The Court of Appeal has upheld a reviewing officer's decision that a housing applicant had made herself intentionally homeless due to rent arrears.
An applicant (LB) and her former husband had lived together in rented private accommodation with their three children. Following domestic violence, the husband moved out and a non-molestation order was made against him. After incurring rent arrears, LB made a housing application to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, stating that the rent arrears were due to housing benefit changes; she did not mention domestic violence. A possession order was granted. London Borough of Tower Hamlets decided that LB had made herself intentionally homeless due to the rent arrears. The reviewing officer concluded that there was no evidence of violence since the non-molestation orders had been made. LB appealed, but this was rejected by the County Court. LB subsequently appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal, in dismissing the appeal, held that the reviewing officer had sufficiently investigated the background to LB's eviction and had been entitled to reach the decision she did based on the available evidence.
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