Taken From: https://www.hodders.co.uk/

← Back

Homeless? Specialist Lawyers Will Guide You Through the Legal Maze!

The duties owed by local authorities to homeless people are legally complex and that is why it is always wise to seek professional advice if you find yourself without a roof over your head. In a Court of Appeal case on point, a homeless man suffered the grave consequences of turning down an offer of suitable accommodation.

The man and his family were placed in emergency accommodation after his local authority accepted that it owed him the full housing duty contained within Section 193 of the Housing Act 1996. He was later offered a tenancy of another property and was warned that, if he refused to accept it, the council would treat that duty as having been discharged. He nevertheless declined the offer.

The council accordingly decided that its duty to house the family was terminated and that was confirmed following an internal review. The man could have appealed to the County Court against that decision but did not do so. The family was evicted from the emergency accommodation and spent two years in a bed and breakfast before the man again sought housing assistance from the council. That was refused on the basis that he was intentionally homeless in that the cause of his homelessness was his initial refusal to accept an offer of suitable accommodation.

In dismissing his challenge to that decision, the Court accepted that the immediate cause of his homelessness was his eviction from the emergency accommodation. It was, however, his refusal to accept an offer of suitable accommodation that had caused the council to take that step. His refusal was thus an operative reason for his homelessness, which was therefore rightly viewed as intentional. Having failed to appeal against the original review decision, he had lost the opportunity to argue that the accommodation offered to him was unsuitable.

Contact us for more information

← Back