How many reviews? – Nearly Legal

Posted February 15th, 2019 in electricity, homelessness, housing, landlord & tenant, local government, news by sally

‘In R(B) v Redbridge LBC [2019] EWHC 250 (Admin), Jeremy Johnson QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge, was required to adjudicate on what is, as far as I am concerned, a really important point of practice, given the nature and continuing obligations of suitability of accommodation in homelessness cases, and the increasing number of suitability reviews (especially following the 2017 Act). He also came to the wrong result imho – I wonder if there is an appeal, even if it becomes academic (which it might). Ms B was offered accommodation and sought a review. It was one of those ones where affordability is raised, but, given that one doesn’t know what the bills are going to be for the property at the outset, the reviewer and applicant make approximations. The review went against her, albeit on marginal grounds (and there are various consequential proceedings from that first review and appeal). For the purposes of this application for JR, however, what happened was that Ms B’s actual electricity bill arrived and it was more per week than had originally been estimated. She sought a further review, to which Redbridge did not respond, and which, ultimately, led to these proceedings as Redbridge did not conduct that further review.’

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Nearly Legal, 15th February 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Jurisdiction: s. 204 appeals – Nearly Legal

‘Adesotu v Lewisham LBC Case No E40CL183, a decision of HHJ Luba on preliminary issues handed down on 8th February 2019, is so going to the Court of Appeal that the judge (having been satisfied that Ms Adesotu and her household would continue to be accommodated by Lewisham) invited Counsel to agree the route to enable it to get there.’

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Nearly Legal, 12th February 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Single mother takes government to court after being forced into homelessness due to housing benefit shortfall – The Independent

Posted January 31st, 2019 in benefits, homelessness, housing, local government, news, Supreme Court by tracey

‘A single mother of four who was was forced into homelessness due to a shortfall in housing benefit is to challenge the government in Britain’s highest court.’

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The Independent, 31st January 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Relevance and homelessness – Nearly Legal

Posted January 23rd, 2019 in homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘Safi v Sandwell BC (2018) EWCA Civ 2876 can be regarded as a footnote of some significance in the factors which are relevant in determining whether a household is homeless for the purposes of s. 175, Housing Act 1996. (And, as a footnote to that footnote, a point for the cognoscenti of review processes: it is interesting that Sandwell has a review panel (whether officer or councillor-led is not clear from the report), which appears to work by way of meetings; such panels, which were frequently constituted prior to and just after the 1996 Act, are rare these days, reviews being conducted commonly by a single officer.)’

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Nearly Legal, 21st January 2019

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Legal Aid Agency faces High Court showdown over protection orders – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted January 17th, 2019 in homelessness, legal aid, local government, news, proportionality, public order by tracey

‘The Legal Aid Agency will have to gear up for another High Court showdown after a civil liberties group was granted permission to challenge the lack of public funding to help homeless people targeted by protection orders aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 16th January 2019

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Homeless family ‘can’t use £500,000 trust fund’ – BBC News

‘A woman awarded £500,000 after being left with severe physical and mental disabilities is homeless after her mother was barred from buying them a home with the money.’

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BBC News, 14th January 2018

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Court of Appeal rules against council over decision resident was not homeless – Local Government Lawyer

Posted January 11th, 2019 in appeals, homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘Sandwell Borough Council acted wrongly when it considered an application for a local resident to be treated as homeless, the Court of Appeal has ruled.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 10th January 2019

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

London boroughs win out-of-borough housing claim at CoA – Local Government Lawyer

Posted December 12th, 2018 in homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘Two London boroughs have won in the Court of Appeal over challenges to their policies on out-of-borough accommodation placements for homeless people.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 11th December 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Ombudsman criticises council for housing 17 year old on campsite – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 31st, 2018 in homelessness, housing, local government, news, ombudsmen, young persons by sally

‘Cornwall Council has admitted that accommodating a homeless youth on a campsite “went on for too long”, after criticism from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 31st October 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Legal Aid Agency taken to court for refusing to help rough sleepers – The Guardian

‘A human rights organisation is taking the national provider of legal aid to court because it is refusing to help rough sleepers challenge councils over the use of potentially unlawful powers to move them on.’

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The Guardian, 23rd October 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Woman homeless after terrorism offences loses High Court challenge over housing – Local Government Lawyer

Posted October 12th, 2018 in homelessness, housing, human rights, local government, news, terrorism by sally

‘A woman who had become homeless while imprisoned for terrorism offences did not have her human rights breached by the London Borough of Brent in its decisions on housing her and her children, the High Court has ruled.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 11th October 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Man deemed security threat over tax error faces homelessness – The Guardian

Posted September 28th, 2018 in homelessness, Immigration Advisory Service, news, taxation by tracey

‘The family of an engineer who trained Ministry of Defence engineers is being made homeless because the Home Office has still not completed a review of a controversial immigration policy it promised to report on by July.’

