Duty to accept repeat homeless application

Tuesday 1 November 2016

R (Abdulrahman) v London Borough of Hillingdon [2016] EWHC 2647 (Admin), 28 October 2016 From June 2012 the claimant, A, lived in a property in Hayes, Middlesex together with her husband and their nine children. They occupied the property under an assured shorthold tenancy. At the time of obtaining the tenancy, A’s husband wrongly informed the landlord that nine people – rather than 11 – would be occupying the property.

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From June 2012 the claimant, A, lived in a property in Hayes, Middlesex together with her husband and their nine children. They occupied the property under an assured shorthold tenancy. At the time of obtaining the tenancy, A’s husband wrongly informed the landlord that nine people – rather than 11 – would be occupying the property.

R (Abdulrahman) v London Borough of Hillingdon [2016] EWHC 2647 (Admin), 28 October 2016

In or around October 2013, the family were evicted from the property and following this, on 28 October 2013, A and her husband applied jointly to the defendant, Hillingdon LBC as homeless.

By a s184 decision communicated on 30 December 2013, Hillingdon concluded that A and her husband had become homeless intentionally. It was said that A’s husband had obtained the tenancy in Hayes by deception and that by allowing extra people to stay at the property without the landlord’s consent, they had failed to keep the property in good repair.

A’s husband sought a review of this decision. The review decision was issued on 18 February 2014. The finding of intentionality was upheld. A’s husband then appealed, but the appeal was subsequently abandoned when he left the country and moved back to Somalia (where he and A had come from, to the UK, in around 2008).

In the meantime, Hillingdon had been accommodating the family in Bed and Breakfast accommodation. But in March 2016, sometime after the appeal was compromised (the exact timing is not entirely clear), this was brought to an end and the remaining family members dispersed. A, together with her two youngest children, stayed with various friends and relations. While the older children made alternative arrangements.

Then, on 28 March 2016, and several times thereafter, A sought to make a fresh homeless application to Hillingdon. This was refused.

A instructed solicitors who sought to make a further application on her behalf arguing that the application should be considered afresh as her husband had returned to Somalia and her three older children no longer lived with her. This was also refused, with Hillingdon stating that the application was ‘based… on the same facts as the previous one made on 28 October 2013’.

Neil Cameron QC sitting as a Deputy High Court judge allowed A’s application for judicial review. Although Hillingdon had applied the correct legal test, the decision that the application was based on the same facts as the previous one was irrational.

Click here for the judgment.

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