The SC decisions in Manchester City Council v Pinnock  2 AC 104 and Hounslow London Borough Council v Powell  2 AC 186 have had far reaching ramifications in standard possession proceedings,
...but how have those decisions affected the eviction of homeless applicants accommodated pending inquiries under s.188(1) and s.190(2) of the Housing Act 1996?The CA considered the above question in an appeal bought by CN and ZH against the decision of Phillip Mott QC. The learned Judge dismissed the claimants’ claims for judicial review of decisions by the local housing authorities to terminate the provision of accommodation to the claimants and their families without commencing proceedings for possession orders.
Prior to Pinnock and Powell the case law seemed settled. In the case of Mohammed v Manek and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (1995) 27 HLR 439 the CA held that under s.3(2B) of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 the expression "occupied as a dwelling under a licence" did not apply to temporary accommodation provided to an applicant for assistance on the basis of homelessness pursuant to an authority's interim duty to house such an applicant while they make further inquiries. An authority did not have to make an application for an order for possession in such cases.
In the later case of Desnousse v Newham London Borough Council  EWCA Civ 547 the CA held that this reading of the 1977 act was not inconsistent with the rights of an occupier under the ECHR.
The Claimant’s on appeal contended that the cases of Manek and Desnousse could no longer stand in light of Pinnock and Powell.
Kitchen LJ, dismissing the appeal, held that Pinnock and Powell had no effect on the current position. The issue of proportionality raised by Pinnock need only be considered if raised in the proceedings by or on behalf of the occupier. Therefore although Pinnock is now often referred to in standard possession claims in the county court it seems this is an area of law that remains unchanged.
Vaughan Jacob / 1st Aug 2013
The information and any commentary on the law contained on this web site is provided free of charge for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by any member of Chambers. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice from a lawyer about your case or matter and not to rely on the information or comments on this site. No responsibility is accepted for the content or accuracy of linked sites.
If you like what you've read but want to know more about how we can help you, simply call us:
Alternatively you can send us an email and a member of our team will contact you as soon as possible.