Regina v Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council ex parte Garlick and similar: HL 19 Mar 1993

No homelessness priority could be established by means of having a child applying for housing, rather than his or her parent. An application by a person suffering mental disability who would also be dependent upon others was also rejected. In each case the true application was by the parent or carer. The Act is concerned with the provision of housing, not social services’ care. A parent or carer would be given priority under the later section by virtue of that care. The authorities’ duties under Part III of the 1985 Act were not owed to dependent children.
Lord Griffiths said: ‘Dependent children are not amongst those classified as in priority need.
Dependent children depend upon their parents or those looking after them to decide where they are to live and the offer of accommodation can only sensibly be made to those in charge of them.
Such a child is in my opinion owed no duty under this Act for it is the intention of the Act that the child’s accommodation will be provided by the parents or those looking after him and it is to those people that the offer of accommodation must be made.
If a family has lost its right to priority treatment through intentional homelessness the parent cannot achieve the same result through the back door by an application in the name of a dependent child.’


Lord Griffiths


Gazette 07-Jul-1993, Independent 19-Mar-1993, [1993] 2 All ER 65, [1993] 2 WLR 609, [1993] AC 509


Housing Act 1985 59(1) 59(1)(c)

Cited by:

CitedRegina v London Borough of Barnet ex parte G; Regina v London Borough of Lambeth ex parte W; Regina v London Borough of Lambeth ex parte A HL 23-Oct-2003
The applicants sought to oblige the local authority, in compliance with its duties under the 1989 Act, to provide a home for children, and where necessary an accompanying adult.
Held: There were four hurdles for the applicants to cross. They . .
CitedRoyal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames v Prince and Another CA 2-Dec-1998
The Borough’s tenant had died. His wife and daughter had lived with him, but the mother not for long enough to succeed to his tenancy. The daughter (aged thirteen) claimed to have done so having lived with him for three years.
Held: The 1985 . .
CitedHotak and Others v London Borough of Southwark and Another SC 13-May-2015
The court was asked as to the duty of local housing authorities towards homeless people who claim to be ‘vulnerable’, and therefore to have ‘a priority need’ for the provision of housing accommodation under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. Those . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Housing, Children

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.87493