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Homeless Application - Right to Review

 

Your right to a homeless review

 

If you disagree with a decision the made on your homeless application you can ask us to review that decision. This guide tells you about your right to request a review. It also explains what happens when you ask for a review.

 

What is a homeless review?

 

By law you can ask the local authority to look again and change a decision made on your homeless application. This is called asking for a ‘review’.

 

Which homeless decisions can I ask to be reviewed?

 

  • A decision that you are not homeless  

  • A decision that you are not threatened with homelessness  

  • A decision that you are not eligible for help (because of your immigration or nationality status)  

  • A decision that you don’t have a priority need  

  • A decision that you became homeless intentionally (or became threatened with homelessness intentionally)

  • A decision about the steps you are to take in your Personal Housing Plan at the Prevention or Relief Stage

  • A decision about whether you are owed the Prevention, Relief or full duty

  • A decision to end the Prevention, Relief or full duty to you

  • A decision to end the duty towards you where you are considered to have deliberately and unreasonably refused to cooperate with the steps taken to prevent or relieve your homelessness

  • A decision that your case should be referred to another council because you don’t have a local connection with our area but have a local connection with another council’s area  

  • A decision that your case has been transferred to another council because you don’t have a local connection with our area but have a connection with the other council’s area  

  • the suitability of accommodation offered to you under the Relief or full duty

  • the suitability of accommodation offered to you as a final accommodation offer

  •  

What if I’m unsure whether a particular decision can be reviewed?

 

The decision letter we send you will tell you if you can ask for a review. Please contact us if you have any questions. You can also get independent advice (see ‘Can I get independent advice?’ below).

 

Is there a time limit for asking for a review?

 

Yes. You must ask for a review within 21 days of being notified of the decision. This usually means 21 days from when you receive the decision letter. Special rules apply if you don’t receive the decision letter (see the next section ‘What if I don’t receive the decision...’).

If you accepted an interim accommodation some time ago after we determined that we had a full housing duty towards you and you want us to reconsider its suitability you’ll need to demonstrate that the accommodation has become unsuitable (since you accepted it) because your circumstances have changed.

 

What if I don’t receive the decision letter, only find out about the decision after the 21-day deadline has expired and want the decision reviewed?

 

If you don’t receive the decision letter we can usually treat you as if you did receive it (by law). This is because decisions are available for you (or someone on your behalf) to collect from our office at Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1EA. However, you can ask us to extend the 21-day deadline (and accept a late review) if you miss the deadline because you didn’t receive the decision (see the next section below).

 

What if I miss the 21-day deadline for asking for a review?

 

You lose your right to review if you miss the 21-day deadline for asking for a review. However you can ask us to accept a late review (by extending the 21-day time limit). By law we’re not obliged to accept a late review request. However, we will consider whether we should make an exception in your case. You’d usually need to show a very good reason for your delay in asking for a review.

 

How do I ask for a review?

 

You (or someone acting on your behalf) can request a review in person at our offices, by email, or in writing. Make sure you clearly ask for a review and tell us which decision (or decisions) you want us to reconsider.

 

Must I give my reasons for asking for a review when requesting the review?

 

No. We’ll always write and give you a date by when you must provide your reasons and any supporting information you want us to consider. But explaining why you’re asking for a review straight away can help us make a quicker decision.

 

Can someone else act on my behalf?

 

Yes. You can ask someone else to act for you in connection with your review. You must confirm in writing that they’re acting on your behalf (representatives usually have a form you can complete). See ‘Can I get independent advice?’ below for organisations that may be able to advise and represent you.

 

Can I get independent advice?

 

Yes. The following organisations may be able to advise and represent you in connection with your review:  

 

Citizens Advice - Tel: 0208 405 3552, Website:  http://www.suttoncabx.org.uk/get-advice.php

 

You can also get advice from:  Shelter’s free housing helpline 0808 800 4444 (open weekdays 8am – 8pm and 8am – 5pm weekends, 365 days a year)

 

You can check if you can get legal aid at www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

 

Do I need to provide an address? What if I’m homeless and don’t have an address?

 

We strongly advise you to provide a contact address because we’ll need to write to you during the review process. You should also tell us if your address changes (even if it’s only a temporary address). If you’re moving from place to place or sleeping rough we suggest you get an independent adviser to represent you. We can then send your letters to them (see ‘Can I get independent advice?’ above for organisations that may be able to represent you).

We strongly advise you provide a telephone number and email address so we can contact you during the review process. This is particularly important if you have problems receiving your post. We can email the letters we’re sending you. Or we can phone you to tell you a letter is ready to collect from our office at Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1EA.

 

Who will make the decision on my review?

 

A senior officer who was not involved in the original decision will make the review decision. We sometimes ask an independent contractor to carry out the review on our behalf.