Poshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: SC 10 May 2017

The appellant, applying for housing as a homeless person, had rejected the final property offered on the basis that its resemblance to the conditions of incarceration in Iran, from which she had fled, would continue and indeed the mental difficulties which afflicted her following that incarceration. She now appealed from rejection of that claim by the County Court and the Court of Appeal.
Held: The appeal failed. Until a clear and direct judgment was available from the ECHR, the court was to follow the decision in Ali.
The appellant’s factual account had inconsistencies and the assessing officer’s factual conclusions were understandable, and disclosed no error of law.
‘The scope and limits of the concept of a ‘civil right’, as applied to entitlements in the field of public welfare, raise important issues as to the interpretation of article 6, on which the views of the Chamber are unlikely to be the last word. In my view, this is a case in which, without disrespect to the Chamber, we should not regard its decision as a sufficient reason to depart from the fully considered and unanimous conclusion of the court in Ali. It is appropriate that we should await a full consideration by a Grand Chamber before considering whether (and if so how) to modify our own position.’
The Court repeated its request for restraint in the extent and number of authorities quoted to it.


Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes


[2017] UKSC 36, [2017] 3 All ER 1065, [2017] AC 624, [2017] HLR 28, [2017] WLR(D) 323, [2017] 2 WLR 1417, UKSC 2015/0219


Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, SC 140217 am Video, SC 140217 pm Video, WLRD


Housing Act 1996, European Convention on Human Rights 6


England and Wales


CitedTomlinson and Others v Birmingham City Council SC 17-Feb-2010
The appellant asked whether the statutory review of a housing authority’s decision on whether he was intentionally homeless was a determination of a civil right, and if so whether the review was of the appropriate standard. The claimant said that . .
Appeal fromPoshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea CA 8-Jul-2015
The claimant sought housing under the homelessness provisions. She had refused a final offer accommodation n the grounds that it brought back memories of her prison cell in Iran, and which would exacerbate the post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety . .
CitedSlater v London Borough of Lewisham CA 12-Apr-2006
The applicant was heavily pregnant when she was offered a first floor one bedroomed flat. She rejected it.
Held: When a housing authority reviewed its decision on the applicant’s decision not to accept the accommodation offered, that review . .
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 . .
CitedEl-Dinnaoui v Westminster City Council CA 20-Mar-2013
The appellant and his family sought rehousing. The appellant’s wife had a medically-confirmed history of anxiety due to fear of heights. They were offered a flat on the 16th floor. She became distressed on leaving after the inspection and collapsed . .
CitedFazia Ali v The United Kingdom ECHR 20-Oct-2015
The Court considered the duties imposed on housing authorities under Part VII of the 1996 Act.
Held: Article 6.1 did apply, but in any event the procedure applied under the Act conformed to its requirements. . .
CitedFeldbrugge v The Netherlands ECHR 29-May-1986
The court was asked whether the applicant’s entitlement to a statutory sickness allowance, which was a contributory scheme but for which she had not registered due to illness, was a civil right within the meaning of article 6.
Held: The . .
CitedSalesi v Italy ECHR 26-Feb-1993
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 6-1; Pecuniary damage – financial award; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses award – Convention proceedings . .
CitedMennitto v Italy ECHR 5-Oct-2000
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 6-1; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention proceedings . .
CitedTsfayo v The United Kingdom ECHR 14-Nov-2006
The applicant challenged the prodecures for deciding her appeal against the council’s refusal to pay backdated housing benefits. She complained that the availability of judicial review of the decision was not adequate.
Held: The system did not . .
CitedSchuler-Zgraggen v Switzerland ECHR 24-Jun-1993
The court considered a contributory invalidity scheme: ‘today the general rule is that Article 6(1) does apply in the field of social insurance, including even welfare assistance . . State intervention is not sufficient to establish that Article . .
CitedLoiseau v France ECHR 28-Sep-2004
ECHR Judgment (Merits) – No violation of Art. 6-1.
The court referred to ‘a ‘private right’ which can be said, at least on arguable grounds, to be recognised under domestic law’ and to ‘an individual right . .
CitedBourgass and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 29-Jul-2015
The Court considered the procedures when a prisoner is kept in solitary confinement, otherwise described as ‘segregation’ or ‘removal from association’, and principally whether decisions to keep the appellants in segregation for substantial periods . .
CitedStec and Others v United Kingdom ECHR 6-Jul-2005
. .
CitedNzolameso v City of Westminster SC 2-Apr-2015
The court was asked ‘When is it lawful for a local housing authority to accommodate a homeless person a long way away from the authority’s own area where the homeless person was previously living? ‘ The claimant said that on applying for housing she . .
CitedLondon Borough of Newham v Adan CA 14-Dec-2001
The applicant was a Dutch national. She appealed for housing as a homeless person. The local authority, after review found her not to have a settled intention to stay in England. She appealed, to the County Court, and succeeded, and the Authority . .
CitedBoulois v Luxembourg ECHR 3-Apr-2012
(Grand Chamber) The claimant complained that as a prisoner he had been deprived of his right to a fair hearing and his right of access to a court in connection with the decisions refusing his requests for prison leave.
Held: The complaint was . .
CitedManchester City Council v Pinnock SC 9-Feb-2011
The council tenant had wished to appeal following a possession order made after her tenancy had been demoted. The court handed down a supplemental judgment to give effect to its earlier decision. The Court had been asked ‘whether article 8 of the . . .
CitedRegina v Hillingdon London Borough Council Ex parte Puhlhofer HL 2-Jan-1986
Not Homeless Even if Accomodation Inadequate
The applicants, a married couple, lived with a young child and later also a baby in one room of a guest house. They were given breakfast but had no cooking or washing facilities. They succeeded on a judicial review of the housing authority’s . .
CitedKeyu and Others v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Another SC 25-Nov-2015
The Court was asked whether the respondents should be required to hold a public inquiry into a controversial series of events in 1948, when a Scots Guards patrol was alleged to shot and killed 24 unarmed civilians in a village called Batang Kali, in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Housing, Human Rights

Updated: 03 August 2022; Ref: scu.582172