COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
(Mr Justice Harrison)
Thursday, 9th May 2002
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE KEENE
SIR MARTIN NOURSE
|IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW|
|on the application of VALERIE ANNE PATRICIA CLARKE|
|THE LONDON BOROUGH OF ENFIELD|
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel: 020 7421 4040 Fax: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Miss L Giovannetti (instructed by London Borough of Enfield Legal Services) appeared on behalf of the Respondent Defendant.
Crown Copyright ©
"(1)A person is entitled to housing benefit if -
(a)he is liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling in Great Britain which he occupies as his home;(b)there is an appropriate maximum housing benefit in his case; and(c)either -(i)he has no income or his income does not exceed the applicable amount ...
(2)In subsection (1) above `payments in respect of a dwelling' means such payments as may be prescribed ..."
"6. (1)The following persons shall be treated as if they were liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling -
(a)the person who is liable to make those payments; ...
7.The following persons shall be treated as if they were not liable to make payments in respect of a dwelling -
(a)a person who resides with the person to whom he is liable to make payments in respect of the dwelling and either -(i)that person is a close relative of his or his partner, or(ii)the tenancy or other agreement between them is other than on a commercial basis;(b)a person whose liability to make payments in respect of the dwelling appears to the appropriate authority to have been created to take advantage of the housing benefit scheme ..."
"Concerning your recent letter appealing against the decision to disallow your Housing Benefit Application under regulation 7(1)(a)(ii) ..."
"1.The decision made by the respondents dated the 22nd April 1999 be quashed.
2.The claimant's application for Housing Benefit be reconsidered by a newly convened and differently constituted Housing Benefit Review Board."
"(1)that the applicant's liability to pay rent to her brother for the premises in which she resided was a legally enforceable obligation; but
(2)that the applicant's tenancy was not granted to meet a genuine housing need but to take advantage of the housing benefit scheme. This was because she had originally misled the Council."
"As the Housing Benefit Tribunal applied the wrong test the applicant and the respondents agree that the determination of the said Housing Benefit Tribunal cannot stand. Accordingly they are also agreed that the applicant's application for housing benefit should be reheard by another tribunal."
"The Review Board decided that there was no liability to pay rent under regulation 6."
"For the reasons given in this letter the Review Board decided there was no genuine liability for Miss Clarke to pay rent, and therefore decided against Miss Clarke on both points considered in this appeal."
(1)The judge erred in holding that the local authority were not estopped from asserting that the appellant had not entered into any legally binding contract with her brother.
(2)The judge erred in law in holding that the consent order (being a contract) between the parties did not include the implied term that the rehearing before the tribunal would be limited solely to the issue of whether or not the appellant's tenancy was contrived in order to take advantage of the Housing Benefit Regulations.
(3)The judge erred in law in holding that the decision that the appellant had not entered into any legally binding contract with her brother was not Wednesbury unreasonable."
"...a very thorough and well-reasoned decision. It is not incumbent upon the board to mention in their decision all the points that were relied upon. They made a number of points which seem to me to be entirely reasonable points upon which to rely in support of their conclusion."