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 succeeded. The offer being of a permanent home, ‘Unless bound by authority to reach a different conclusion, we would not accept Lewisham’s argument that an offer of permanent accommodation under section 193(7) can, if refused, nevertheless lead to a discharge of the authority’s duty under section 193 by virtue of the provisions of section 193(5) and did so in the present case irrespective of whether the reasonableness requirement under section 193(7F) was satisfied.’
The court summarised the principles: (1) Section 193(5) is concerned with offers of temporary accommodation to meet a local housing authority’s duty under Part VII of the 1996 Act. Section 193(7) is concerned with offers of permanent accommodation pursuant to the authority’s allocation scheme under Part VI of the 1996 Act.
(2) An authority making an offer of accommodation, the refusal of which it intends to rely upon in discharge of its duty under section 193(2), should always make clear to the applicant whether the offer is intended to be within section 193(5) or within section 193(7). Where the authority makes clear that the offer is intended to be within section 193(7), it cannot subsequently treat the offer, and any refusal of it, as made under section 193(5).
(3) In the case of an offer under section 193(7), section 193(7F) requires the authority to be satisfied that, in addition to the accommodation being suitable for the applicant, it would also be reasonable for the applicant to accept the offer. Although there is a significant area of overlap between the suitability of accommodation and the question whether it would be reasonable for the applicant to accept the accommodation, these are distinct and different requirements.
(4) The reasonableness requirement in section 193(7F) is not satisfied merely by the authority making an offer which it considers reasonable. What is required is an offer which it would be reasonable for the applicant to accept.
(5) The applicant is entitled to a review of the suitability requirement in section 193(7F) by virtue of section 202(1)(f) of the 1996 Act and of the reasonableness requirement in section 193(7F) by virtue of section 202(1)b). It is both possible and desirable for both requirements to be reviewed at the same time. The right to a review of both requirements, and the intention to review both at the same time, should be made clear to the applicant.
(6) The applicant is also entitled to a review of the decision of the authority as to the discharge of its duty under section 193(7) by virtue of section 202(1)(b). If the review takes place before refusal of the final offer of accommodation, it will strictly be a review of the intention that the offer will, on refusal, result in cessation of the authority’s duty. If the review takes place after the refusal of accommodation, it will be a review of the authority’s confirmation that its duty has ceased by virtue of satisfaction of the statutory pre-conditions for such cessation. The applicant should be informed of the right to such review.
(7) It is desirable that such a review of the decision of the authority as to the discharge of its duty under section 193(7) takes place at the same time as the review of the suitability requirement and the reasonableness requirement in section 193(7F). If it is intended that it will take place at the same time, the applicant should be so informed.
(8) If the review of the suitability requirement and the reasonableness requirement and the decision of the authority as to the discharge of its duty under section 193(7) take place at the same time, by virtue of section 202(2) there will be no further right to review of the decisions on any of those matters. If, however, the decision of the authority as to the discharge of its duty does not take place at the same time as either the review of the suitability requirement or the reasonableness requirement, matters relevant to those requirements which were not taken into account on the earlier review must be taken into account by the authority on the decision review if the matters existed prior to the refusal of the offer, even though they were not raised by the applicant at the earlier review.
Stanley Burnton, Etherton LJJ, Sir Mark Waller
 EWCA Civ 755,  WLR (D) 170,  NPC 75
Housing Act 1996 193, Homelessness Act 2002
England and Wales
Cited – Regina 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 . .
Cited – Tower 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 . .
Cited – Ahmed v Leicester City Council CA 27-Jun-2007
Applied – Warsame and Warsame v London Borough of Hounslow CA 25-Jun-1999
The appellants refused the authority’s offer of accommodation under Part VI of the 1996 Act, saying it was not suitable. After the authority had informed them that if they did not accept the offer, the authority’s duty to house them would cease, . .
Cited – 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 . .
Cited – Omar v Birmingham City Council CA 7-Jun-2007
The claimant said the authority had not discharged its duty to him in considering his application for housing. It had written to him saying ‘this is your one and final offer’, and that the council was satisfied that the accommodation was suitable . .
Cited – Slater 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.420208