August 14th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

In R ( Ahamed ) v Haringey LBC ( 2023 ) EWCA Civ 975 the Court of Appeal considers the relationship between Sections 189B and 193 of the Housing Act 1996. At paragraph 46 Newey LJ says that he would not exclude the “ possibility “ of a person being homeless, and so owed the main housing duty, despite having suitable accommodation available for occupation and a reasonable prospect of retaining it for at least 6 months, but that this is not a likely scenario. TYPICALLY the matters rendering the accommodation potentially suitable for at least 6 months will also “ tend to make “ it such as it would be reasonable to continue to occupy.



July 28th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

Hodge v Folkestone & Hythe District Council (2023) EWCA Civ 896 reaffirms that (1) whether the place which an applicant happens, or happened, to occupy is, or was, “accommodation” for the purposes of Section 191(1) of the Housing Act 1996 is a question of fact for the local housing authority, subject to Wednesbury, and (2) whether it is reasonable for an applicant to continue to occupy temporary accommodation is also a question of fact for the authority, subject to Wednesbury.



June 1st, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

KNAPP v BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL (2023) UKUT 118 (LC) is concerned with amongst other matters the scope of a banning order under Sections 14-17 inclusive of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. Counsel for the landlord submitted that the FTT had no power to impose a ban from continuing to manage properties which the landlord had previously let and where the tenancies or licences were continuing. This was rejected : see paras 62 & 63 of the UT Judgment. The power is not confined to the granting of a new tenancy. It extends to banning a person from being a landlord under an existing tenancy. “ Letting housing “ is capable of including a prohibition on being a landlord in respect of any tenancy, whether current at the time of the ban or not. It was not only new tenants who should be protected.



May 4th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

Section 208(1) of Housing Act 1996 requires a local housing authority to take reasonably practicable steps to accommodate a homeless applicant in-borough. The authority should have and should follow a policy. MOGE v EALING LBC (2023) EWCA Civ 464 concerned the adequacy of the Council’s searches for accommodation in-borough. The Court of Appeal says that authorities are not required to gve an exact account of every search and enquiry that had been made to find accommodation as close as possible. It should explain in general terms what had been done to apply its relevant published policy.



April 4th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

Part 1 ( Sections 1-4 inclusive ) of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 ( the 1977 Act ) is concerned with Unlawful Eviction and Harassment. Section 1 (2) provides that if any person unlawfully deprives the residential occupier of any premises of his occupation of the premises or any part thereof or attempts to do so  he shall be guilty of an offence unless he proves that he believed and had reasonable cause to believe that the residential occupier had ceased to reside in the premises. In WU v CHELMSFORD CITY COUNCIL ( 2023 ) EWCA Crim 338 the Court of Appeal says that the subsection ( 2 ) offence is not equivalent in every respect to the concept of eviction under landlord and tenant law. It is concerned with deprivation of occupation rather than of possession. It is rights focussed. The actus reus of unlawful eviction under subsection (2) requires (i) that the resident occupier has been subject to actual physical deprivation of occupation and (ii) that the Defendant’s conduct had put, or kept, the occupier out of physical occupation. Read more »



March 23rd, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

The appeal in BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL v BRAVINGTON (2023) EWCA Civ 308 raises issues as to whether Section 233 of the Local Government Act 1972 (“the 1972 Act”) applies in relation to the service by a local authority of a notice under Section 83ZA of the Housing Act 1985 (“the 1985 Act”) and if it does, whether the requirements of Section 233 were met on the facts of this case and the consequences of that.

In general, a secure tenancy cannot be brought to an end by the landlord except by obtaining an order for possession and executing it. To obtain an order for possession, a landlord normally has to serve a notice pursuant to Section 83 of the 1985 Act and establish one or more of the grounds set out in Schedule 2 to the Act. However, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced an alternative basis for recovering possession through the insertion of what is now Section 84A of the 1985 Act. Section 84A provides (to quote its heading) an “Absolute ground for possession for anti-social behaviour”. By Section 84A(1), the Court is required to make a possession order where it is satisfied that one of the conditions specified in subsections (3)-(7) is met. Read more »


Care Act or Housing Act?

January 10th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

R (Campbell)v EALING LBC (2023) EWHC 10 (Admin) concerns the withdrawal of funding of temporary accommodation and the  interaction and interplay between a unitary  local authority’s obligations under the Care Act 2014 and its obligations under Parts VI and VII of the Housing Act 1996. The lawfulness of the Council’s funding of the Claimant’s accommodation was at the centre of the case. Section 23 of the Care Act prohibited the meeting of a housing need that is required to be met under the Housing Act. Although the need for accommodation is not a need for care and support under the Care Act, local authorities have a power to provide accommodation under the Care Act in circumstances where accommodation is required to deliver care and support effectively. This power is not however unfettered. It does not extend to scenarios in which Section 23 bites. The Council had obligations under Part VI of the Housing Act under which the Claimant was a qualifying person and duly placed on the Council’s housing register. The Council owed duties to the Claimant under Part VII, but he wanted to pursue a Part VI process.


Indirect discrimination in allocation

January 10th, 2023 by James Goudie KC in Housing

In R(TX) v Adur District Council (2022) EWHC 3340 (Admin) the Court held that the Council’s local connection criterion for priority, albeit expressed neutrally, was  discriminatory, disproportionate, and unlawful. It put women at a disadvantage. Women were significantly more likely to be victims of domestic abuse and as a result have to move to the area of another local housing authority.



October 24th, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Housing

In ROWE v HARINGEY LBC (2022) EWCA Civ 1370 the Council refused an application under Section 184(1) of the Housing Act 1996, on the ground of overcrowding, for housing assistance, by an applicant who lived with her two young children in a house in multiple occupation (HMO). They had exclusive use of one bedroom. They shared with four other adults a communal kitchen and bathroom. The Council considered that she was snot overcrowded according to the room and space standards in Sections 325 and 326 of the Housing Act 1985 and that it was reasonable for her to continue to occupy under Section 175(3) of the 1996 Act.

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Homelessness – Norton v Haringey LBC

October 21st, 2022 by James Goudie KC in Housing

Section 193 of the Housing Act 1996 is the full housing duty owed by local housing authorities to some homeless. Subsection (1) applies where an applicant is (i) homeless, (ii) eligible for assistance, (iii) in priority need, and (iv) not homeless intentionally. Subsection (2) then provides that, absent reference to another authority, the authority shall secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant. The discharge of this duty is subject to a number of technical requirements. Some of these requirements have been considered by the Court of Appeal in NORTON v HARINGEY LBC (2022) EWCA Civ 1340. In that case the question was whether Haringey had discharged the Section 193(2) duty by making a private sector rented offer of accommodation.

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