Wandsworth London Borough Council v Tompkins and another – WLR Daily

Wandsworth London Borough Council v Tompkins and another [2015] EWCA Civ 846; [2015] WLR (D) 357

‘Where a local housing authority provided accommodation under a tenancy pursuant to its duty under Part VII (Homelessness) of the Housing Act 1996, the requirement in paragraph 4 of Schedule 1 to the Housing Act 1985 which had to be satisfied in order for the tenancy to qualify as a secure tenancy (that the housing authority had to give notification that the tenancy “is to be regarded” as a secure tenancy), meant that the notification had to state that the tenancy was regarded as a secure tenancy at the date of grant and not at some unspecified date in the future.’

WLR Daily, 31st August 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Wherever I lay my hat… Residence tests for allocation policies – Nearly Legal

Posted August 11th, 2015 in domestic violence, homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘This is, I think, a very significant case for all Councils who have or are considering setting residence requirements in their allocation policies.’

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Nearly Legal, 9th August 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Criminal court charges ‘trapping’ penniless suspects – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted August 6th, 2015 in courts, criminal justice, Crown Court, fees, homelessness, magistrates, news by sally

‘A charity today called for an urgent review of criminal courts charges after collating cases which it says prove the fees are ‘unrealistic and unfair’.’
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Law Society’s Gazette, 5th August 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Subjective suitability – Nearly Legal

‘At issue in this second appeal from a s.204 appeal was whether it was reasonable for Ms Poshteh to have refused an offer of accommodation. Both parties agreed that the property was objectively suitable. The question then was the second part of the two stage test in Housing Act 1996 section 193(7F):

(7F) The local housing authority shall not –

(a) make a final offer of accommodation under Part 6 for the purposes of subsection (7);

… unless they are satisfied that the accommodation is suitable for the applicant and that it is reasonable for him to accept the offer.”’

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Nearly Legal, 2nd August 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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High Court judge declares part of housing allocation scheme to be unlawful – Local Government Lawyer

Posted June 26th, 2015 in homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘A High Court judge has declared unlawful a London council’s policy of suspending an unintentionally homeless person’s right to bid for social housing for 12 months.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 24th June 2015

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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Westminster again… – Nearly Legal

Posted June 24th, 2015 in homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘In R(Alemi) v Westminster CC [2015] EWHC 1765 (Admin), which has been widely reported already (eg here; and all over my twitter feed), HHJ Blair QC found that Westminster’s allocation scheme was unlawful in disbarring successful homeless applicants (other than a small group) from bidding for social housing in their first 12 months on the list. During that period, Westminster would be seeking to find a suitable private rented sector property.’

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Nearly Legal, 22nd June 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Go away! – Nearly Legal

‘A curious case on the effect of a s.198 Housing Act 1996 referral of a homeless applicant to another Authority.’

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Nearly Legal, 21st June 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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An inconvenient problem – Nearly Legal

Posted June 12th, 2015 in benefits, homelessness, housing, local government, news, rent by sally

‘This is not a usual blog post. I was asked to do an analysis of the proposed £23,000 pa benefit cap, its impact on housing, homelessness and the legal position, with a focus on London, for use elsewhere and for a purpose which shall remain nameless. But I feel this needs wider sharing.’

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Nearly Legal, 10th June 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Johnston v Westminster City Council – WLR Daily

Posted June 5th, 2015 in appeals, homelessness, housing, law reports, local government, statutory duty by tracey

Johnston v Westminster City Council: [2015] EWCA Civ 554; [2015] WLR (D) 238

‘For the purposes of section 175 of the Housing Act 1996, the fact that an applicant for homeless assistance in one local housing authority might be offered accommodation by another authority which might satisfy section 175(3) of the Act did not entitle the decision-maker to find that the applicant was not homeless.’

WLR Daily, 3rd June 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Hotak v Southwark London Borough Council (Equality and Human Rights Commission and others intervening); Kanu v Southwark London Borough Council (Equality and Human Rights Commission and others intervening); Johnson v Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (Equality and Human Rights Commission and others intervening) – WLR Daily

Hotak v Southwark London Borough Council (Equality and Human Rights Commission and others intervening); Kanu v Southwark London Borough Council (Equality and Human Rights Commission and others intervening); Johnson v Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (Equality and Human Rights Commission and others intervening) [2015] UKSC 30; [2015] WLR (D) 224

‘When considering whether a homeless person had priority need for housing as a “vulnerable” person under section 189(1)(c) of the Housing Act 1996 the correct comparator for assessing vulnerability was an ordinary person if made homeless rather than an ordinary actual homeless person and, in making that assessment, account could be taken of third party support, including support from family members.’

WLR Daily, 13th May 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Mayfair squatters granted extension in court battle against landlord – The Guardian

Posted May 27th, 2015 in fire, firearms, homelessness, human rights, news, repossession, squatting by sally

‘About 40 homeless people squatting in an empty building in one of London’s most upmarket areas have won the first round of a legal fight with a landlord.’

