Catherine Rowlands

Catherine Rowlands has a practice which covers all aspects of public law, especially social housing, community care, and immigration, together with property and other civil litigation.

She is a robust and tenacious advocate with substantial experience at all levels from the Magistrates' Court to the Supreme Court, where she has appeared in some of the most important cases in housing law. Cases include

Hotak v Southwark LBC, Johnson v Solihull MBC [2015] UKSC 30: the Supreme Court's consideration of vulnerability and priority need

Birmingham City Council v Ali et al [2009] UKHL 36: whether accommodation is suitable depends on the period of time for which the person is to be expected to remain there

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council v Hickin [2012] UKSC 39: succession to a secure joint tenancy

Sandwell MBC v Hensley [2007] EWCA Civ 1425: a tenant who has used his home as a cannabis farm must show good reasons why he should be allowed to remain in the property. a vague promise of "a new leaf" is not enough.
Contributed to


Homelessness—local connection
Practice notes

This Practice Note provides guidance on the concept of ‘local connection’ as set out in section 199 of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996). This concept is used to assist a local housing authority (LHA) when dealing with housing applications, as it permits LHAs to make referrals to other LHAs where a housing applicant lacks a local connection to the referring LHA. It covers the circumstances where a referral can be made, the bases upon which a local connection can be established, the date when local connection is established and the mechanisms for resolving disputes between LHAs as to local connection.

Homelessness—suitability of accommodation
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers the concept of suitability of accommodation in the context of Homelessness. It sets out guidance upon the standards applicable to accommodation offered by a local housing authority in discharge of its housing duty under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996), including the question of how suitability is assessed, factors to be assessed, the impact of the Public Sector Equality Duty and tenure.

Homelessness—the review and appeal procedures
Practice notes

This Practice Note covers the law and guidance on the homelessness review and appeals procedure which applies once a local housing authority has reached a decision under section 184 of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996) regarding the duty it owes to a homeless applicant. This includes a summary of the decisions which can be reviewed, how that review takes place, the time limits for requesting review and guidance upon the appeals procedure which applies in respect of reviewable decisions.

Practice areas


  • SHLA
  • ALBA


  • Contributing Author


  • Kings College London, and Universit de Paris I (Pentheon-Sorbonne), joint Anglo-French law degr

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