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Supreme Court to consider whether possession proceedings required for Part 7 temporary accommodation

The Supreme Court has given permission to appeal the Court of Appeal judgment in R(CN) v Lewisham; R(ZH) v Newham [2013] WLR(D) 297 (follow this link to the CA judgment). The appellants seek to overturn the decision in Desnousse v LB Newham [2006] QB 831 and to revisit the statutory interpretation of s.3(2B) PEA 1977 which has stood for nearly twenty years. The grounds of appeal are that a letting to occupy temporary accommodation under the provisions of Part 7 Housing Act 1996 comprise the letting of a dwelling under s.3 Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and that Article 8 of the Convention and recent jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, together with the decisions of the Supreme Court in Pinnock and Powell require a public authority to obtain a court order before evicting an occupant of temporary accommodation. Local housing authorities will already be familiar with the DCLG Homelessness Guidance for Local Authorities at paragraph 7.11 which refers to the position set out in Manek and Desnousse, and will note that if and until the Supreme Court reverses the decision of the Court of Appeal, that they are not generally required to issue possession proceedings in circumstances in which they seek to evict applicants from temporary accommodation occupied under a licence once initial enquiries under s.184 HA 1996 are completed. The Supreme Court may be considering the appeal as early as February 2014.

Matt Hutchings and Jennifer Oscroft act for LB Lewisham and LB Newham.