Success in the Admin Court – May and June 2020

Felicity Thomas successfully defends decision that unfurnished temporary accommodation may be suitable where an Applicant needing to shield during the pandemic was given self contained unfurnished accommodation. In a case which took place in the early stages of the lockdown, Mr Escott, was identified to Chichester District Council as being an individual in need of shielding because he was unusually susceptible to the infection.  At that time he was housed in hostel accommodation which he had left because of his concerns about infection from others. Within a very short time, he was provided by Chichester DC with unfurnished self contained temporary accommodation. He was provided with a mattress, kettle and microwave. Mr Escott issued an application for JR and interim relief requiring Chichester to provide a cooker, washing machine, bed and table and chairs. The application was refused in the High Court and again on appeal by the Court of Appeal. The Court fully endorsed Chichester DC’s position that the steps that had been taken to assist Mr Escott were adequate and that the application was premature and misconceived.

The full report of the case can be found at

https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2020/1687.html with commentary at

https://nearlylegal.co.uk/2020/06/unfurnished-temporary-accommodation-is-it-suitable/ and

https://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/housing-law/315-housing-features/44052-coronavirus-and-the-duty-to-house.”