- Homelessness, requirements of main housing duty, relief (R (Elkundi and others) v Birmingham City Council)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Local Government analysis: The issue in these four claims was whether the main homelessness housing duty (section 193(2) of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996)) requires an authority to secure accommodation immediately or gives a reasonable time to do so. Previous caselaw was inconsistent but M v Newham LBC had held that the duty was immediate. The judge held that she must follow M and decide that the duty was immediate. The court would not enforce the duty unreasonably, however, if the authority had been doing all it could. Orders to secure accommodation were refused in three of the four cases. In two, accommodation had been offered and refused and the housing duty discharged. The statutory right of appeal to the County Court meant the High Court should not make orders. In one, the authority was doing all it reasonably could. This important case affects all homeless applicants owed the main duty and all local housing authorities. It confirms that where accommodation must be secured, the authority is required to do so immediately, and considers the circumstances in which the court will refuse mandatory relief. Written by Jonathan Manning, barrister, at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square.
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