Housing Act 1996
1996 Chapter 52 - continued

 
Power exercisable after minimum period of duty under s. 193.     194. - (1) Where a local housing authority have been subject to the duty under section 193 in relation to a person until the end of the minimum period, they may continue to secure that accommodation is available for his occupation.
 
      (2) They shall not do so unless they are satisfied on a review under this section that-
 
 
    (a) he has a priority need,
 
    (b) there is no other suitable accommodation available for occupation by him in their district, and
 
    (c) he wishes the authority to continue securing that accommodation is available for his occupation;
  and they shall not continue to do so for more than two years at a time unless they are satisfied on a further review under this section as to those matters.
 
      The review shall be carried out towards the end of the minimum period, or subsequent two year period, with a view to enabling the authority to make an assessment of the likely situation at the end of that period.
      (3) They shall cease to do so if events occur such that, by virtue of section 193(6) or (7), they would cease to be subject to any duty under that section.
 
      (4) Where an authority carry out a review under this section they shall make such inquiries as they consider appropriate to determine-
 
 
    (a) whether they are satisfied as to the matters mentioned in subsection (2)(a) to (c), and
 
    (b) whether any of the events referred to in subsection (3) has occurred;
  and on completing the review they shall notify the applicant of their determination and of whether they propose to exercise, or continue to exercise, their power under this section.
      (5) The authority may at any time, whether in consequence of a review or otherwise, give notice to the person concerned that they propose to cease exercising their power under this section in his case.
 
      (6) The notice must specify-
 
 
    (a) the day on which they will cease exercising their power under this section, and
 
    (b) any action that they intend to take as a result,
  and must be given not less than the prescribed period before the day so specified.
Duties in case of threatened homelessness.     195. - (1) This section applies where the local housing authority are satisfied that an applicant is threatened with homelessness and is eligible for assistance.
 
      (2) If the authority-
 
 
    (a) are satisfied that he has a priority need, and
 
    (b) are not satisfied that he became threatened with homelessness intentionally,
  they shall take reasonable steps to secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for his occupation.
 
      This subsection has effect subject to section 197 (duty where other suitable accommodation available).
      (3) Subsection (2) does not affect any right of the authority, whether by virtue of a contract, enactment or rule of law, to secure vacant possession of any accommodation.
 
      (4) Where in pursuance of the duty under subsection (2) the authority secure that accommodation other than that occupied by the applicant when he made his application is available for occupation by him, the provisions of section 193(3) to (9) (period for which duty owed) and section 194 (power exercisable after minimum period of duty) apply, with any necessary modifications, in relation to the duty under this section as they apply in relation to the duty under section 193.
 
      (5) If the authority-
 
 
    (a) are not satisfied that the applicant has a priority need, or
 
    (b) are satisfied that he has a priority need but are also satisfied that he became threatened with homelessness intentionally,
  they shall furnish him with advice and such assistance as they consider appropriate in the circumstances in any attempts he may make to secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for his occupation.
Becoming threatened with homelessness intentionally.     196. - (1) A person becomes threatened with homelessness intentionally if he deliberately does or fails to do anything the likely result of which is that he will be forced to leave accommodation which is available for his occupation and which it would have been reasonable for him to continue to occupy.
 
      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1) an act or omission in good faith on the part of a person who was unaware of any relevant fact shall not be treated as deliberate.
 
      (3) A person shall be treated as becoming threatened with homelessness intentionally if-
 
 
    (a) he enters into an arrangement under which he is required to cease to occupy accommodation which it would have been reasonable for him to continue to occupy, and
 
    (b) the purpose of the arrangement is to enable him to become entitled to assistance under this Part,
  and there is no other good reason why he is threatened with homelessness.
      (4) A person who is given advice or assistance under section 197 (duty where other suitable alternative accommodation available), but fails to secure suitable accommodation in circumstances in which it was reasonably to be expected that he would do so, shall, if he makes a further application under this Part, be treated as having become threatened with homelessness intentionally.
 
 
Duty where other suitable accommodation available
Duty where other suitable accommodation available.     197. - (1) This section applies if the local housing authority would be under a duty under this Part-
 
 
    (a) to secure that accommodation is available for occupation by an applicant, or
 
    (b) to secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for his occupation,
  but are satisfied that other suitable accommodation is available for occupation by him in their district.
      (2) In that case, their duty is to provide the applicant with such advice and assistance as the authority consider is reasonably required to enable him to secure such accommodation.
 
      (3) The duty ceases if the applicant fails to take reasonable steps to secure such accommodation.
 
      (4) In deciding what advice and assistance to provide under this section, and whether the applicant has taken reasonable steps, the authority shall have regard to all the circumstances including-
 
 
    (a) the characteristics and personal circumstances of the applicant, and
 
    (b) the state of the local housing market and the type of accommodation available.
      (5) For the purposes of this section accommodation shall not be regarded as available for occupation by the applicant if it is available only with assistance beyond what the authority consider is reasonable in the circumstances.
 
      (6) Subsection (1) does not apply to the duty of a local housing authority under-

    section 188 (interim duty to accommodate in case of apparent priority need),

    section 190(2)(a) (limited duty to person becoming homeless intentionally), or

    section 200(1), (3) or (4) (interim duties where case is considered for referral or referred).
     

