Regina v East Hertfordshire District Council, Ex parte Hunt: 1985

The applicant and her child had been accepted to be in emergency housing need, and had been given temporary bedsit accomodation in a facility they owned and managed. She had a sink, cooker and fridge, and shared bathroom and toilet facilities and a communal sitting room. She had a licence only, and no tenancy. She was given a larger room, but then her behaviour led to complaints, and her licence was terminated and a possession order granted. On re-applying for homeless provision, the authority said that she was intentionally homless by virtue of her behaviour. As a preliminary point it was argued for her that she had not been in secure or settled accomodation so as to lose her original homeless status.
Held: The authority could discharge its section 4(5) duties in stages. A homeless applicant would only lose that status on acquisition of ‘settled accomodation’. The term settled is a word of convenience rather then ahaving a particular statutory meaning. Whether one has been acquired is a question of fact and degree in the particular circumstances. In these circumstances was in settled accommodation. Upon losing that accomodation she therefore fell to be treated as unintentionally homeless.


Mann J


(1985) 18 HLR 51


Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977 4(5)

Cited by:

CitedRegina (on the application of) Awua v Brent London Borough Council HL 6-Jul-1995
Tower Hamlets, having determined the applicant to be homeless, in priority need and not intentionally homeless. After she occupied temporary accomodation she was offered an alternative being told it was the council’s policy only to make one such . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.443224