Successful homelessness judicial review case against Redbridge Council13 Sep 2023 | William Ford
This matter involved a claim in the High Court for judicial review against Redbridge Council for failure to comply with its duties under the Housing Act 1996 and the Children Act 2004. William Ford and Sarika Singh of the Housing and Social Department were instructed in this matter.
The claim was brought by our client who was a homeless single mother with three young children aged three, five and eleven. The client’s eleven-year-old daughter had been doing very well in education and was undertaking her SATs exams at her school in Tottenham.
Our client approached Redbridge Council for homelessness assistance after being evicted from her Home Office accommodation upon being granted leave to remain in the UK as a refugee. On 7 October 2022 our client was told to leave her Home Office accommodation by 8 November 2022, and she notified Redbridge Council of this in October 2022.
On 8 November 2022 our client and her family were accommodated by Redbridge Council in a hotel which was around a 2 hour journey via public transport to her children’s school, including a thirty-minute walk down an unlit country road. Our client was subsequently accommodated in over ten different hotels by Redbridge Council in the span of five months, none of which had cooking or laundry facilities. Our client had no choice but to rely on fast food to feed her children and she washed her children’s clothes at their school in Tottenham. The hotels were generally between 1 ½ hours and 2 ½ hours via public transport from the children’s school, and our client and her children were forced to travel these distances every school day. This had a significant impact on our client and her children’s wellbeing and education, as well as upon our client’s finances. During this period, Redbridge Council failed to lawfully assess our client’s housing needs and failed to produce an adequate housing needs assessment and personalised housing plan for our client.
The only alternative to hotel accommodation that was offered to our client was accommodation in Peterborough. Our client could not accept this accommodation as moving there would have severely disrupted her children’s education, as it would have required our client to change her children’s school in the middle of the academic year. There has also been no attempt to locate accommodation closer to the borough of Redbridge, as required under s208 of the Housing Act 1996. Upon our client refusing an offer of accommodation in Peterborough Redbridge Council then decided to end its duty to house her and her family..
A judicial review claim was issued against Redbridge Council and on 8 June 2023, the High Court allowed the claim, which succeeded on all four grounds. The Judge, Mr Justice Lane, held that:
- Redbridge Council’s initial housing needs assessment and personalised housing plan were unlawful and contrary to the Council’s duties under the Housing Act 1996, when considered in light of its duty to promote the welfare of children in its borough under s11 of the Children Act 2004.
- Redbridge Council had failed to conduct a lawful review of our client’s housing needs and the suitability of the accommodation it offered to our client.
- Redbridge Council’s decisions that the hotel accommodation and accommodation offered in Peterborough were suitable for our client were unlawful.
- Redbridge Council’s decision to end its duty to house our client and her family under the Housing Act 1996 after she refused the offer of accommodation in Peterborough was also unlawful, because the accommodation was not suitable for our client.
The family have subsequently been provided with self-contained accommodation within the Borough of Redbridge.
Contact Will today
For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811
Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you
William Ford is experienced in representing tenants in disrepair and possession claims, as well as homelessness appeals and judicial reviews concerning allocation of housing.
"He has a really good eye for detail, able to untangle and trace complicated matters. He has real expertise in welfare public law issues."
"Will is very technically competent and smart and he's very generous with his time."
"William is truly extraordinary. He is wonderful, clever, bright, and helps everyone in understanding the law."
"He is absolutely brilliant and is a very effective litigator for clients who don't have many options. He is very pragmatic, measured and reasonable - he appeals to common sense, which makes him an effective negotiator."
"William Ford is truly extraordinary - he helps everyone and knows the law better than anyone."
"Will Ford is a test case lawyer whose practice spans Social Housing and Welfare issues, his breadth of knowledge in both fields in invaluable to those working in his team."
"Osbornes’ team have grown in size and stature under the excellent leadership of Will Ford."
"Will Ford stands out as an exceptional and highly regarded lawyer in the field."
"The lawyer that was helping me with my case was William Ford was simply amazing – if a partner shows all these qualities, this must, I’m sure, filter down to the rest of the employees due to the example set."
"Will Ford recently took over a case from a departing colleague and was immediately on top of all the issues in a fact-heavy case; he is always available to speak to and in a case against a hard-to-manage litigant in person he was excellent."
