London

Homeless tenant wins Supreme Court battle to stay in London

Supreme Court Image copyright PA
Image caption The ruling could have a knock-on effect for other local authorities

A woman left homeless when she could no longer afford the rent on her London home has won a legal battle against attempts to move her out of the city.

Titina Nzolameso was offered a property in Bletchley, near Milton Keynes, after the government's benefits cap made her Westminster rent unaffordable.

When she refused to leave, Westminster City Council decided its legal duty to her had ended - leaving her homeless.

The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the authority's decision.

Its ruling means Ms Nzolameso, who argued that moving to Buckinghamshire would deprive her of the network of friends that supported her during ill health, can stay in the capital.

Insufficient 'evidence'

The decision could have knock-on effects for other local authorities in a similar position.

The court's deputy president Lady Hale heard the case with Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes and Lord Toulson.

She said that out-of-borough placements were not prohibited, but Westminster City Council had not properly explained its decision.

The authority had not provided evidence to show its offer of the property in Bletchley "was sufficient to discharge their legal obligations" under laws around the housing of homeless people, she added.

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