County court appeals

If the council reviews its decision on your homelessness application but you're unhappy with the decision, you might be able to appeal to the county court.

Decisions that can be appealed

You can only appeal to the county court if you can show that the council has come to a decision that is legally incorrect.

This includes decisions about whether you:

You can also appeal whether accommodation the council has provided is suitable for you.

Appeals against council decisions

County court appeals have to be started within 21 days of you being notified of the review decision. The 21 days start from the day that you receive the letter, not the date printed on the letter.

It might possible to begin an appeal after the 21 day time limit has passed. You must have a good reason for not applying sooner, for example because you've been seriously ill or did not receive the council's decision letter.

Get advice immediately if you need to make a late appeal.

Use Shelter's directory to find a face-to-face adviser in your local area. 

Getting help and advice to appeal the council's decision

Get independent advice before appealing a council decision.

Contact a local advice agency when you receive written confirmation of the review decision. An adviser can:

  • check whether the council's decision was legally correct
  • check whether you have a good case for an appeal
  • help with filling in court forms and preparing for hearings
  • check whether you are eligible for help with legal costs

Use Shelter's directory to find a face-to-face adviser in your local area.

Council accommodation during the appeal

If you need accommodation until the date of the appeal, ask the council to provide it. The council may be willing to provide accommodation even if it hadn't done so before you started the appeal.

Councils don't have a legal responsibility to provide accommodation during appeals. In areas where there is a shortage of housing, many councils refuse to provide accommodation.

Get advice immediately if you are in this situation. An adviser may be able to:

  • convince the council that it should provide accommodation
  • help you to make a separate appeal to the county court if the council still refuses to house you until the appeal

Use Shelter's directory to find a face-to-face adviser in your local area.  

The court can order the council to provide accommodation until your main appeal hearing.

It can do this if it believes that you have a strong case that you will have difficulty bringing without accommodation and that you will suffer particularly badly if accommodation is not provided.


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