The applicant had been refused accommodation as homeless after disclosing the ownership of a family home in Uganda. He had lived and worked in the UK for 15 years. The authority did not accept that it had later been repossessed. The council now appealed against a finding to the contrary, saying that, per Osmani, to find accomodation unreasonable, an applicant had first to occupy it and then leave it.
Held: The appeal was dismissed. Sedley LJ had said in Osmani that no local authority could contemplate asking this of an applicant. Auld had not accepted the interpretation proposed and his view was to be preferred. An applicant was not to be required to return to unsuitable accommodation and to leave it before being treated as unintentionally homeless. Nor was the council entitled only to look at the size and structural quality of the available accomodation. Other proper reasons might apply, as they did here.
As to costs the court declined to accept that there should be a general practice of ordering a stay on costs in favour of authorities on such appeals.
Articles About The Case
Nearly Legal - "Reasonable to Occupy" – Nipa Begum revisited