The tenant family appealed against a decision that the authority had no duty to rehouse them after they suffered violence. They had been living for a year in Swansea and on being granted indefinite leave to remain they were now eligible under Part VII of the 1996 Act. They applied to Kensington which referred them to Swansea. They complained of trouble from local youths in Swansea, shouting abuse and making insulting gestures, racist abuse on a bus, and two specific incidents of assault outside a community centre and in the city centre. The authority said that the two assaults were random incidents of crime which might happen anywhere to anyone and were not part of a course of harassment against the applicant or his family. The verbal abuse did not amount to a threat of violence and accordingly there was no reason to believe that it was more likely than not that violence would result if they returned to Swansea.
Held: In this context, ‘violence’ involved some sort of physical contact: Neuberger LJ accepted the council’s contention that ‘In section 198 ‘violence’ means physical violence, and the word ‘violence’ on its own does not include threats of violence or acts or gestures, which lead someone to fear physical violence’ The section applies only to physical contact and violence so as to disallow a claim for housing.
Neuberger, Mummery, Jacob LJJ
 EWCA Civ 1404,  1 WLR 69
Housing Act 1996 198
England and Wales
Binding – Yemshaw v London Borough of Hounslow CA 15-Dec-2009
‘The sole but important issue on this appeal is the meaning of ‘violence’ in section 177(1) of the Housing Act 1996 (‘the Act’). The question is whether, for the purposes of that provision, ‘violence’ requires some sort of physical contact or . .
Overruled – Yemshaw v London Borough of Hounslow SC 26-Jan-2011
The appellant sought housing after leaving her home to escape domestic violence. The violence was short of physical violence, and the authority had denied a duty to rehouse her. She said that the term ‘domestic violence’ in the Act was not intended . .
Cited – Bubb v London Borough of Wandsworth CA 9-Nov-2011
The appellant had sought housing assistance. She had been offered accomodation but refused it as unreasonable. The authority declined further assistance. She now appealed against the refusal of the county court judge to set aside the decision . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 January 2021; Ref: scu.245910