Practice head William Ford takes on public law challenges involving housing rights, community care, welfare benefits and support for migrants, among other areas. His work in the field of housing law often involves challenging local authorities' refusals to honour statutory obligations.
William Ford is a very well-known and well-respected solicitor who has acted in some of the most important recent public law cases involving housing and welfare issues. He is extremely intelligent, always on top of the latest legal developments, and very committed to his clients.
Will Ford – one of a handful of specialists in social security law. Outstanding experience & knowledge of complex statutory schemes.
Will is an astute litigator, and his breadth of knowledge across the fields of housing and social welfare law allows him to take a holistic approach to clients’ situations.
Will Ford is a leading figure in the social housing field. He is highly committed to his clients and leaves no stone unturned in seeking to assist them with their problems.
Will Ford – very experienced, highly professional and with a wide and deep knowledge of social housing litigation and related social welfare areas of law.
Will Ford is a very well-regarded figure in the housing law world and leads a team of high quality and committed lawyers.
"William Ford has an impressive track record handling a variety of possession, homelessness and unlawful eviction matters. He is also adept at community care cases where these issues intersect with housing law. Sources praise him for being 'completely on top of the law and a very good negotiator who gets the most for his clients.'"
“William acts on possession, disrepair and homelessness cases, and has particular expertise in the protection of tenancy deposits under the Housing Act 2004.”
“William Ford is impressive and devoted to the sector.”
“Associate William Ford receives effusive praise for his dedication and commitment to social housing. Interviewees highlight his technical understanding and background in housing law, and describe him as highly impressive.”
“The ‘very thorough’ and ‘incredibly committed’ William Ford is a respected practitioner acting predominantly for tenants facing possession and eviction proceedings, homeless applicants or clients who are making disrepair claims. He understands the links between different parts of the law and housing – how your immigration status might link to housing, for example, or how care provisions might link to housing.”
“William Ford is a ‘tenacious litigator with a lovely manner that, combined with intelligence, knowledge and pragmatism, makes him a pleasure to work with."
"The team at Osbornes is inspired by its leader Will Ford, a truly first-rate, modern lawyer’s lawyer. The team have blossomed under his Will and are now packed with conscientious, dedicated and excellent lawyers who always give their clients 100%."
"William Ford - A good technical lawyer with a strong commitment to his clients"
“Osbornes has an impressive social housing team and the quality of their work that I have seen is very high. Will Ford is a very well-regarded figure in the housing law world and leads a team of high quality and committed lawyers. The existence of family and property law teams at the firm, amongst others, means that they are able to offer a holistic and expert approach to their clients.”
William Ford is "highly committed to his clients and leaves no stone unturned in seeking to assist them with their problems"
William Ford "is an astute litigator, and his breadth of knowledge allows him to take a holistic approach to clients’ situations."
"He is one of the most passionate lawyers I've ever worked with. He's a rare commodity."
"William Ford frequently represents tenants in possession proceedings, homelessness appeals and disrepair claims... and is praised for his dynamic and hard-working approach."
"The absolutely brilliant William Ford."
William Ford receives effusive praise for his dedication and commitment to social housing. Interviewees highlight his technical understanding and background in housing law, and describe him as highly impressive."
'First-class lawyer' William Ford is 'completely dedicated to making a positive difference', and is acting in cases challenging the 'bedroom tax'.
William acts on possession, disrepair and homelessness cases, and has particular expertise in the protection of tenancy deposits under the Housing Act 2004
William Ford is impressive and devoted to the sector.
Homelessness InsightsVIEW ALL
Successful homelessness judicial review case against Redbridge Council
This matter involved a claim in the High Court for judicial review against Redbridge Council for failure to comply with...Read more
Family Unlawfully Evicted Receives Damages of £22,000
This matter involved an unlawful eviction claim brought by our clients against their private landlord (“the Landlord”). Our clients were...Read more
High Court finds Westminster Council’s Housing Scheme...
Westminster City Council’s housing allocation scheme found to be unlawful The High Court has today handed down judgment finding...Read more
The Housing and Social Care Team View the whole team
William Ford Partner
Housing and Social Care
Muna Adam Solicitor
Sean Hughes Paralegal
Housing and Social Care
Rory Matheson Solicitor
Housing and Social Care
Tom McHale Trainee Solicitor
Housing and Social Care
Alex McMahon Senior Associate
Housing and Social Care