Homelessness appeal and review procedure
The Council has a duty to provide advice and help to anyone who
is homeless. If you make a homeless application, we will consider
your individual circumstances to decide what, if any, housing duty
is owed to you. If you disagree with a decision made on your
homeless application, you may be able to ask for a review.
Which decisions can I ask to be reviewed?
You are entitled to seek a review of the
following decisions on homeless applications (or on the
relevant duties owed you as a result of these decisions):
- eligibility (if the decision is that you are ‘ineligible’ (do
not qualify) for assistance due to your immigration or legal status
in the UK)
- homelessness (if you have been found ‘not homeless’)
- priority need (if the decision is that you are ‘not in priority
- intentionality (if you are considered ‘intentionally
- referral (if the decision is to refer your case to another
council – you can ask for a review at two stages in the process,
both when we refer you and when the other council accepts a duty to
- suitability of accommodation (you can only request a review of
the suitability of your temporary accommodation if the
Council has accepted a full housing duty)
- discharge of duty (where the Council decides that no further
duty is owed to you because it considers these duties have
When can I ask for a review?
The law says that you must ask for a review
within 21 days of the decision. If you are outside this
do not have a right to a review. We may consider it
however, if you show that exceptional circumstances caused you
to be late.
Can I get help with my request for a review?
You may find that an independent legal or
specialist housing adviser can help you with this process. Let us
know that you are asking for a review as soon as you can, and
then seek this help to save time. You may also wish to provide
new information, in which case you may need the help of
professionals, such as social workers or doctors, who know
about your situation.
Who will deal with my review?
Your review will be dealt with by one of the
Council’s review officers. This person will be independent of the
original decision and experienced in housing law so that they can
reach a new decision on your case.
You can contact the review officer either by
email to email@example.com or
alternatively in writing:
Housing Needs Department
The Town Hall
London W8 7NX
What happens next?
You will receive a letter within one week
which acknowledges your request for a review. It will also explain
the process. If you do not have an address, this letter (and any
others concerning your review) will be kept in the Customer
Services Centre at the Town Hall for you to collect. Your case will
be examined objectively and independently to make sure that the
original decision was reached in a lawful way and was correct based
on the information available.
A new ‘review decision’ will be reached. This
must take account of your circumstances now and since the original
decision was made. We may need to make enquiries and seek further
information so this can take time. If you have a solicitor or
specialist adviser acting for you, we will contact them rather than
contacting you directly.
How long will it take?
The law allows for up to eight weeks to
complete most reviews (and longer for reviews of some referral
decisions). However, in some cases the process can take longer and
it may be necessary for you, your representative or the review
officer to ask for an extension to complete the review.
Will I continue to be accommodated?
The Council does not have a duty to
accommodate you while the review is being carried out and we do not
normally provide accommodation, so you will need to make
alternative arrangements. We may have to provide accommodation in
exceptional circumstances - where we believe the original decision
could be unlawful and may be overturned, or where new information
puts it in doubt and you would face exceptional hardship without
accommodation (more so than other people who are homeless).
What is the law around the review process?
Section 202 of Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996
(amended in 2002) instructs councils how reviews are to be carried
out. The procedures for reviews are covered in Statutory Instrument
1999 No. 71. You can find copies of these in your local library,
and housing advisers and solicitors will also keep copies. You can
find the law on the Legislation.gov.uk website,
along with the Statutory
What if I think the review decision is still wrong?
If you still believe the Council has made an
unlawful decision, the law allows you to seek a County Court Appeal
(Section 204 of the 1996 Act). You must apply to the County Court
within 21 days of the notification of the review decision and on a
point of law. It is recommended that you obtain legal advice if you
do seek such an appeal.