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Homelessness case studies

Solicitors in London

Homelessness case studies

Our client challenged a review decision of a local authority that the client was not in priority need for housing to the county court. The decision was quashed and the local authority as a result the local authority have to carry out a lawful review.

Manjit comments that “…Our client was a vulnerable 23 year old male, who has spent most of his life in various institutions. Since instructing us he has been placed in temporary accommodation and is no longer sofa surfing and we successful appealed the local authorities decision.”

The client approached us late one Friday afternoon with nowhere to sleep that same night. We made written representations to the local authority social services department who eventually agreed to provide emergency accommodation and provisions. A challenge against the local authority resulted in an assessment of needs being carried out. As a result of this intervention, the client was provided with 24 hour supported accommodation and was referred to the appropriate agencies to continue to support her.

Manjit, the solicitor with conduct of the matter states “…‘it’s an appalling reality that local authorities prioritise their budget ahead of the needs of the vulnerable. This case was an example of how two local authorities deliberately tried to abdicate responsibility to save cost. Following our intervention the client a comprehensive care plan was implemented. When local authorities fail in their lawful duties Osbornes LLP are willing to challenge those decisions.”

The client was referred to Osbornes by a local agency. He was 16 years old and homeless. He had already approached the local authority for assistance and they had refused to assist him. It was necessary to issue a claim at the High Court to obtain an order against the local authority. As a result of Manjit’s intervention accommodation was provided by the local authority with a foster parent and following lawful assessments and negotiations the local authority accepted a lawful section 20 duty towards our client.

Manjit comments that “This was a particularly rewarding case to be involved with as our client’s life was improved dramatically by our intervention, not only was our client very happy and settled at his foster parent’s home his education was not disrupted and he was able to continue to sit his exams due to his own determination to create a stable future for himself.”

A vulnerable 19 year old client was homeless despite requesting assistance from a local authority for housing. On numerous occasions the client was fobbed off and told to return at a future date. As a result of Manjit’s urgent intervention temporary accommodation was provided to the client. The local authority subsequently made a decision that the client was not in priority need and as a result we requested a review of the Council’s decision. The outcome of the matter was that this decision was overturned and the local authority accepted a housing duty towards the client.

Manjit comments ‘It is my experience that when young men approach local authority housing departments for assistance they are turned away as there is a general consensus that they can fend for themselves without proper consideration of their housing needs, once we made detailed representations on behalf of our vulnerable client the local authority accepted a housing duty to him’.

Our vulnerable client who was being stalked by a family member, including physical attacks which had been reported to the police instructed this firm after her local authority refused to accept a housing application. Urgent work was undertaken by us to secure temporary accommodation. The local authority then made a decision that the client was not owed a housing duty because she was not in priority need for housing. Due to the nature of the client’s vulnerability (i..e her vulnerability arose out of the psychological torment caused by the perpetrator), it was necessary to obtain expert medical evidence and as a result of our intervention the local authority quashed it’s housing decision accepting the client was in priority need and accepted a full housing duty was owed to her.

The client instructed Osbornes to request a review of the Council’s decision that she was not in priority need for housing, having been trafficked to the United Kingdom and abused. As a result of our intervention the local authority quashed its decision and accepted our client was in priority need for housing.

Manjit assisted her client in successfully reviewing the local authorities decision to end its housing duty to the client for failing to accept a reasonable offer of temporary accommodation.

Manjit successfully issued a pre-action protocol letter before claim against a local authority in relation to its decision to terminate the client’s temporary accommodation without providing the client reasonable notice. In the same case Manjit successfully negotiated with the local authority to quash its decision that the client was not in priority need. They also  agreed to allow the client to make a fresh housing application whilst continuing to provide temporary accommodation to him.

Manjit states ‘This was a great outcome for our client because we avoided having to appeal to the County Court as a result of the sensible approach taken by the local authority which saved costs and the Courts time’.

Manjit successfully issued a pre-action protocol letter before claim against a local authority who refused to accept the client’s housing application. In the same matter temporary accommodation was secured on behalf of the client whilst it considered the client’s housing application.

Written by Shilpa Mathuradas

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