An unlawful eviction did not of itself constitute an emergency giving the applicant ‘priority need’ for housing. The event that results in the homelessness of the person claiming a priority need must have the characteristics of being ‘an emergency’ and ‘a disaster’. The omission of the word ‘any’ before the words ‘other disaster’ in the 1985 Act reinforces this reading of the subsection. The court interpreted the words of the subsection to mean an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster of a similar nature. The line is not to be drawn as narrowly as to confine the emergencies which can give rise to a priority need to those amounting to ‘force majeure’. Parliament must have had in mind emergencies caused by fires deliberately or accidentally caused by human beings. The line is to be drawn so as to embrace all emergencies which consist of physical damage to the accommodation of the applicant which have made the accommodation uninhabitable.
Gazette 15-Sep-1995, Independent 01-Sep-1995, (1995) HLR 584
Housing Act 1985 59(1)
England and Wales
Cited – Noble v South Herefordshire District Council CA 1983
The argument (that the word ’emergency’ was used in a wider sense than emergencies confined to emergencies arising from disaster) had no force in this case because in the phrase ‘any emergency such as flood, fire or any other disaster’ the words ‘or . .
Cited – Higgs v Brighton and Hove City Council CA 30-Jun-2003
The applicant lived in a caravan. It disappeared without trace, and he claimed emergency housing under the section. Was housing required as a result of an emergency flood fire or disaster?
Held: There was in fact no explanation available for . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 04 June 2021; Ref: scu.86209