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The council won’t accept my homeless application, what can I do?

3 min read

If the Council does not accept your homeless application because they say you are not eligible, that you are not actually homeless or threatened with homelessness, or that you have made yourself intentionally homeless then you should call us now!

You only have 21 days from the date of the decision letter that you receive from the Council in which they say they will not owe you a housing duty, you need to ask for a review and challenge that decision as part of the council’s internal procedures.  This is a very strict deadline; you should not miss this. We call this a ‘review request’.

How long will a review of the case take for the council to reach a decision following a review request?

A more senior member or review officer will then be appointed to look at your case, they will be different from the original officer that made the first negative decision.

The reviewing officer will have to provide you/your solicitor with written notification of the outcome of the review within 8 weeks (56 days). This period can sometimes be extended by the agreement of the parties.

During this review period, your Solicitor can make supporting submissions to help your case and to put forward any other matters that you provide instruction on that the Council may not have considered before i.e., we can obtain supporting medical reports from your GP and present it to the Council, etc.

This review period is an opportunity to present all information to support your case, as you can’t introduce any information after a review decision has been made final.  Your Solicitor will be able to advise you as to what type of supporting information may be relevant in your case.

What happens if the review decision goes against you – can you do anything else?

Yes, you may be able to appeal the decision by lodging an application to the County Court.

However, you only have 21 days to appeal the decision to the County Court and this is a very strict deadline also.

You must bear in mind that you cannot appeal the decision to the County Court for the sake of it, you with the assistance of your Solicitor will need to show that the Council has made errors of law in reaching their final review decision. This can be difficult to do but with our expertise and the experience of our solicitors, we would guide you every step of the way.

If you are in receipt of benefits or on a low income you are likely to be eligible to get legal aid to help you take this case to court. 

I can’t even make a homeless application, the Council refuses to take one or keep turning me away, what can I do?

The Council must consider your homeless approach to them, this is a mandatory duty they have to every applicant that approaches them.

If the Council turn you away and simply says they cannot help you or refuse to even, consider your application – then this is not right and is not allowed in law. You can then legally challenge them by way of a Judicial Review. Your Solicitor can advise you about that further and what it entails should it become an issue in your case.

Bishop, Lloyd & Jackson Limited have an experienced and specialist team to make sure our clients stay ahead, and we can advise on all aspects of housing law. We are a ‘one-stop shop’ for all of the housing-related issues you may face, we understand having to see a Solicitor about your home can be very distressing, we want to help you and guide you all the way to ensure we take the stress away from you. We are only a call away and all your troubles could be far away.

Please contact the office by telephone at 020 3096 5984 for a no-obligation discussion or you can email us at: [email protected]  

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