Reported case: R (Zoe Dawes) v Birmingham City Council [2021] EWHC 1676 (Admin)

Property & Land Law

29 February 2024

This was a claim brought by Miss Dawes in respect of Birmingham City Council’s decision to execute a General Vesting Declaration (the “GVD”) on 13th August 2020 to vest the title of her property in the Council.  The GVD was executed in furtherance of the Birmingham City Council (Acocks Green, Hodge Hill, Handsworth, Kings Heath, Selly Oak, Yardley, Moseley, Tyseley and Sutton Coldfield) (Empty Properties) Part II Housing Act 1985 Compulsory Purchase Order (No. 13) 2018, which was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government on 4th June 2019.  This CPO was confirmed as part of a city-wide policy to bring dilapidated and uninhabited houses back into occupation.

The claim concerned the Claimant’s attempts to bring the property into a reasonable state for occupation or a habitable condition to allow the property to be used as a family home for her and her disabled son following the confirmation of the CPO.  As of the date of the execution of the GVD the Claimant and her son were occupying the property as their family home.

The claim before Holgate J was successful on the grounds that the Council failed to take reasonable steps to obtain information regarding the condition and occupation of the property (as per the principle set out in Secretary of State for Education and Science v Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council [1977] AC 104 and summarised in R (Balajigari) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] 1 WLR 4647),

Implementing a compulsory purchase order (

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