Court of Appeal defines meaning of “violence” for the purposes of the Housing Act 1996

Wednesday 21 January 2015

The Court of Appeal has defined the meaning of "violence" for the purposes of Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.

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Lord Justice Underhill (with whom Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Lord Justice Briggs concurred) has over-ruled earlier Court of Appeal authority on the definition of violence for the purposes of Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.

He held that a person is homeless when occupation of her home will lead to "violence", in the very wide sense of "physical violence, threatening or intimidating behaviour and any other form of abuse which, directly or indirectly, may give rise to the risk of harm", "harm" including "psychological harm" falling short of psychiatric injury.

More information is available in the judgment: Hussain v The London Borough of Waltham Forest [2015] EWCA Civ 4 (20 January 2015)

Stephen Knafler QC appeared as leading counsel for the homeless applicant. He led Toby Vanhegan of Arden Chambers and was instructed by William Flack of T V Edwards.

Stephen Knafler QC is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team.


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