Joint tenancies: removal of a tenant

Part of Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 17th June 2020.

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In addition, local authorities often use blanket residency tests in allocation schemes without accounting for exceptional circumstances, such as a woman fleeing domestic abuse. This has already been found unlawful. In the case of R (on the application of HA) v. Ealing London Borough Council, the full homelessness duty under part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 was owed to a mother and her five children fleeing domestic violence, but she was disqualified from the housing register because she failed to meet the residency requirements. There was an exceptional circumstance clause in the local authority’s allocation scheme, but this was not used. The High Court found that Ealing had acted unlawfully in failing to apply the exceptionality provision, or to even consider applying it.

Despite that case and the Government guidance, there remain clear inconsistencies between local authorities across England. I am sorry; I do not mean to exclude Wales, but I have no idea—I presume there are inconsistencies there.