Housing advice and homelessness

Appealing our decision

If you disagree with a decision made on your homeless application, you can ask us to review it.

The time you have to ask for a review is limited to 21 days from the date of the decision letter, so you must act quickly if you want to challenge it.


You are entitled to seek a review of the following decisions:

  • that you're not homeless
  • that you're not threatened with homelessness
  • you're not eligible for help because of your immigration or nationality status
  • that you don't have a priority need
  • that you became homeless intentionally or became threatened with homelessness intentionally
  • to refer your case to another council - you may be able to ask for a review at two stages in this process, when we refer you and when the other council accepts a duty to you, depending on when the referral is made
  • reasonable steps that the council is to take to prevent or relieve your homelessness
  • ending the prevention or relief duty - decisions made to end these duties, including the suitability of accommodation offered to end these duties and the decision that you have deliberately and unreasonably refused to cooperate
  • ending the duty to provide you with accommodation because you are no longer owed the relief duty having deliberately and unreasonably refused to cooperate (This will only apply if you are homeless, eligible for assistance, in priority need, and not intentionally homeless.)
  • suitability of temporary accommodation - only if the council has accepted the main housing duty to you
  • that the main housing duty has ended

  • We recommend you request your review in writing and ensure you give your full reasons why you think the decision is wrong.
  • 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.

  • You must ask for a review within 21 days of the decision.
  • If you are outside this time, you do not have a right to a review.
  • We may consider a late appeal if you show exceptional circumstances which caused you to submit a late review request.

  • You can ask someone else to submit a request for a review on your behalf, for example Citizens Advice Bureau, a solicitor or a friend.
  • You must give us your written consent for someone else to do this.

  • A senior officer who was not involved in our original decision will reconsider your case and write to you with our final decision.

  • Different time limits apply depending on the type of decision being reviewed.
  • The range of time is between three weeks (21 days) or eight weeks (56 days).
  • The period for completing the review can be longer if both you (or your representative) and the review officer agree in writing that the time limit should be extended.

  • You can request the provision of accommodation pending the outcome of the review and you should explain why this is required.
  • The council does not have a duty to accommodate you whilst the review is being carried out so you should make alternative arrangements for somewhere to stay.
  • 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 has been provided.
  • The reviewing officer will consider the merit of the case to decide whether or not accommodation should be provided under the homeless legislation.
  • If the reviewing officer decides it is appropriate to provide accommodation pending the outcome of the review, you will be contacted to discuss this further.

  • Upon receipt of a request for a review, we will send you an acknowledgement letter.
  • If you do not have an address for us to send the letter to, your acknowledgement letter will be left at Housing Reception at the Civic Centre for you to collect.
  • Your case will be reconsidered by a Senior Officer who was not involved in the original decision.
  • The reviewing officer will check whether the original decision was reached lawfully and was correctly based on the information available.
  • A new review decision will be reached and will 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 representative acting on your behalf, we may contact them rather than contacting you directly.

  • If you think our reviewed decision is wrong and believe the council has made an unlawful decision, you can seek a County Court appeal under Section 204 of the Housing Act 1996.
  • You must apply to the County Court within 21 days of the notification of the review decision and your appeal must be on a point of law.
  • We suggest you obtain legal advice before seeking such appeal.

    Page last updated: 12 Sep 2019