Extra Bedroom For Carer

EW v LB Haringey 31/3/14 – Central London County Court

Lou Crisfield successfully represented EW in an appeal in the county court against a council decision that a one bedroom flat was suitable when EW needed an extra bedroom for her carer.

EW became homeless because her landlord decided to sell the block of flats she lived in. The council offered her a tenancy of a one bed flat with an open plan kitchen and living room. EW accepted the property but immediately sought a review of its suitability. She needed a 24 hour carer because of disabilities and argued that the flat’s size and design meant it could not reasonably accommodate herself and an overnight carer.

The council’s Adult Social Care service agreed that EW required an overnight carer and recommended that funding be provided to plug gaps in her care. The council decided on review that the one bedroom flat was suitable.

The judge found that the reviewing officer had failed to take into account the council’s own allocations policy when deciding that the property was suitable.

The policy said that, where its own Adult Social Care Service had assessed a person as requiring live in care and would qualify for funding, so long as a number of other criteria were met, the household would be entitled to an extra bedroom. The reviewing officer had also failed to have proper regard to the contents of a letter from EW’s GP confirming her need for a 2 bed property.