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Desperate Mother Refused Housing Assistance

Published: 26 June 2014, in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

A desperate mother who was refused housing assistance after she took a tenancy of a cramped bedsit, where she lived with her five-year-old daughter, has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that she should have been viewed as homeless.

The mother had moved out of her family home, claiming to have suffered domestic violence at her husband’s hands. She had responsibility for her daughter and the local authority had initially accepted that she was homeless.

However, that decision was reversed after she took an assured shorthold tenancy of the bedsit. Notwithstanding the mother’s plea that she had to share a single bed with her daughter, as well as enduring noisy neighbours and an unsatisfactory shared bathroom, a housing officer took the view that it would be reasonable for mother and daughter to continue to occupy the bedsit.

That decision was subsequently upheld by a judge and, in dismissing the mother’s appeal, the Court found that there was no error of law in the local authority's approach. There having been a change in circumstances, the housing officer was entitled to substitute a less favourable decision than the original one. He had not been required to carry out a health and safety assessment of the bedsit and had also had ‘proper regard to the future’ when reaching his decision.

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