Client was found intentionally homeless on the basis she voluntarily left accommodation without waiting for a court order. She said that it was because she couldn’t afford the accommodation. The Council reviewed expenditure and found that she could afford this but failed to give any proper consideration to whether she acted in good faith.
On appeal, we successfully argued that they had failed to consider whether she acted in good faith. The Judge handed down judgment last week quashing the decision and remitting it for a fresh review.
We were awarded our costs.
Client spent long periods of time without heating or hot water in her property. There was also damp in the toilet and bathroom caused by pipe leaks, a gas leak from the boiler and the property was generally in a poor state, although some of this was condensation induced damp. Proceedings were issued and the Defendant filed a defence which sought to deny liability on many of the points raised in the particulars and denied that they had a repairing obligation in respect of much of the disrepair. However the case has recently settled for £8100.
Client was an Orthodox Jew whose family made a homelessness application to LB Hackney. They were placed in temporary accommodation which was approximately 45 minutes’ walk from Stamford Hill, where they lived previously. The accommodation had an electronic fob for access. We successfully challenged the suitability of the accommodation on review on the following basis; as Orthodox Jews, the client and his family were not able to use the electronic key on the Sabbath day; the client would have to travel to the synagogue in the early hours of the morning without using any form of assistive transport; and there were issues regarding potential racial prejudice posed to an Orthodox Jewish family living outside of the area of their community. The council made a further – closer – offer of accommodation, which the client refused again for the same reasons. The client then sourced potential accommodation himself from a temporary accommodation supplier he had met in the Stamford Hill area, which was dilapidated but otherwise suitable. We assisted him to negotiate with the council to provide a grant to refurbish the property and make him an offer of temporary accommodation there.
Client suffered from previous domestic violence and suicidal tendencies. She had severe physical and psychological vulnerabilities. LB Islington refused to grant temporary accommodation pending review. We chased the medical experts to obtain more specific and detailed medical evidence specifically addressing the Hotak criteria and sent this to LB Islington. In response, LB Islington granted temporary accommodation pending review and this was granted just before the Xmas and New Year period, so client was not made street homeless.
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