Right to an internal review of a homelessness decision
When an applicant has the right to ask for an internal review of a homelessness decision.
Right to internal review
Applicants have a right to request an internal review of most local authority homelessness decisions. The review is carried out by the authority that made the decision, which should follow a specific procedure.
There is no statutory right to a second review of an original decision or to a review of a decision made on review although local authorities may exercise discretion to carry out either.
Which decisions can be reviewed
The key local authority decisions that can be reviewed are:
whether the applicant is eligible for assistance, homeless, in priority need, intentionally homeless or has a local connection, and therefore what duty the authority owes
what steps the authority is to take in order to prevent or relieve homelessness, which includes having regard to the assessment of the applicant's case in the personalised housing plan
to end either the prevention or relief duty
to notify the applicant that they have deliberately and unreasonably refused to cooperate with the authority
a notification that a local authority is going to make or has made a referral to another authority (before a decision has been made on whether the referral is successful) where this is made at the stage of main housing duty
the decision made on whether a referral to another authority is successful, whether this decision is made at the stage of relief or main housing duty 
the suitability of accommodation provided in discharge of the local authority's duties under Part 7 (ie while duties subsist) and offered in order to end duties. The applicant may either accept or reject the offer and in either case still request a review. Note that this right does not extend to a review of the suitability of interim accommodation.
whether a duty has been discharged towards the applicant
Decisions not subject to internal review
The most important decisions that are not subject to internal review are:
a refusal to accept a homelessness application
a challenge based on the length of time in accommodation to provided to people who are in priority need but intentionally homeless
the suitability of interim accommodation
the assessment of need and the content of the personalised housing plan (but an applicant has a right to request a review of the steps the authority is to take to prevent or relieve homelessness, as above)
a decision not to provide accommodation pending a review
decisions about the protection of property
a refusal to accept an out of time review or to carry out a discretionary second review
These decisions can be challenged by judicial review.
Last updated: 19 March 2021