Case study 1
Our client was evicted from his property after three years of privately renting there. He was evicted in March 2014 and has been homeless since then. The local authority claimed that he made himself ‘intentionally’ homeless and his homeless priority on the housing list was deferred indefinitely. While this concept/test exists in other jurisdictions it is not within our legal framework and is a clear breach and misapplication of the Housing Regulations.
After lengthy negotiations with the Council highlighting this misinterpretation of the Housing Regulations, the local authority reviewed this matter and backdated our clients’ homeless priority to March 2014.
Also, on review of his freedom of information file from the Council, it clearly showed that fair procedures were not followed by the landlord and our client was illegally evicted. Unfortunately he was outside the short time allowed to lodge a complaint to the Private Residential Tenancies Board and was therefore denied access to justice. Our client, is still awaiting suitable social housing and is now entering his twenty first month in an emergency accommodation hostel.
Case study 2
Our client is a single mother of two children and was denied access to the homeless priority list. She was evicted from her privately rented home for rent arrears of only a very small amount and was forced into homelessness. After advocating on her behalf with a local authority and again pointing out that ‘intentional’ homelessness cannot be used as a bar to access the homeless priority list and is a misuse of the eligibility criteria, the Council agreed to backdate her homeless priority to March of this year.
Our client is currently living in a one bedroom of a hotel with two beds for herself and her two small children with no cooking facilities and is now entering her ninth month in emergency accommodation. Our client is only 22 years of age and has been in care for a lot of her own childhood and has no family support and receives only financial state support. The added stress of being denied homeless priority is wholly unnecessary and further exacerbated the distress which our client is experiencing having no place to call her home to raise her children safely.
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