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The Guardian, 26th May 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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What’s the Din? The Supremes’ Cut – Nearly Legal

Posted May 22nd, 2015 in homelessness, housing, news, Supreme Court by sally

‘Haile v Waltham Forest LBC [2015] UKSC 34 is the second of the triptych of cases which are before the UKSC (We have yet to have the outcome of the third one, the eligibility appeals in Samin/Mirga). The first, Johnson/Hotak/Kanu, as NL wrote, is particularly significant because of its reworking of the vulnerability test, overwriting encrusted CA decisions. Haile, on the other hand, attempts to steer a line between accepting the jurisprudence on intentionality but distinguishing it on a narrow basis (Lord Reed, with whom Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale and Lord Clarke agreed – Lord Neuberger, in the majority, doing so with hesitation, at [79]; Lord Carnwath dissenting). Johnson/Hotak/Kanu will involve reworking vulnerability decisions and will undoubtedly provoke further litigation on the SC test. In theory, at least, Haile should not involve any great difference or require reworking; but, as I will try to explain, its consequences may well reverberate just as much as Johnson et al. Indeed, despite the best intentions of the majority, I think further litigation is almost inevitably the outcome.’

Full story

Nearly Legal, 21st May 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Supreme Court upholds challenge to council decision on intentional homelessness – Local Government Lawyer

Posted May 21st, 2015 in appeals, homelessness, local government, news, Supreme Court by sally

‘Local authorities have been advised to review urgently their intentional homelessness decision making after the Supreme Court – by a 4-1 majority – today upheld an appellant’s challenge.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 21st May 2015

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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The London borough that has turned homeless people into ‘criminals – The Independent

Posted May 21st, 2015 in ASBOs, crime, fines, homelessness, local government, London, news by sally

‘Homeless people face being criminalised in a east London borough due to a ban on anti-social behaviour, a charity has warned.’

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The Independent, 21st May 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Judgment prompts review of thousands of housing cases – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted May 20th, 2015 in homelessness, housing, local government, news, statutory duty by sally

‘Local authority housing lawyers will potentially have to review thousands of applications for accommodation after the Supreme Court widened the scope of vulnerable applicants who are considered homeless.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 18th May 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Family reunited after housing battle led to homelessness and separation – The Guardian

Posted May 20th, 2015 in benefits, budgets, homelessness, housing, news by sally

‘Titina Nzolameso on her successful fight to be rehoused after the benefits cap left her homeless and her children being taken into care, and the impact this could have on similar cases.’

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The Guardian, 20th May 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Vulnerability – a fresh start – Nearly Legal

Posted May 14th, 2015 in appeals, equality, homelessness, local government, news, Supreme Court by tracey

‘The thing about the Supreme Court is that all those years of accrued, encrusted High Court and Court of Appeal case law just don’t matter. If the Supreme Court thinks otherwise, they are so much chaff. And so, to some extent, it proved to be in these joined appeals, where the issue was the meaning of vulnerability in s.189(1)(c) Housing Act 1996.’

Full story

Nearly Legal, 13th May 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Supreme Court overturns key test on homeless people and vulnerability – Local Government Lawyer

Posted May 14th, 2015 in appeals, homelessness, local government, news, Supreme Court by tracey

‘The Supreme Court has today issued a landmark ruling in three linked appeals over when homeless people are to be considered “vulnerable” under the Housing Act 1996 and therefore in priority need.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 13th May 2015

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

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From ‘pillar to post’ – Nearly Legal

‘In a judgment of undisguised anger, Cobb J described the conduct of LB Tower Hamlets and LB Havering as “shameful” in the way in which they treated AM and his family. I haven’t come across Cobb J before but his judgment in AM v Tower Hamlets LBC and Havering LBC [2015] EWHC 1004 (Admin) is just about as good a judgment as I’ve read in a long time. The question was which authority should have “picked up” AM and his household, with children who were almost certainly in need under s.17, Children Act 1989.’

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Nearly Legal, 17th April 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Nzolameso v Westminster City Council (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and another intervening) – WLR Daily

Nzolameso v Westminster City Council (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and another intervening) [2015] UKSC 22; [2015] WLR (D) 165

‘A local housing authority, in carrying out its duties under the Housing Act 1996, was obliged to accommodate a homeless person in suitable accommodation within its district if it was reasonably practicable to do so. The authority was to determine the suitability of the proposed accommodation by reference to the needs of the individual homeless person and each member of her household and to its location. Where accommodation was offered outside the authority’s district, the placement was to be as close as possible to where the members of the household had previously lived. In reaching its decision, the authority was required to take account of the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2012 (SI 2012/2601) and the guidance issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. It was also required, by section 11(2) of the Children Act 2004, to have regard to the need to safeguard and to promote the welfare of the children concerned.’

WLR Daily, 2nd April 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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