April 10th, 2012 by Christopher Knight


Haringey LBC operated an automatic bidding system whereby tenants it had housed in temporary accommodation under s.193 of the Housing Act 1996 were allocated points by relation to specified thresholds. The Council then notified the tenants of available accommodation, and then automatically offered the new accommodation to the tenant with the highest number of points in the relevant category. This offer counted as fulfilling the duty in s.193(7), and following that point the Council no longer paid for the temporary accommodation. 

Underhill J held in R (Rouse Tout a Tout) v Haringey LBC [2012] EWHC 873 (Admin) that the autobidding system was lawful. The Council had given a two month notice period within which the tenant could bid himself for properties, before the auto-bid system was applied. This was a reasonable length of time, taking account of the number of properties which became available during that period. The tenant also got a home visit before the auto-bid system applied to him, and this enabled any individual difficulties to be considered and dealt with. 

Localism Act 2011

Note the Localism Act 2011 (Commencement No.4 and Transitional, Transitory and Saving Provisions) Order 2012, SI 2012/628. This brings into force the provisions of the Localism Act 2011 relating to flexible tenancies, new grounds for possession and assured tenancies from 1 April 2012, and the changes to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme from 6 April 2012. The Tenant Services Authority is abolished and its functions transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency.

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