Hotak and Others v London Borough of Southwark and Another: SC 13 May 2015

The court was asked as to the duty of local housing authorities towards homeless people who claim to be ‘vulnerable’, and therefore to have ‘a priority need’ for the provision of housing accommodation under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. Those issues turn on the interpretation of the 1996 Act, but some of them also involve consideration of the Equality Act 2010.
Held: (Baroness Hale dissenting in part) Kanu’s appeal was allowed, but thoset of Johnson and of Hotak were dismissed.
The right comparator would be an ordinary person if that person were to become homless, not an actual homeless person. Allowance had to be given for the possible support ofthird parties including family. Attempting to use as a comparator an actually homeless person would lead to arbitrary results.
Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Hughes
[2015] UKSC 30, [2015] HLR 23, [2015] WLR(D) 224, [2015] 2 WLR 1341, [2015] 3 All ER 1053, [2015] PTSR 1189, [2015] BLGR 530, UKSC 2013/0234
Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary
Housing Act 1996 175 176 177, Equality Act 2010
England and Wales
Appeal fromHotak v London Borough of Southwark CA 15-May-2013
The court was asked whether, when assessing an applicant’s ‘priority need for accommodation’ under section 189(1)(c) Housing Act 1996 (that is, whether the applicant is ‘vulnerable’ by reason of old age, mental illness or handicap or physical . .
CitedRegina v London Borough of Camden ex parte Pereira CA 20-May-1998
When considering whether a person was vulnerable so as to be treated more favourably in applying for rehousing: ‘The Council should consider such application afresh applying the statutory criterion: The Ortiz test should not be used; the dictum of . .
Appeal fromKanu v The London Borough of Southwark CA 29-Jul-2014
Mr Kanu, aged 48, had physical problems, including back pain, hepatitis B, hypertension and haemorrhoids, as well as psychotic symptoms and suicidal ideation. His wife assisted him in taking the necessary drugs, but stress would raise his . .
CitedBegum (Nipa) v Tower Hamlets London Borough Council CA 1-Nov-1999
The fact that the accommodation found to be available to the applicant for housing was in Bangladesh did not make it unavailable in law. The subsections must be read separately. Accommodation could be available to the applicant even though she could . .
CitedOsmani v London Borough of Camden CA 16-Dec-2004
Auld LJ set out the test to be applied by an authority when deciding whether the applicant was vulnerable for the purposes of deciding whether to give priority housing assistance. The courts had recognised the difficult, involved nature of the . .
Appeal FromJohnson v Solihull CA 6-Jun-2013
. .
CitedKanu v The London Borough of Southwark CA 29-Jul-2014
Mr Kanu, aged 48, had physical problems, including back pain, hepatitis B, hypertension and haemorrhoids, as well as psychotic symptoms and suicidal ideation. His wife assisted him in taking the necessary drugs, but stress would raise his . .
CitedRegina v Waveney City Council, ex parte Bowers CA 25-May-1982
The applicant was an alcoholic and had in 1980 been hit by a motor vehicle and suffered a severe head injury. He sought judicial review of the respondent’s failure to house him.
Held: The appeal was allowed: ‘The question we have to consider . .
CitedRegina v Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council ex parte Garlick and similar HL 19-Mar-1993
No homelessness priority could be established by means of having a child applying for housing, rather than his or her parent. An application by a person suffering mental disability who would also be dependent upon others was also rejected. In each . .
CitedRuna Begum v London Borough of Tower Hamlets (First Secretary of State intervening) HL 13-Feb-2003
The appellant challenged the procedure for reviewing a decision made as to the suitability of accomodation offered to her after the respondent had accepted her as being homeless. The procedure involved a review by an officer of the council, with an . .
CitedLondon Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm HL 25-Jun-2008
The tenant had left his flat and sublet it so as to allow the landlord authority an apparently unanswerable claim for possession. The authority appealed a finding that they had to take into account the fact that the tenant was disabled and make . .