 
Referral to another local housing authority
Referral of case to another local housing authority.     198. - (1) If the local housing authority would be subject to the duty under section 193 (accommodation for those with priority need who are not homeless intentionally) but consider that the conditions are met for referral of the case to another local housing authority, they may notify that other authority of their opinion.
 
      The authority need not consider under section 197 whether other suitable accommodation is available before proceeding under this section.
 
      (2) The conditions for referral of the case to another authority are met if-
 
 
    (a) neither the applicant nor any person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him has a local connection with the district of the authority to whom his application was made,
 
    (b) the applicant or a person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him has a local connection with the district of that other authority, and
 
    (c) neither the applicant nor any person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him will run the risk of domestic violence in that other district.
      (3) For this purpose a person runs the risk of domestic violence-
 
 
    (a) if he runs the risk of violence from a person with whom he is associated, or
 
    (b) if he runs the risk of threats of violence from such a person which are likely to be carried out.
      (4) The conditions for referral of the case to another authority are also met if-
 
 
    (a) the applicant was on a previous application made to that other authority placed (in pursuance of their functions under this Part) in accommodation in the district of the authority to whom his application is now made, and
 
    (b) the previous application was within such period as may be prescribed of the present application.
      (5) The question whether the conditions for referral of a case are satisfied shall be decided by agreement between the notifying authority and the notified authority or, in default of agreement, in accordance with such arrangements as the Secretary of State may direct by order.
 
      (6) An order may direct that the arrangements shall be-
 
 
    (a) those agreed by any relevant authorities or associations of relevant authorities, or
 
    (b) in default of such agreement, such arrangements as appear to the Secretary of State to be suitable, after consultation with such associations representing relevant authorities, and such other persons, as he thinks appropriate.
      (7) No such order shall be made unless a draft of the order has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
 
Local connection.     199. - (1) A person has a local connection with the district of a local housing authority if he has a connection with it-
 
 
    (a) because he is, or in the past was, normally resident there, and that residence is or was of his own choice,
 
    (b) because he is employed there,
 
    (c) because of family associations, or
 
    (d) because of special circumstances.
      (2) A person is not employed in a district if he is serving in the regular armed forces of the Crown.
 
      (3) Residence in a district is not of a person's own choice if-
 
 
    (a) he becomes resident there because he, or a person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him, is serving in the regular armed forces of the Crown, or
 
    (b) he, or a person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him, becomes resident there because he is detained under the authority of an Act of Parliament.
      (4) In subsections (2) and (3) "regular armed forces of the Crown" means the Royal Navy, the regular forces as defined by section 225 of the Army Act 1955, the regular air force as defined by section 223 of the Air Force Act 1955 and Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service.
 
      (5) The Secretary of State may by order specify other circumstances in which-
 
 
    (a) a person is not to be treated as employed in a district, or
 
    (b) residence in a district is not to be treated as of a person's own choice.
Duties to applicant whose case is considered for referral or referred.     200. - (1) Where a local housing authority notify an applicant that they intend to notify or have notified another local housing authority of their opinion that the conditions are met for the referral of his case to that other authority-
 
 
    (a) they cease to be subject to any duty under section 188 (interim duty to accommodate in case of apparent priority need), and
 
    (b) they are not subject to any duty under section 193 (the main housing duty),
  but they shall secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant until he is notified of the decision whether the conditions for referral of his case are met.
      (2) When it has been decided whether the conditions for referral are met, the notifying authority shall notify the applicant of the decision and inform him of the reasons for it.
 
      The notice shall also inform the applicant of his right to request a review of the decision and of the time within which such a request must be made.
 
      (3) If it is decided that the conditions for referral are not met, the notifying authority shall secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant until they have considered whether other suitable accommodation is available for his occupation in their district.
 
      If they are satisfied that other suitable accommodation is available for his occupation in their district, section 197(2) applies; and if they are not so satisfied, they are subject to the duty under section 193 (the main housing duty).
 
      (4) If it is decided that the conditions for referral are met, the notified authority shall secure that accommodation is available for occupation by the applicant until they have considered whether other suitable accommodation is available for his occupation in their district.
 
      If they are satisfied that other suitable accommodation is available for his occupation in their district, section 197(2) applies; and if they are not so satisfied, they are subject to the duty under section 193 (the main housing duty).
 
      (5) The duty under subsection (1), (3) or (4) ceases as provided in that subsection even if the applicant requests a review of the authority's decision (see section 202).
 
      The authority may continue to secure that accommodation is available for the applicant's occupation pending the decision on a review.
 
      (6) Notice required to be given to an applicant under this section shall be given in writing and, if not received by him, shall be treated as having been given to him if it is made available at the authority's office for a reasonable period for collection by him or on his behalf.
 
Application of referral provisions to cases arising in Scotland.     201. Sections 198 and 200 (referral of application to another local housing authority and duties to applicant whose case is considered for referral or referred) apply-
 
 
    (a) to applications referred by a local authority in Scotland in pursuance of sections 33 and 34 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, and
 
    (b) to persons whose applications are so transferred,
  as they apply to cases arising under this Part (the reference in section 198 to this Part being construed as a reference to Part II of that Act).
previous section contents continue
  Other UK Acts |  Home |  Scotland Legislation |  Wales Legislation |  Northern Ireland Legislation |  Her Majesty's Stationery Office

We welcome your comments on this site
© Crown copyright 1996
Prepared 22 December 1996