Discretion, lip service and s188(3) – Nearly Legal

Posted December 21st, 2015 in homelessness, housing, judicial review, local government, news by sally

‘We’re very late with this one for reasons which are no doubt entirely reasonable, but currently escape me. A judicial review of a refusal (or repeated refusal) to provide interim accommodation pending s.202 review.’

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Nearly Legal, 19th December 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Samuels v Birmingham City Council – WLR Daily

Posted November 13th, 2015 in benefits, homelessness, housing, law reports, remuneration by tracey

Samuels v Birmingham City Council: [2015] EWCA Civ 1051; [2015] WLR (D) 435

‘For the purposes of a person’s application for housing assistance as a homeless person, where a local authority was determining whether that person’s previous accommodation was affordable for that person and therefore whether it would be, or would have been, reasonable for that person to continue to occupy that accommodation, the local authority was to take into account all forms of the person’s income, including social security benefits of all kinds, and of relevant expenses, so that a judgment was to be made on the basis of income and relevant expenses as a whole. Benefits income, including income support, child tax credits and child benefit, was not to have any special status or treatment in that exercise or to be excluded from income which could be taken into account as income which could assist with housing costs.’

WLR Daily, 27th October 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Violent offenders: Fears over management after release – BBC News

‘Is the system in place to manage dangerous offenders when they are released from prison keeping people safe?’

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BBC News, 25th October 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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New fast-track eviction powers could breach human rights, warns watchdog – The Guardian

‘Government proposals to legally require landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants risk a serious breach of human rights, an official watchdog has warned.’

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The Guardian, 12th October 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Listen very carefully, I shall do this only once – Nearly Legal

‘The Claimant in R (on the application of Brooks) v LB Islington [2015] EWHC 2657 (Admin) was the mother of 3 children, who applied to the local authority as homeless following her eviction from a housing association property for rent arrears on 24/3/2015. Sadly, Ms B’s adult, terminally ill, son died two days after the offer of interim accommodation that was the subject of this judicial review.’

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Nearly Legal, 27th September 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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Firoozmand v Lambeth London Borough Council – WLR Daily

Firoozmand v Lambeth London Borough Council: [2015] EWCA Civ 952; [2015] WLR (D) 374

‘A local authority offering accommodation to a homeless applicant who complained about its condition was not under a duty whenever such a complaint was made to carry out a hazard inspection and assessment before making its decision as to suitability of the accommodation offered.’

WLR Daily, 3rd September 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Hazard? What Hazard? – Nearly Legal

Posted September 9th, 2015 in homelessness, housing, local government, news, noise, statutory duty by sally

‘When do local authorities have to conduct Housing Act 2004 hazard assessments as part of their homelessness duties?’

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Nearly Legal, 9th September 2015

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk

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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

‘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.’

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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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