CitedM, Regina (on the Application of) v Slough Borough Council HL 30-Jul-2008
The House was asked ‘whether a local social services authority is obliged, under section 21(1)(a) of the 1948 Act, to arrange (and pay for) residential accommodation for a person subject to immigration control who is HIV positive but whose only . .
CitedHolmes-Moorhouse v Richmond Upon Thames HL 4-Feb-2009
The father had been awarded shared residence for three children. He asked the local authority to provide appropriate housing.
Held: The authority’s appeal succeeded.
‘When any family court decides with whom the children of separated . .
CitedAjilore v London Borough of Hackney CA 8-Oct-2014
Appeal against an order dismissing the appellant’s appeal against the review decision of the respondent local housing authority.
Underhill LJ discussed statistical evidence on a section 202 review in relation to an applicant who was said to be . .
CitedRegina v London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham ex parte Anthony Fleck Admn 18-Aug-1997
Sedley J said that , there would be a real risk that ‘a sick and vulnerable individual (and I do not use the word ‘vulnerable’ in its statutory sense) is going to be put out on the streets’, which he described as a ‘reproach to a society that . .
CitedMorgan v Stirling Council SCS 10-Oct-2006
(Outer House) Lord Glennie pointed out that anyone who is homeless is also vulnerable, and accordingly it follows that section 189(1)(c) must contemplate homeless people who would be more vulnerable than many others in the same position (especially . .
CitedO’Rourke v Mayor etc of the London Borough of Camden HL 12-Jun-1997
The claimant had been released from prison and sought to be housed as a homeless person. He said that his imprisonment brought him within the category of having special need. He also claimed damages for the breach.
Held: The Act was intended . .
CitedTower Hamlets v Begum (Rikha) CA 23-Mar-2005
Neuberger LJ said: ‘ I turn to the text of the letter of 25 January 2002. It referred to the Council ‘making a reasonable and suitable offer of permanent accommodation’, but it made no reference to the opinion that it was or would be reasonable for . .
CitedBaker and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Others CA 28-Feb-2008
Dyson LJ considered the interaction between race relations law and planning permission in the context of gypsy encampments. He looked at section 71 of the 1976 Act and said: ‘In my judgment, it is important to emphasise that the section 71(1) duty . .
CitedBrown, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Admn 18-Dec-2008
Having ‘due regard’ is not Obligation to do
The claimant sought to challenge the decision to close her local post office on the basis that being retired and disabled and without a car in a rural area, the office was essential and the decision unsupportable. In particular she challenged the . .
CitedPieretti v London Borough of Enfield CA 12-Oct-2010
The claimant sought a declaration that the duty set out in the 1995 Act applies to the discharge of duties, and to the exercise of powers, by local housing authorities under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 being the part entitled ‘Homelessness’. . .
CitedHurley and Moore, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills Admn 17-Feb-2012
The applicants, intending university students, challenged the decision to raise to andpound;9,000 per annum, the fees which might be charged by qualifying universities.
Elias LJ said: ‘Contrary to a submission advanced by Ms Mountfield, I do . .
CitedBracking and Others v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 6-Nov-2013
Application for permission to appeal against refusal of leave to bring judicial review of decision by the respondent to close the Independent Living Fund.
Held: McCombe LJ summarised the application of section 149 of the 2010 Act: ‘1 . . . .

Cited by:
CitedJewish Rights Watch (T/A Jewish Human Rights Watch), Regina (on The Application of) v Leicester City Council Admn 28-Jun-2016
The claimant challenged the legaity of resolutions passed by three local authorities which were critical of the State of Israel. They said that the resolultions infringed the Public Sector Equality Duty under section 149 of the 2010 Act, and also . .
CitedRowley, Regina (on The Application of) v Minister for The Cabinet Office Admn 28-Jul-2021
Failure to Provide Signers was Discriminatory
The claimant challenged the failure of the respondent to provide sign language interpreters to accompany public service broadcasts during the Covid pandemic. The parties agreed that the steps taken for later broadcasts had satisfied the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 August 2021; Ref: scu.546544