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Reviews, appeals and complaints
Reviews and appeals
There are some situations where there is a right to review:
- any decision made by the Council on the facts of a housing application
- a decision regarding eligibility for housing
- on the Council’s decision on a homelessness application, including a decision to discharge duty after an offer is refused
There are other circumstances when we provide an appeal or review process:
- against a decision that an offer we have made is reasonable
- against a grade or recommendation by our medical adviser
- against a decision to remove an ‘A’ priority grade
Requests for a review of a decision, must be submitted within 21 days of the date on our decision letter.
The Council complaints procedure should be used if it seems that the Council has not dealt with a case properly. Complaints are looked at initially by the staff dealing with the case and if needed, by their managers. They will try to resolve the issues directly and quickly.
If this does not resolve the matter, the complaint will be considered by the Council’s corporate complaints staff. Complaints that are not resolved using the Council’s own complaints procedure can be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman.
The ombudsman will check to make sure that the Council is carrying out its published policies fairly and efficiently and that there has been no disadvantage to an applicant by a failure in the process.
You are able to challenge the Council’s decision legally in some cases. This is usually by a “judicial review” which seeks a legal judgment on the actions of the Council including its policies. There are also specific legal challenges to homelessness decisions.
The role of the exceptional cases panel
There may be exceptional circumstances giving rise to a housing need not described or anticipated by this scheme. These cases can be considered by the exceptional cases panel. The panel, made up of senior Council officers, may take account of such needs in deciding whether an applicant is entitled to qualify for the scheme, or receive points or an offer of housing.
The panel may also take account of injustice (where, through administrative error, an applicant has not received an offer of housing they would clearly have accepted) in considering exceptional circumstances.
The panel may recommend a direct offer or that the case be placed in the emergency, urgent, priority or general band. The Council may also make direct offers of properties in some limited circumstances where it is in our financial or strategic interests. These cases will be approved by an appropriate designated officer.