Homelessness—interim duties
Produced in partnership with Alexander Campbell of Field Court Chambers
Homelessness—interim duties

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Alexander Campbell of Field Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Homelessness—interim duties
  • Duty to accommodate pending enquiries
  • Ending of interim duty
  • Accommodation pending review
  • Power to accommodate pending appeal

Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996) sets out the law on homelessness for local housing authorities (LHAs) in England and Wales. It sets out the different duties which an LHA will have towards different homeless applicants.

Naturally it takes time for an LHA to conduct enquiries into a homeless applicant’s circumstances in order for them to be able to determine what duty is owed. Some applicants’ circumstances are such that they require accommodation immediately, even before the LHA is able to complete its enquiries. HA 1996 makes provision in certain circumstances requiring LHAs to provide accommodation on an interim basis. This Practice Note covers the circumstances in which that interim duty arises and how it is discharged.

It also covers the power that an LHA has, once it has completed its enquiries, to provide interim accommodation in circumstances where:

  1. an applicant seeks a review pursuant to HA 1996, s 202 of an unfavourable decision, or

  2. an applicant seeks an appeal pursuant to HA 1996, s 204 to the County Court

Duty to accommodate pending enquiries

The duty on an LHA to provide accommodation to a homeless applicant while enquiries are carried out into what duty, if any, is owed to them is contained in HA 1996, s 188.

Conditions for the duty to arise

HA 1996, s 188(1) provides