Griffiths v St Helens Council: CA 7 Mar 2006

The applicant had been agreed to be homeless with priority need, and had been provided with an assured shorthold tenancy.
Held: The Legislation now allowed broadly three classes of accomodation as suitable: (1) accommodation owned by the local authority; (2) accommodation in the hands of registered social landlords; and (3) private rented accommodation. The tenant argued that the effect of the 2002 amendments was entirely to remove assured shorthold tenancies from the ambit of s193(5) of the 1996 Act. This was not correct. The local authority could satisfy its obligations by provision of a series of short term lettings, but a short term letting itself did not discharge the council of its obligations, which were continued or revived as a tenancy came to an end. ‘local housing authorities, who seek to discharge their duty under section 193(2) by securing the offer of an assured shorthold tenancy from a private landlord to which, if the offer is refused, section 193(5) may apply, [should] explain in the offer letter what they are doing. The explanation should include statements to the effect (a) that the authority acknowledges that the accommodation would be temporary if the private landlord lawfully exercises his right to recover possession after the end of the fixed term; and (b) that, if that happens and assuming that the applicant’s circumstances have not materially changed, the authority accepts that it would again become obliged to perform its duty under the section to secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant. ‘
May LJ said: ‘There are now eight circumstances in which section 193 provides that the local housing authority ‘shall cease’ to be subject to the duty under the section. They fall roughly into three groups. The first group – sub-sections (6)(a) and (b) – comprise circumstances in which one of the criteria in section 193(1) ceases to apply. This group may be left to one side. The second group – sub-sections (5), (6)(d) and (7) – comprise circumstances in which the applicant has acted to frustrate the efforts of the local housing authority to overcome their homelessness. The applicant ‘refuses’ or ‘voluntarily ceases to occupy’ suitable temporary or permanent accommodation secured for him. The third group – sub-sections (6)(c) and (cc) and (7B) – comprise circumstances in which the applicant ‘accepts’ an offer of accommodation. The first two of these are offers of secure or permanent accommodation. For reasons which I shall shortly explain, I think that sub-section (7B) is also concerned with what is to be regarded as permanent accommodation. Applicants within the third group, therefore, are no longer to be regarded as homeless.’
Lord Justice May Lord Justice Rix Mr Justice Coleridge
[2006] EWCA Civ 160, Times 24-Apr-2006, [2006] 1 WLR 2233
Housing Act 1996 193, Homelessness Act 2002, Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977, Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003
England and Wales
CitedCrawley Borough Council v Bliss CA 22-Feb-2000
A local authority refused the applicants application for emergency housing as a homeless person. On the review of that decision the authority concluded that she did have priority need, but then decided that the application should be refused because . .
CitedLondon Borough of Tower Hamlets v Deugi CA 7-Mar-2006
The court considered whether a successful appeal against a local authority’s decision on the need for emergency housing should lead to the case being remitted to them for a further review. May LJ defined the question to be: ‘whether there was any . .
CitedRegina v Brent London Borough Council Ex Parte Awua HL 6-Jul-1995
The term ‘Accommodation’ in the Act was to be read to include short term lettings, and was not to be restricted to secure accommodation, and the loss of such accommodation can be counted as intentional homelessness. If a person who had been provided . .
CitedRegina v Wandsworth London Borough Council Ex Parte Wingrove; Regina v Same Ex Parte Mansoor CA 7-Jun-1996
Accommodation provided by a local authority need not be permanent in order to satisfy the statutory requirement to assist somebody in need of assistance for homelessness. The full duty might be discharged by securing the offer of an assured . .

Cited by:
CitedMuse v London Borough of Brent CA 19-Dec-2008
The court was asked whether the section 193 duty to provide housing was lost after the applicant had refused alternative temporary accommodation. The applicant had been granted temporary accommodation, but her family grew and it became too small. . .
CitedRavichandran and Another v London Borough of Lewisham CA 2-Jul-2010
The claimant appealed against an order confirming a review of the decision that the local authority owed no futher duty to her under section 193. She had rejected the house offered as unsuitable for medical reasons.
Held: The tenant’s appeal . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 January 2021; Ref: scu.238888