Regina v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council, ex parte Avdic: CA 2 Jan 1996

A refugee from Bosnia moved from Kirklees to London, where she applied for accomodation as being homeless. Hammersmith accepted that she was owed a duty, but referred her back to Kirklees in September. Her solicitors then sent in more material which the LHA considered before, in January, refusing her again. The reconsideration of the case was voluntary.
Lord Justice Simon Brown (obiter): ‘In my judgment, this council went as far as it possibly could in construing section 61 in a way favourable to this appellant. By no stretch of the imagination could [the cousin’s] presence in the neighbouring borough be regarded as a family association such as to give the appellant a local connection with the respondent under section 61(1)(c). Indeed [counsel] does not so submit. . . . To my mind it is far from clear that an appellant’s claim to be housed under Part III of the 1985 Act can be improved in this fashion simply because the local authority accede to a request to review the matter, as this local authority has done after the initial decision was taken.’ Though it was unnecessary to deal definitively with the point the Lord Justice questioned whether the local authority should have acceded to the request for a review.
Simon Brown considered the nature of the authority’s residual discretion: ‘Residual Discretion. That such a discretion exists cannot be doubted. Plainly a local authority are entitled to house an applicant even if he or she has an obvious local connection with some other borough and none at all with their own. To my mind that proposition hardly needs the citation of authority, although I record that it is so stated in R v London Borough of Newham, ex p London Borough of Tower Hamlets (1993) 23 HLR 62 at 71. It should, however, be remembered that this particular legislation is concerned essentially with a local authority’s housing function rather than with their social services function. It is not to be thought that a London borough, very hard pressed as doubtless they all are in connection with their public housing stock, will very readily accept on an entirely voluntary basis a housing obligation which, by virtue of section 67, they are perfectly entitled to refer elsewhere and which, indeed some other borough expressly accepts. Nevertheless, I repeat, such a discretion exists. . . . ‘
Lord Justice Simon Brown, Lord Justice Staughton
[1996] 30 HLR 1
Housing Act 1985 65(2) 67(2)(a)
England and Wales
Appeal fromRegina v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council, ex parte Avdic QBD 1996
The applicant challenged a referral of her application for housing as a homeless person by Hammersmith back to Kirklees from where she had moved. She had a cousin in Hammersmith.
Held: Her application for judical review failed. Tucker J: . .

Cited by:
CitedEaling London Borough Council v Surdonja etc CA 21-Jan-2000
When a local authority came to make the decision about the extent of the local connection of the homelessness applicant with the area, the assessment was to be made as regards the situation at the date of that decision. Where there was a review, the . .
CitedOzbek v Ispwich Borough Council CA 4-May-2006
The claimant applied to be housed as a homeless person. The authority sought to refer him to a different authority under s198. As an asylum seeker, he had been given assistance both in Portsmouth and Southampton before coming to Ipswich. He said . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 January 2021; Ref: scu.229857