R v Westminster City Council, ex parte Ermakov

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date14 November 1995
Date14 November 1995
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
Westminster City Council, Ex parte Ermakov

Before Lord Justice Nourse, Lord Justice Hutchison and Lord Justice Thorpe

Court of Appeal

Housing - intentional homelessness - reasons for decision cannot be changed

Housing refusal reasons cannot be changed

A homeless person notified in writing by his local housing authority in accordance with section 64 of the Housing Act 1985 that his homelessness was intentional but was given reasons that were inaccurate was entitled to have the decision quashed.

The court would not admit subsequent affidavit evidence from the housing authority seeking to validate its decision by giving reasons wholly different from the stated reasons.

The Court of Appeal so held allowing an appeal by the applicant, Mr Andrei Ermakov, from the dismissal by Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, QC, sitting as a deputy judge of the Queen's Bench Division in September 1994, of his application for judicial review of a decision letter from Westminster City Council, dated January 18, 1994, refusing him accommodation because his homelessness was intentional.

Mr John Samuels, QC and Mr Anthony Jerman for the applicant; Mr Clive Hugh Jones for the council.

LORD JUSTICE HUTCHISON said that by section 64 of the 1985 Act a housing authority on completing its inquiries under section 62, was required to notify the applicant of its decision on whether he was homeless, whether he had a priority need and, if so, whether he had become homeless intentionally.

By section 64(4), if it notified the applicant that it was satisfied that his homelessness was intentional it must at the same time notify him of its reasons.

The question of law at issue was whether the judge had erred in having regard for the purposes of the section to reasons given by the council's principal homelessness officer in an affidavit dated June 27, 1994 when those reasons were fundamentally different from the reasons given in the decision letter of January 18, 1994.

That decision letter stated that the applicant was intentionally homeless because he had accommodation to occupy in Greece and that the council was not satisfied that he and his family had experienced harassment and it was reasonable for him to remain in occupation of that accommodation. By June 1994 the council admitted that that reason was inaccurate and it sought by the affidavit to supplement it.

The judge in dealing with the issue of the admissibility of the council's affidavit evidence referred to R v Croydon...

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273 cases
  • R Gleeson Developments Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Another Wiltshire Council (Interested Party)
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 21 October 2013
    ...That was the reason given in the letter. Thus it was substantially correct. This is nothing like the situation in R v Westminster City Council, ex parte Ermakov [1996] 2 All ER 302, where the reasons given were not the real reasons. Any inconsistency in the way this criterion is expressed i......
  • The Queen (on the application of Luke Davey) v Oxfordshire County Council The Equality and Human Rights Commission (Intervener)
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 27 February 2017
    ...personal budget should not be admitted, where they contradict the contemporaneous record, relying upon the decision in R v Westminster City Council ex parte Ermakov [1996] 2 All E R 302 at 315h-j. The Defendant submits that the rule in Ermakov only applies to challenges based on breach of t......
  • R Hewitson v Guildford Borough Council
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 14 October 2011
    ...at the meeting rather than his ex-post facto rationalisation. Reliance was placed on the decision of the Court of Appeal in R v Westminster City Council ex parte Ermakov [1996] 28 HLR 819, and in particular the following passages that appear on page 833: "(2)The court can and, in appropriat......
  • Vk and Norfolk County Council and The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)
    • 17 December 2004
    ...be distinguished from the decision of the local authority considered by the Court of Appeal in R (Ermakov) v Westminster City Council [1996] 2 All ER 302. In Nash v Chelsea College of Art and Design [2001] EWHC Admin 538, I sought to summarise the effect of Ermakov, and the decision of Laws......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
    • Canada
    • University of British Columbia Law Review Vol. 54 No. 2, September 2021
    • 15 September 2021
    ...See Craig, Administrative Law, supra note 11 at 375. (105) See c.g.Rv Westminster City Council, ex parte Ermakov, [1995] EWCA Civ 42, [1996] 2 All ER 302 at 315; (Lanner Parish Council) v Cornwall Council, [2013] EWCA Civ 1290 at paras (106) See generally Matthew Groves, Janina Boughey &......

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