Five Paper succeed in resisting homelessness challenge in Court of Appeal

12th July 2016

Jane Hodgson and Josephine Henderson represented the London Borough of Redbridge in the case of Huda v London Borough of Redbridge [2016] EWCA Civ 709.

The Court of Appeal decision provides comfort to local authorities concerned about allowing applicants to remain in accommodation after duties have ceased. Mr.Huda was intentionally homeless for refusing to accept an offer of suitable accommodation. After the s.193 duty ended, no step was taken to evict him and his family for about two years owing to an internal error. By the date of the final review, he had been left in the accommodation for about four years.The reviewing officer decided the accommodation where he remained did not become settled. Even if the s.190(2) power was exhausted, the licence was unaffected. The Court confirmed that precariousness is to be determined objectively, and applied a test of whether there was a reasonable expectation of continuing in the accommodation for a significant period of time. In this case there was no such expectation and no change in the nature of the permission to occupy. The Court to had regard to the fact that the hard pressed local authority owes duties to other applicants for housing.