MLRC recently secured a successful outcome for a client whose offer of accommodation was under threat.
Our client was the victim of severe anti-social behaviour at her council accommodation where she had lived for many years with her two children. She had been on Dublin City Council’s transfer list for over 10 years, eagerly awaiting an opportunity to escape the suffering her family was subjected to.
Our client was both relieved and delighted to receive an offer of accommodation from an Approved Housing Body (“AHB”), having successfully completed training sessions and interviews following her nomination for consideration by the council. Our client signed a tenancy agreement with the AHB, paid a deposit of one month’s rent and was handed the keys to her new property.
However, before our client had the opportunity to move, she was contacted again by the AHB to inform her that the agreement she signed was invalidated and that the offer was being withdrawn because the council had withdrawn its nomination on estate management grounds. In fact, the council had withdrawn its nomination before the AHB had made our client an unconditional offer and signed the tenancy agreement but that was not deemed an obstacle by the AHB to rendering her tenancy agreement void.
MLRC sent legal submissions to both the council and the AHB arguing that any withdrawal of the offer would be unlawful. We argued that the council could not resile on representations made to our client. We argued that by refusing to sanction the transfer, the council had breached its duty to carry out its functions in a reasoned and proportionate manner and that this was also incompatible with Article 42A of the Constitution regarding the rights of the child. We also argued that the AHB could not unilaterally invalidate the tenancy agreement as to do so would constitute a breach of contract and the Residential Tenancies Acts.
Shortly after our initial intervention, our client was called in to meet with the AHB who confirmed that our client could move into the new accommodation immediately. Our client was delighted with this outcome. She has now made the move and is thoroughly enjoying her peaceful new home.