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Suitability of accommodation

This content applies to England

Right to apply for review of suitability of accommodation.

The right to apply for a review of the suitability of an allocation of accommodation depends on whether the offer is made to end a homelessness duty under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 or not.

Allocation to discharge a Part 7 duty

Homeless applicants who are being offered settled accommodation under the main housing duty,[1] which could be an offer of accommodation through the allocations scheme, have the right to request a review of the suitability of the accommodation that is provided.

For more information, see Suitability of accommodation and Challenging local authority decisions in the homelessness section.

Challenging suitability outside Part 7 offers

An applicant who has been offered accommodation outside the main housing duty owed to homeless applicants, does not have the right to request an internal review of the suitability of the accommodation. Authorities may create their own provision for reviews of suitability of accommodation. Where this is not the case, applicants who are dissatisfied with the accommodation offered should first be advised to request another offer and, if the authority refuses to make one, to follow the local authority's internal complaints procedure.

If dissatisfied with the response to their complaint, they can apply for a judicial review. The judicial review would not look directly at the suitability of the offer, but would review the local authority's decision not to make another offer - ie by suspending the applicant from the allocations scheme for a certain period. The judicial review would be on the ground that the local authority had failed to consider relevant issues (eg the property was in fact unsuitable according to the criteria in the authority's allocations scheme), or that the policy on suspensions is unlawful because it is operated as a blanket policy and/or because it denies a reasonable preference in the individual case.

Case law concerning suitability of accommodation provided under Part 7 can be used when challenging suitability of accommodation provided through the allocations scheme. See also the page Information and offers.

Find details of local authorities on


The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] s.193 Housing Act 1996.

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