Homelessness cases

Homelessness Case 1

The client made a Homelessness  Application to the Council. Subsequently the Council accepted a duty towards the client and provided the client with a one-bedroom flat located on the fourth floor.

The client was approximately 8 months pregnant and so she was struggling to get into her flat has she had to climb two sets of stairs before she could use the lift. She would struggle carrying a pushchair up the two sets of stairs. Further, there was disrepair in the accommodation and it was infested with cockroaches.

We advised our client that Section 175(3) of the Housing Act 1996 provides that a person shall not be treated as having accommodation unless it is accommodation which it would be reasonable for him or her to continue to occupy.

We therefore wrote to the Council stating that the client’s accommodation was not suitable, she was therefore homeless,  and taht it is not reasonable for her to continue to occupy the premises. Subsequently, the Council moved the client to a two-bedroom ground floor flat.

Case 2

Client made a Homelessness Application with the Council. The Council accepted a housing duty towards the client and provided the client and her son with bed and breakfast. The client informed us that the accommodation was not self-contained.

The client had been residing at her bed and breakfast for approximately five months. We therefore wrote to the Council stating that it is not acceptable for them to keep the client in bed and breakfast for longer than six weeks as the Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003, which came into force on the 1st April 2004, provides that homeless families with children, or where a member of the household is pregnant, should not be placed in B&B accommodation except in an emergency and even then only for a maximum of six weeks. The Act states that:

Subject to the exceptions contained in article 4, B&B accommodation is not to be regarded as suitable for an applicant with family commitments where accommodation is made available for occupation— (a) under section 188(1), 190(2), 193(2) or 200(1); or (b) under section 195(2)(a), where the accommodation is other than that occupied by the applicant at the time of making his application.

Upon receiving our letter, the Council instantly moved the client to a studio flat.


Parveen Akhtar, housing law specialist did this case.

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