Case details

Samuels (Appellant) v Birmingham City Council (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2017/0172

Case summary


Whether the respondent was entitled to treat the appellant as intentionally homeless on the basis that part of her income from subsistence benefits was available to meet the shortfall between her contractual rent and the housing benefit awarded to her, and whether sufficient reasons were given for this decision.


The appellant was the tenant of a house at 18 Dagger Lane from November 2010 to July 2011, when her tenancy was terminated due to rent arrears. She was in receipt of benefits, including housing benefit, which did not cover her actual rent, but left her with a monthly shortfall. She made a homelessness application to the respondent housing authority but was judged to have become homeless intentionally, because her house was affordable. She appealed, claiming that the respondent had failed to follow the relevant guidance and had not given adequate reasons for the conclusion that there was sufficient flexibility in her income from benefits to fund the weekly shortfall in rent.

Judgment appealed

[2015] EWCA Civ 1051



Terryann Samuels


Birmingham City Council



Lady Hale, Lord Carnwath, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Kitchin

Hearing start date

31 Jan 2019

Hearing finish date

31 Jan 2019

Watch hearing
31 Jan 2019 Morning session Afternoon session