Tenancy succession – Client not entitled to succeed but alternative housing offered.

Mr J had lived at a property in Hackney with his mother for 37 years and when she passed away he made an application to succeed to the tenancy. This application was refused by the London Borough of Hackney (‘LBH’) as a succession to the tenancy had already taken place and the law does not allow for a second succession. The LBH stated that he did not have any compelling social or medical reasons for them to make an offer of discretionary housing. We requested that they make an offer of alternative accommodation after the client conceded that he was not entitled to a three bedroom property being a single person.

A decision was made by LBH that he was not entitled to alternative accommodation and that the length of time he had resided at the current property had been considered. We informed them that this decision was open to Judicial Review as in their decision they stated that they felt the length of time he has lived at the property was not a relevant consideration. Furthermore their policy stated that in certain circumstances Neighbourhood Managers may recommend that an applicant be awarded Council interest priority where such an action would be in the overall interests of the Council by releasing a family size or adapted home. We stated that they should have used their discretion to award our client alternative accommodation. Their policy did not provide any criteria whatsoever into what factors the Council should take into account; their policy was general, wide and open.

While lengthily legal arguments were on going the LBH also brought possession proceedings which we intended to defend. Once the LBH considered their position and their policy, along with the threat of Judicial Review they were persuaded to offer the client suitable alternative accommodation.

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