News bits

A post on a significant gas certificate/s.21 case will follow shortly, but for now a couple of news items… Regulations have been made bringing the Homelessness Reduction Act into force on 3 April 2018. The Statutory Code of Guidance has not yet been released, so everyone will have to hope that there aren’t many changes […]

From the county courts

With grateful thanks as ever to the Legal Action Magazine Housing: Recent Developments section for information on these (and they are not noted till those reports are publicly accessible), a couple of county court cases of interest. Assured Property Service Ltd v Ooo, County Court at Edmonton, 30 June 2017 Ms Ooo was an assured […]

A failure to engage – ‘Medical advisors’ on homeless vulnerability

Cherry v LB Tower Hamlets. County Court at Central London, 11th January 2018 This is a s.204 appeal of a ‘not vulnerable’ review decision by LB Tower Hamlets. It is of particular interest because of the consideration of the role and place of the ‘medical advisors’ used by LBTH – Now Medical, and the strong criticism […]

The good, the bad and the ugly.

In a week of depressing, worrying news on homelessness – of which more below – there were at least two bits of good news. First, in Gureckis, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 3298 (Admin) the Government’s policy of deporting rough sleeping EU citizens was found to […]

“I made him aware he is very lucky”

A Local Government Ombudsman Report on the actions of Maidstone Borough Council towards a homeless household makes for depressing reading. Both for the actions (and inactions) of the Council and for what it lays bare about the attitude to the homeless. Mr and Mrs A and their young children were owed the full housing duty […]

How long has this been going on? – settled accommodation

Doka v London Borough of Southwark [2017] EWCA Civ 1532 The issue in this second appeal was what amounts to ‘settled accommodation’, sufficient to break the chain of causation of intentional homelessness. Mr D was homeless and in priority need. However, Southwark found he was intentionally homeless on the basis that his last settled accommodation […]

Significantly more vulnerable – how much, or what kind?

Panayiotou v London Borough of Waltham Forest (2017) EWCA Civ 1624 This is an important court of appeal decision on the meaning of ‘significantly’ in Lord Neuberger’s definition of vulnerability under s.189(1)(c) Housing Act 1996 in Hotak v Southwark LBC (2015) UKSC 30, [2016] AC 811 (our report). Lord Neuberger, at 53, said: “Accordingly, I consider that the approach […]

Guidance on reducing homelessness

The DCLG has published the draft statutory code of guidance to accompany the Homelessness Reduction Act (in force from April 2018). The draft code is now subject to 8 weeks consultation. The DCLG has also announced the fairly small additional sums that councils will, initially, receive to implement the Act. This Guidance will no doubt […]

Vulnerability, medical evidence & Now Medical

Thomas v Lambeth LBC, County Court at Central London, 16 March 2017 This is a s.204 appeal in the County Court of a vulnerability decision by Lambeth. A copy of the transcript of judgment is here. Of particular interest is that the judgment concerns and indeed turns on Now Medical reports on the homeless applicant […]

Dwelling in temporary accommodation

Dacorum Borough Council v Bucknall (aka Acheampong) [2017] EWHC 2094 (QB) When is temporary accommodation provided under the Housing Act 1996 Section 193(2) duty occupied ‘as a dwelling’ fo the purposes of Section 3 Protection from Eviction Act 1977? We know from R (N) v Lewisham London Borough Council [2015] AC 1259 (our report) that section […]