A ruling by the High Court could affect how local authorities manage their housing waiting lists in the future.

Last year, Ealing Council turned down a homeless mother of five's application to join the housing waiting list as she had not lived in the area for at least five years, Inside Housing reports.

This requirement was introduced by the local authority a year earlier. However, in a court case concerning the woman's application, the High Court decided the measure went against the 1996 Housing Act, which states homeless people must be given reasonable preference.

This could prompt local authorities to look again at the residency requirements they have introduced in recent years, as some might leave them open to a similar legal challenge.

Ealing Council is currently examining a copy of the judgment in detail and has confirmed it will then consider its options.

Many authorities introduced various criteria for housing applications after the Localism Act was introduced in 2011 so they could better control the length of their housing waiting lists.