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Homeless decisions the council can make

Appealing a homeless decision

You can appeal a decision about your homeless application by asking for a review.

You must do this within 21 days of getting the written decision.

If you got the decision more than 21 days ago, you can still ask to appeal the decision, but the council do not have to agree to this.

How to appeal

You'll only get 1 chance to appeal. Get advice first to make sure you have a strong case.

An adviser can help you use the right evidence. In some cases they can appeal on your behalf.

If you speak to the council, tell them you're getting advice and you're going to appeal in writing.

You could:

If you decide to appeal yourself, send an email or letter asking for a review of the decision. Keep proof of sending it.

There's no time limit for the council to review the decision. You can usually stay in your temporary accommodation while you're waiting.

How the decision is reviewed

The decision must be reviewed by someone at the council who both:

  • was not involved in the original decision

  • has a more senior job than the person who made the original decision

You’ll have to explain the reasons why you think the decision is wrong. This can be in writing or in person, depending on the council’s process.

If the council asks you to explain your case in person, you can bring someone to support or represent you. This could be a friend, family member or housing adviser.

You have the right to an interpreter if you need one.

Evidence you can use

Show the council any documents that prove why the decision is wrong.

This could include things like:

  • police incident reports about violence or harassment you've experienced

  • proof of your income and expenses to show your home was unaffordable

  • letters from doctors, social workers, debt advisers, or other services to explain why you could not stay in your home

Getting an appeal decision

When a decision is made, the council must tell you in writing.

They can send a letter in the post or give it to you in person.

The letter must explain if the original decision has been changed and why.

If you still disagree with the decision

In some cases, you could ask for a judicial review. This means a court will look at:

  • how the decision was made

  • whether the decision was made correctly according to the law

You can ask for a judicial review within 3 months of the review decision. You’ll need help from a solicitor to do this.

To understand your options, you could:

Last updated: 27 March 2024

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England