHA (and astonishingly Child Benefit) that any household can receive to £500 per week. The prospective effects of […]

Not So Great Expectations

We are all aware that there is no general entitlement to permanent accommodation via the Part VII route (R v Brent ex p Awua). So it is interesting to find a s.204 appeal where it was argued that the Appellant had a legitimate expectation of permanent accommodation in preference to anything else that the Council […]

Shelter briefing on private sector discharge

Shelter have produced a briefing on the use of Localism Act powers to place homeless applicants in private sector accommodation, aimed at Local Authorities and Councillors, Changes in the Localism Act 2011 give local authorities more scope to place homeless households in private rented homes, increasing your options for placements. These powers also provide an […]

When fraud is not the operating cause of a person’s homelessness

Chishimba v RBKC, Court of Appeal, March 25, 2013, [from a lawtel note – not on bailii yet] concerned an appeal brought by a homeless applicant. The issue was whether Ms Chishimba had become intentionally homeless. Ms Chishimba approached the authority for assistance under Part 7. When asked about her immigraiton status she supplied the authority […]

In the teeth of it …

In El-Dinnaoui v Westminster CC [2013] EWCA Civ 231, the Court of Appeal found that the offer of a flat on the 16th floor of a block to a household which contained a person with fear of heights was perverse.  The offer of accommodation was “in the teeth” of the medical evidence.  How could the […]

Residing together, apart.

Sharif v The London Borough of Camden [2013] UKSC 10 Does accommodation available for occupation by a person and those reasonably expected to reside with them have to be in one unit of accommodation? In this case, the Court of Appeal had said yes (our report here), rejecting Camden’s argument that two separate flats on […]

When a deficiency makes no difference.

Ibrahim v London Borough of Wandsworth [2013] EWCA Civ 20 The question for the Court of Appeal in this second appeal from a homeless appeal, was “How should the courts deal with a plainly deficient homelessness decision when the deficiency has had no adverse consequences for the applicant?”. The issue being the effect of the […]

Wrong priorities

Every now and again, there is a Local Government Ombudsman report that seems to go beyond individual instances of maladministration and instead capture something of the zeitgeist. The LGO decision summarised here (and see here for the full decision [pdf]) may well be one of the latter (certainly the Guardian thinks so), as arguably what it […]

Consultations, bills and mysterious advisors

A bit of a miscellany, with Government skullduggery and posturing galore. First up, Grayling’s MoJ has announced a consultation into revising the rules on Judicial Review. Broadly, he is against it. Responses are due by 24 January 2013, so a busy holiday for the rest of us. Given the dubious inferences drawn from inadequate statistics, […]