Al-Ameri v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Osmani v London Borough of Harrow (Conjoined Appeals): HL 5 Feb 2004

The applicants had been asylum seekers, and obliged to live in Glasgow. Upon losing their asylum claim, but being given exceptional leave to remain, they sought to be rehoused by the appellants. The appellants had said that the applicants having been rehoused in other areas had lost any connection with the area. The applicants said that the re-housing had been compulsory, being part of a policy of dispersal of asylum applicants, and so their connection with the appellate local authorities was not lost.
Held: The authorities’ appeals were dismissed. The applicants had not exercised any real sense of choice in accepting dispersal. It was wrong to describe a Hobson’s choice as a real choice. If asked ‘Did you choose to live in Glasgow’ the only true answer could be ‘No.’ A normal residence which might operate to defeat a local connection with a previous area had to be of the resident’s own choice. This choice had not been freely made.


Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe


[2004] UKHL 4, Times 06-Feb-2004, Gazette 04-Mar-2004, [2004] 2 AC 159


House of Lords, Bailii


Housing Act 1996 198


England and Wales


Appeal fromAl-Ameri, Osmani v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea/London Borough of Harrow CA 28-Feb-2003
The applicants sought to assert a local connection, having been housed in the respondent’s areas as destitute asylum seekers.
Held: The accomodation was not one of the applicant’s choice, and therefore could not be relied upon to establish a . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland v Lynch HL 1975
The House considered the availability of duress as a defence on a charge of aiding and abetting murder. Referring to the basic elements of criminal liability, mens rea and actus reus: ‘Both terms have, however, justified themselves by their . .
DistinguishedRegina v Barnet London Borough Council, Ex parte Shah HL 16-Dec-1982
The five applicants had lived in the UK for at least three years while attending school or college. All five were subject to immigration control, four had entered as students with limited leave to remain for the duration of their studies, and the . .
CitedMohamed v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council HL 1-Nov-2001
Mrs M came to England in 1994 living first in Ealing and then Hammersmith. Mr M came later and lived elsewhere in Hammersmith. Hammersmith gave them jointly temporary accommodation, first in a hotel and then in a flat. They then applied under . .
CitedRegina v Eastleigh Borough Council, Ex parte Betts; In re Betts HL 27-Jul-1983
Mr Betts applied to Eastleigh for accommodation under the 1977 Act. They said that he had no local connection and referred his application to Blaby where the applicant and his family had formerly been living. Blaby accepted the referral and offered . .

Cited by:

CitedOzbek v Ispwich Borough Council CA 4-May-2006
The claimant applied to be housed as a homeless person. The authority sought to refer him to a different authority under s198. As an asylum seeker, he had been given assistance both in Portsmouth and Southampton before coming to Ipswich. He said . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Housing, Immigration

Updated: 09 June 2022; Ref: scu.192675