Regina v London Borough of Hammersmith, ex parte P: QBD 1989

The applicants were members of six homeless families who had occupied accommodation in Northern Ireland. The council concluded that members of each household except one had been guilty of criminal and anti-social behaviour, as a result of which the IRA had threatened that they would all be killed unless they left Northern Ireland within 72 hours. The council concluded that all the applicants were homeless intentionally, primarily on the ground that they had ceased to occupy their homes in consequence of deliberate acts, namely their continued misbehaviour after warnings by or on behalf of neighbours.
Held: The council’s decision was confirmed. The question was one of causation; the section makes no mention of foreseeability but where the immediate cause of the departure (namely the IRA threat) was foreseeable, then it was easier to say that the bad behaviour was the cause of the homelessness and it was less easy to say that the homelessness was caused by a new intervening act. The court rejected the submission that it should, as a matter of public policy, refrain from making the applicants responsible for the acts of vigilantes.


Schiemann J


(1989) 22 HLR 21


ApprovedDevenport v Salford City Council CA 1983
A possession order was made because of the misconduct of the tenants and their children. The council made a finding of intentional homelessness, which was upheld by the Court of Appeal.
Held: For the purposes of the homelessness legislation, . .

Cited by:

CitedRegina v London Borough of Hounslow ex parte R Admn 19-Feb-1997
The Applicant was 65 years old, with a history of criminal offences including serious sexual assaults on children. On release from prison, he presented himself as homeless. After his imprisonment, he had realised that he would be unable to keep up . .
CitedHaile v London Borough of Waltham Forest SC 20-May-2015
‘The question in this case is whether the appellant falls within the scope of section 193 of the Housing Act 1996 as amended, which applies, by virtue of subsection (1), where the local housing authority are satisfied that ‘an applicant is homeless, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.181073