Regina v London Borough of Harrow ex parte Fahia: 1996

After deliberately losing her tenancy, the authority had provided the appliant with temporary accomodation in a guest house, but after her housing benefits were halved she lost that accomodation also.
Held: The authority had a duty to house her. The change in the level of housing benefits had operated to break the chain of causation, and she was no longer voluntarily homeless.
An example of the causal connection being interrupted, other than by a period in settled accommodation, would be if the applicant’s accommodation in the guest house had been burned down; or if, in Dyson’s case, the let of the cottage had been brought prematurely to an end by the cottage being destroyed by fire. As the judge observed, Dyson’s case had been decided as it was because, when the let came to an end, the fact that Miss Dyson was thereafter homeless was caused by her initial conduct. If, on the other hand, somebody went into a property for a three month period but lost it after 14 days because the premises were burnt down, then in the judge’s view, applying the ordinary common sense test of causation, one would say that the cause of the homelessness was the fire. The judge considered Ex p Bassett to be another illustration of the same principle.


Roger Toulson QC, DJ


(1996) 29 HLR 94

Cited by:

Appeal fromRegina v London Borough of Harrow ex parte Fahia CA 7-Mar-1997
The applicant had been found to have deliberately procured her own eviction from her tenanted accommodation in Harrow. She was given temporary accommodation in a guest house, where she stayed for over a year. Her housing benefit was then reduced by . .
At First InstanceRegina v Harrow London Borough Council Ex Parte Fahia HL 16-Sep-1998
The local authority submitted first that a person making a second application for emergency housing had to demonstrate a change of circumstance which might lead to a second application being successful and second that it was for the local authority . .
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: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.566159