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The Guardian, 27th September 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

No-fault evictions making hundreds of families homeless each week – The Guardian

Posted August 21st, 2018 in homelessness, landlord & tenant, news, rent, repossession by sally

‘Hundreds of families are being made homeless every week in “no-fault” evictions by landlords keen to cash in on rising property prices or put the rent up.’

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The Guardian, 18th August 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Equality Act and ‘reasonable to remain’ – Nearly Legal

Posted August 10th, 2018 in disabled persons, equality, homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘Ms L “suffers from a number of both physical and mental problems. She is wheelchair bound and is confined to bed for large portions of the day. She requires 24-hour care, including intimate care which for the time being is provided by her former partner.” She had the tenancy of a housing association property – a two bedroomed bungalow in sheltered accommodation, which was adapted for her needs.’

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Nearly Legal, 9th August 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

R (Sambotin) v Brent LBC – Arden Chambers

Posted August 9th, 2018 in disabled persons, homelessness, housing, judicial review, news, statutory duty by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a local authority in which they had sought to withdraw a concluded decision as to what duty was owed to a homeless person; such a decision could only be withdrawn in cases of fraud or fundamental mistake of fact, neither of which were present.’

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Arden Chambers, 31st July 2018

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

Kamara v Southwark LBC; Leach v St Albans City & District Council; Piper v South Bucks DC – Arden Chambers

Posted August 7th, 2018 in homelessness, housing, local government, news by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has held that reg.8(2) of the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations 1999/71, does not require a local housing authority to specify in a “minded-to” letter that an applicant may make representations to the reviewer orally at a face-to-face meeting.’

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Arden Chambers, 12th July 2018

Source: www.ardenchambers.com

Facing up to it – Nearly Legal

‘Kamara v London Borough Of Southwark (2018) EWCA Civ 1616. In Makisi & Ors v Birmingham City Council (2011) EWCA Civ 355 (our report), the Court of Appeal decided that the right to make ‘oral submissions’ in response to a ‘minded to’ letter under 8(2) of the 1999 Review Procedures Regulations meant a right to request ‘face to face’ advocacy in making representations. In these three joined appeals, the sole issue was whether this meant that the ‘minded to’ to letter had to specify the right to a face to face meeting for representations.’

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Nearly Legal, 15th July 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

A question of authority – settled accommodation – Nearly Legal

Posted July 12th, 2018 in homelessness, housing, local government, news, Supreme Court by sally

‘Doka v Southwark concerned what could amount to ‘settled accommodation’ for homelessness matters, and specifically for ‘breaking the chain’ of intentional homelessness.’

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Nearly Legal, 11th July 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Late and late again – intentional homelessness and benefit claims – Nearly Legal

Posted July 11th, 2018 in adjournment, delay, homelessness, local government, news by tracey

‘Oduneye v Brent London Borough Council (2018) EWCA Civ 1595. This was a second appeal from a s.204 appeal on Brent’s decision that Ms O was intentionally homeless. Ms O was in person. She had sought an adjournment to seek legal representation but this was a fortnight before the hearing and refused on the basis that she had known of the appeal hearing since permission on 21 October 2017.’

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Nearly Legal, 10th July 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Homelessness and capacity – Nearly Legal

Posted July 4th, 2018 in homelessness, housing, local government, mental health, news, statutory duty by sally

‘In WB v W DC (2018) EWCA Civ 928, the Court of Appeal revisited the question of whether a person without capacity to make choices about their accommodation can make an application for homelessness assistance. The House of Lords in R v Tower Hamlets LBC ex p Ferdous Begum (1993) AC 509 (linked with Garlick, in which it was argued that an application could be made by minors) held that a person had to have capacity to “comprehend or evaluate” an offer of accommodation and could not be treated as a person in priority need. As Lord Griffiths put it, “In my view it is implicit in the provisions of the Act that the duty to make an offer is only owed to those who have the capacity to understand and respond to such an offer and if they accept it to undertake the responsibilities that will be involved.” There is a personal element to this issue – Ferdous Begum and Garlick were cases which first captured my academic interest in homelessness law back in 1992, mainly because the decision seemed wrong discursively (even then) and also because of the real difficulties which occur in practice in the distinction between homelessness and care duties.’

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Nearly Legal, 3rd July 2018

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk