Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2015] All ER (D) 173 (May)
Neutral Citation: [2015] UKSC 34
Court: Supreme Court

Lord Neuberger P, Lady Hale DP, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed and Lord Carnwath SCJJ

Representation Kerry Bretherton and Laura Tweedy (instructed by Hackney Community Law Centre) for the appellant.
  Andrew Arden QC and Robert Brown (instructed by London Borough of Waltham Forest Legal and Democratic Services) for the authority.
Judgment Dates: 20 May 2015


Housing - Homeless person - Person becoming homeless intentionally - Act or omission causing person to cease occupying accommodation available for him - Material date on which intentional or unintentional homelessness to be determined - Appellant occupying accommodation permitting single occupancy only - Appellant leaving accommodation and applying to respondent local authority as homeless person - Appellant subsequently giving birth to child - Authority determining appellant being intentionally homeless - Review finding appellant being intentionally homeless after abandoning accommodation that would have been available to her up to birth of child - County Court and Court of Appeal dismissing appellant's appeals - Whether authority erring in considering homelessness being intentional on basis appellant having deliberately given up accommodation when birth of child would have rendered her homeless by date of authority's decision - .

The Case

Housing Homeless person. The appellant had applied to the respondent local authority for accommodation. It found that she had become intentionally homeless. That decision was confirmed on review, upheld by the county court judge and affirmed by the Court of Appeal, Civil Division. The Supreme Court allowed the appellant's appeal, finding that the chain of causation between her earlier, deliberate, act and her homelessness had been broken by a supervening event which would have rendered her homeless at the time her case had been considered, whether or not the deliberate act had taken place.

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