GT Stewart has achieved another successful outcome in a homeless matter. They acted for Mr Warren Alexander-Dean in a review case involving Cambridge City Council.
GT Stewart were instructed when Mr Alexander-Dean was street homeless in the Cambridge area. The council had decided that he had made himself intentionally homeless from his last accommodation which was Flat 1, 11 Buregate Road, Felixstowe. The accommodation consisted of a room in a hostel.
The act of intentional homelessness according to the council was his eviction on 23 November 2015 which was the result of him breaching rules of the hostel by causing a nuisance to the staff and to other residents at the hostel.
Mr Alexander-Dean denied the allegations of nuisance. He had made complaints about racism against some of the residents which had not been investigated by hostel management.
A person can only be intentionally homeless if he or she has committed a deliberate act or omission leading to the loss of accommodation that was available to occupy and reasonable to continue to occupy.
The council has much more limited obligations to assist the intentionally homeless person. In this case, the council had not discharged its obligations and our client should not have been on the streets. Following the threat of court proceedings, the council agreed to provide accommodation to Mr Alexander-Dean.
Mr Alexander-Dean pursed a review against their decision of intentional homelessness with the assistance of GT Stewart. His case was that the hostel could not be considered settled accommodation as his occupation was too precarious to be considered his home, for example, the hostel management could evict him without seeking a Court order and without giving him any explanation.
Crucially, it was discovered that the eviction was in breach of the licence agreement Mr Alexander-Dean had with the hostel. This required them to give 28 clear days notice. Mr Alexander-Dean had been evicted on the 27th day. This fact was not known to Mr Alexander-Dean or seemingly the accommodation provider.
This argument along with other arguments that the accommodation was not reasonable to occupy given the complaints of racism which had not been investigated resulted in the council deciding that Mr Alexander-Dean had not made himself intentionally homeless. As a result, they agreed to secure housing for him.
The case was conducted by Dirghayu Patel and Joy Gribbin of GT Stewart.
GT Stewart has a contract to provide housing and debt advice in Cambridgeshire. If you need advice on a housing matter including cases where you are threatened with homelessness or dispute decisions made by the council, please contact us on 020 8299 6000.