Q&As

When assessing suitability of accommodation pursuant to the discharge of its housing duty under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996, which provisions under Parts IX and X and of the Housing Act 1985, and Parts 1–4 of the Housing Act 2004 must a local housing authority consider?

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Produced in partnership with Kevin Long of Lambeth Law Centre
Published on LexisPSL on 21/06/2017

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Kevin Long of Lambeth Law Centre provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • When assessing suitability of accommodation pursuant to the discharge of its housing duty under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996, which provisions under Parts IX and X and of the Housing Act 1985, and Parts 1–4 of the Housing Act 2004 must a local housing authority consider?

Accommodation provided to a homeless applicant by a local housing authority (LHA) in discharge of a homeless duty must be suitable. In determining suitability the LHA must, among other things, have regard to Parts IX–X of the Housing Act 1985 (HA 1985) and Parts 1–4 of the Housing Act 2004 (HA 2004).

The LHA must consider all aspects of the two sets of legislation outlined above. Broadly, these deal with basic standards for habitable accommodation. Some of the original framework under HA 1985 has now been repealed or replaced by a more modern approach to assessing fitness under HA 2004, so the two need to be read together.

HA 1985, Pt IX covers property deemed sufficiently hazardous as to warrant demolition, either individually or as part of a clearance area. It outlines the procedural steps the local authority shall take in seeking demolition or clearance. In discharging a homeless function, the LHA must therefore have regard to these provisions in its choice of homeless accommodation.

HA 1985, Pt X covers the more common scenario of overcrowding. There are two measures of overcrowding:

  1. the room standard, which is based on two persons of the opposite sex, not in a couple, sharing a room, and

  2. the space standard, based on the number of rooms to people

If either standard is breached, there is statutory overcrowding.

All that is required is for

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