Wilson v Nithsdale District Council: 1992

An eighteen year old girl had been sexually assaulted, was unable to return home, had been expelled from a hostel for suspected theft and was said to be at risk of further sexual assault if not provided with suitable accommodation. She sought housing as a vulnerable person.
Held: The court pointed out the dangers of a comparative approach in extablishing vulnerability: ‘The ‘comparative’ approach to vulnerability adopted in these cases cannot in my view be pushed to its logical limit; the intention cannot be that every homeless person will be held vulnerable for special reason merely because one other such homeless person might by comparison seem less vulnerable. The comparison must in my view be with some assumed average or normal run-of-the-mill homeless person. But if there is a lesser ability to fend for oneself, against that comparison, in a housing context, so that injury or detriment would result when such an ordinary homeless person would be able to cope without harmful effects, then in my opinion vulnerability for special reason is established for the purpose of the Act, and nothing more special (far less anything odd or exceptional) is required.’


Lord Prosser


[1992] SLT 1131

Cited by:

ApprovedRegina v Kensington and Chelsea Royal London Borough Ex Parte Kihara; Similar CA 25-Jun-1996
Four asylum seekers had been deprived of benefits, and left destitute. They had sought housing assistance from the authority, claiming that the complete absence of resources left to them was an ‘other special reason’ leaving them vulnerable within . .
CitedRegina v London Borough of Camden ex parte Pereira CA 20-May-1998
When considering whether a person was vulnerable so as to be treated more favourably in applying for rehousing: ‘The Council should consider such application afresh applying the statutory criterion: The Ortiz test should not be used; the dictum of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Housing, Scotland

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.200294