govan law centre

              Acquiescence & 'intentional homelessness'     



Davenport v. Salford CC (1983) 8 HLR 54, Court of Appeal

The Davenports were council tenants.   The council received a petition signed by 237 tenants calling on the council to remove the Davenports due to vandalism, assaults and violent misconduct by their children.  The Davenports were evicted and applied as homeless.  The council found them to be intentionally homeless.  On an application for judicial review this decision was quashed at first instance - because the council's decision did not indicate whether Mr and Mrs Davenport had deliberately failed to control their children.

This decision was reversed on appeal to the Court of Appeal who found that there was ample evidence to show the Davenports had failed to take any steps to control their children: in other words they had omitted to take steps.


R v. East Hertfordshire DC ex parte Bannon (1986) 18 HLR 515, QBD

Ms Bannon's partner, Mr Crane was the sole tenant of a house where they lived with seven children.  The council obtained a possession order on the grounds of rent arrears and nuisance.  The nuisance related to Mr Crane's use of CB equipment which interfered with his neighbours TV, the burning of rubbish, and the breaking up of cars and machinery in the garden. 

Ms Bannon applied as homeless.  The council decided that she had acquiesced in the nuisance or failed to prevent it and she was therefore intentionally homeless.  Her petition for judicial review failed.  Justice Webster held that the council were entitled to consider the conduct of the family as a whole and it could not be said its decision was Wednesbury unreasonable.


R v. Hammersmith and Fulham LBC ex parte P (1990) 22 HLR 21

Several applicants lived in Belfast and has been guilty of criminal or anti-social conduct (except one).  They received death threats from the IRA and fled their homes.  The council found them all intentionally homeless because it was entitled to consider their activities which led to death threats.  On petition the council's decision was upheld - except in relation to one applicant - as anti-social conduct and criminal behaviour had led the applicants to losing their homes.   (On prisoners and homelessness see: R v. Hounslow LBC ex p R (1997) 29 HLR 939; and on prisoners and tagging see: B v. Southwark LBC [2003] EWHC 1678 Admin).