Taking legal action against the council if you’re homeless

In some cases, you may be able to take legal action against the council over their decision. This is called a judicial review. You may be able to get accommodation from the council while the judicial review procedure is carried out.

There is a time limit for judicial reviews. You must apply within 3 months of the date the public body made their decision.

What is the procedure of a judicial review?

Judicial review is a type of legal action that can be used to challenge decisions made by public organisations such as the council. It is used to challenge the way that decisions have been made, rather than the decisions themselves. A judicial review can't impose its own decision on your case, but it can overturn the council's decision and make the housing department look at it again.

Asking for a judicial review

You can go to court to review the decision of a council, housing association or other public body.

A judicial review asks the courts to look at:

  • how the decision was made

  • whether the decision was made lawfully

This is a complicated area of law and is a last resort to fix a problem. Before asking for a judicial review, you must make an official complaint.

Follow our guidance on:

Getting legal advice or representation

A solicitor can help you decide if judicial review is right for you and make an application.

You can find a solicitor on the Law Society of Scotland website.

You may be able to get free legal advice or legal aid to help with costs.

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 5 June 2023

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This content applies to Scotland only.

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