ZH and CN, Regina (on The Applications of) v London Boroughs of Newham and Lewisham: SC 12 Nov 2014

The court was asked whether the 1977 Act required a local authorty to obtain a court order before taking possession of interim accommodation it provided to an apparently homeless person while it investigated whether it owed him or her a duty under Part VII of the 1996 Act, and (ii) whether a public authority, which evicts such a person when its statutory duty to provide such interim accommodation ceases without first obtaining a court order for possession, violates that person’s rights under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Held: The authority was not required to obtain a court order before evicting the claimants if, after making inquiries, it then decided that the claimants were not entitled to local authority accommodation.
‘(i) the words ‘live at’, ‘reside’ and ‘dwell’ are ordinary words of the English language and do not have technical meanings, (ii) those words must be interpreted in the statutes in which they appear having regard to the purpose of those enactments, (iii) as a matter of nuance, ‘dwelling’ as a general rule suggests a more settled occupation than ‘residence’ and can be equated with one’s home, although ‘residence’ itself can in certain contexts (such as the two-home cases) require such an equation, and (iv) under the 1996 Act a person remains homeless while he or she occupies temporary accommodation provided under sections 188(3), 190(2), 200(1) or 204(4) of the 1996 Act so long as the occupation is properly referable to the authority’s performance or exercise of those statutory duties or powers.’

Lord Neuberger, President, Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Toulson, Lord Hodge
[2014] WLR(D) 489, [2015] 1 AC 1259, [2014] UKSC 62, [2014] 3 WLR 1548, UKSC 2013/0194, [2014] BLGR 842, [2015] 1 All ER 783, [2015] HLR 6
Bailii, WLRD, Bailii Summary, SC Video, SC, SC Summary
Protection from Eviction Act 1977, European Convention on Human Rights, Housing Act 1996
England and Wales
Appeal fromCN, Regina (on The Application of) v London Borough of Lewisham CA 11-Jul-2013
The claimants had applied for housing as homeless. They were given accommodation pending the authority’s final decisions. Those decisions were thet the claimants were homeless intentionally. The authoity’s set out to recover possession. The . .
Appeal fromZH, Regina (on The Application of) v London Borough of Newham CA 11-Jul-2013
The claimant had applied for housing as a homeless person and was found temporary accomodation pending the respondent’s decision. When eventually the decision went against the claimant, the claimant argued that the authority was obliged to recover . .
CitedWolfe v Hogan CA 1949
An issue arose as to the purpose of the original letting. The defendant was the sub-tenant of a large divided room on the ground floor of a house in Chelsea which she used for business purposes. She eventually decided to live there as well.
CitedRogerson v Wigan Metropolican Borough Council QBD 14-Jul-2004
The claimant sought damages under the 1977 Act. The defendant said it had behaved lawfully. He had been housed in a hostel pending a decision on the application for permanent housing as a homeless person, which the defendant said excluded him from . .
CitedMartin Estates Ltd v Watt and Hunter CANI 1925
Barracks were leased for police purposes to a receiver for the Royal Ulster Constabulary. On expiry the landlord moved for possession. The tenant resisted, citing legislation enacted to protect tenants of houses from disturbance in their occupation. . .
CitedSkinner v Geary CA 1931
Scrutton LJ said that the Rent Acts did not protect a tenant who was not in occupation of a house in the sense that the house was his home. . .
CitedLevermore v Jobey CA 1956
Danckwerts LJ said: ‘A lease is not intended to be either a mental exercise or an essay in literature: it is a practical document dealing with a practical situation.’ . .
CitedUratemp Ventures Limited v Collins HL 11-Oct-2001
Can a single room within a hotel comprise a separate dwelling within the 1988 Act and be subject to an assured tenancy?
Held: A single room can be a dwelling. Each case must be interpreted in its own light as a question of fact, but respecting . .
CitedBirmingham City Council v Ali and Others; Moran v Manchester City Council HL 1-Jul-2009
Homelessness Status Requires LA Action
The House considered appeals challenging whether local authorities who gave unacceptable housing to the homeless had satisfied their obligations to them as homeless people. What was meant by the phrase ‘accommodation which it would be reasonable for . .
CitedCollier v Stoneman CA 1957
A grandchild and his wife shared a 2-bedroom flat with the grandmother tenant. There was communal living and eating and no question of a sub-tenancy.
Held: The claim to succession to the tenancy was upheld.
Sellers LJ said: ‘The . .
CitedWalker v Ogilvy CA 1974
A tenant of a flat which he used principally at weekends and for short holidays. The tenant had another permanent residence.
Held: Parliament in passing the Rent Act 1968 never intended to protect people in occupation of what were in effect . .
CitedRegalian Securities Ltd v Scheuer CA 1982
The court considered the right of a protected tenant to become a statutory tenant on the termination of his protected tenancy under section 2(1)(a) of the 1977 Act, requiring him to occupy the dwelling house ‘as his residence’. The tenant occupied . .
CitedSwanbrae Ltd v Elliott CA 1986
The court considered the quality of residence required where a person claimed to be a statutory tenant in succession to her mother, who had been a protected tenant, because she had resided in the premises with her before she died. The appellant had . .
CitedMacMillan and Co Ltd v Rees CA 1946
The lease of premises as an office allowed the tenant or her business partner were authorised to sleep when required.
Held: The Court drew a distinction between an authorised user of merely sleeping or eating on premises and use as a dwelling . .
CitedMohamed v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council HL 1-Nov-2001
Mrs M came to England in 1994 living first in Ealing and then Hammersmith. Mr M came later and lived elsewhere in Hammersmith. Hammersmith gave them jointly temporary accommodation, first in a hotel and then in a flat. They then applied under . .
CitedDesnousse v London Borough of Newham and others CA 17-May-2006
The occupier had been granted a temporary licence by the authority under the homelessness provisions whilst it made its assessment. The assessment concluded that she had become homeless intentionally, and therefore terminated the licence and set out . .
CitedFreeman v London Borough of Islington CA 11-Jun-2009
A claim was made for a statutory succession to an assured tenancy. The judge had found that the appellant was occupying the flat at the time of the death of her father (the tenant) as her only home, but that she had not ‘resided with’ him throughout . .
CitedLondon Borough of Hounslow v Powell, Leeds City Council v Hall etc SC 23-Feb-2011
In each case the tenant occupied the property as his home, but was not a secure tenant of the local authority. The Court was asked whether, in granting a possession order in such a case, the court was obliged to consider the proportionality of the . .
CitedZehentner v Austria ECHR 16-Jul-2009
ECHR The applicant’s apartment was subject to a judicial sale for non-payment of debt. She was ill, and did not participate in the sale. The local law had time limits for challenging a judicial sale, designed to . .
CitedTysiac v Poland ECHR 20-Mar-2007
The applicant alleged that the circumstances of her case had given rise to violations of Article 8 of the Convention. She also relied on Article 3. The applicant further complained under Article 13 that she did not have an effective remedy at her . .
CitedProkopovich v Russia ECHR 18-Nov-2004
ECHR Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) – Preliminary objection rejected (estoppel); Violation of Art. 8; Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses partial . .
CitedBlecic v Croatia ECHR 29-Jul-2004
The applicant had for many years before 1992 had a protected tenancy of a publicly-owned flat in Zadar. Under Croatian law a specially-protected tenancy might be terminated if the tenant ceased to occupy the flat for a continuous period of six . .
CitedBarras v Aberdeen Steam Trawling and Fishing Co HL 17-Mar-1933
The court looked at the inference that a statute’s draughtsman could be assumed when using a phrase to rely on a known interpretation of that phrase.
Viscount Buckmaster said: ‘It has long been a well established principle to be applied in the . .
CitedSmart v The London Borough of Lambeth CA 7-Nov-2013
A local authority granted a licence to a housing association which in turn allowed a housing cooperative to provide accommodation to former squatters on a licence which was initially for 5 years but was extended. A claim was made for adverse . .

Cited by:
CitedSims v Dacorum Borough Council SC 12-Nov-2014
Surrender at Common Law Survives Human Rights Law
The tenants held a secure weekly tenancy of the respondent under a joint tenancy. After a relationship breakdown, Mrs Sims had given notice to quit. Mr Sims, left in possession now argued that the common law rules should not be allowed to deprive . .
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, . .
CitedBelhaj and Another v Director of Public Prosecutions and Another SC 4-Jul-2018
Challenge to decision not to prosecute senior Intelligence Service officials for alleged offences in connection with his unlawful rendition and mistreatment in Libya. The issue here was whether on the hearing of the application for judicial review, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Housing, Human Rights

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.538699