In this article
- How long you may have to wait to hear about an offer
- Your chances of being offered a home
- What to do if the home you’ve been offered is unsuitable
Whether a council offers you a home depends on a number of factors, such as the supply of suitable properties in the area you are seeking housing and how many other applicants are applying that may be deemed to be of greater need.
If the circumstances are right at the time you apply you might get lucky and be offered a home pretty quickly – but on the other hand it can take years.
The bottom line is, if you don’t really have any priority needs your request may never be successful. If this might be the case in your situation you can always ask the council what the chances are that you might be offered a council home and how long you might have to wait. They won’t be able to tell you exactly of course, but their answer might help you decide whether it is worth applying or not.
The council has offered you a home but you don’t think it’s suitable
This can happen, but generally the council should offer you a home that is suitable for you and your family based on the information you have given them during the application process. This should include:
- The location and area of the home they are offering
- Whether the condition and repair of the property is suitable
- That the property is the appropriate size for you/your family
- Whether the home is right depending on any disabilities or health conditions you may have
- Proximity to any community or support services you may rely on
- Affordability of the rent
- Other social/personal factors that may make the accommodation unsuitable
During the selection process the council should take these elements into account bearing in mind your application form and the information it contains. For this reason TTV urges all applicants to make sure they give all the relevant facts about medical conditions or disabilities – indeed anything that will make your case stronger and lead to an offer that will be satisfactory to you.
If you don’t believe the home the council is offering is suitable you are well within your rights to challenge the decision. However, you will need to think very carefully about doing this. After all, you may only get one shot and there is no guarantee the council will find you a council home more to your liking. You can if you wish use the TTV letter template here to assist you [letter link need – Letter refusing an offer of a council home]
Challenging a decision might also result in you being expelled from the waiting list altogether.
Where to go for further help and advice
If you are not happy with the council’s decision you can seek further advice from Citizens Advice as well as make a complaint via the council’s website (most should have a procedure in place).
Alternatively, lodge an appeal here:
- Whether a council offers you a home depends on a number of factors such as availability of council homes in your area and what your priority level is compared to other applicants
- You might be offered a place very quickly – but it can also take years; much depends on the area you live in or are applying to live in
- If you receive an offer the council will have taken various factors into consideration and hopefully offered you a suitable council home; that is why it is important to ensure you include all relevant information and facts about your situation and personal circumstances (ie. health complaints, disability, low income etc)
- If you don’t think the home is suitable, you can challenge the decision – but TTV urges caution as you may only get one chance!
- Refusing an offer might result in losing priority points and even expulsion from the waiting list
This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.
We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our Social housing category.
If you experience problems with your tenancy deposit, have disrepair in your rented property or suspect that your landlord should have a licence to rent your property but does not have one then you can receive a free consultation by calling our advice service: Call Tenant Assist on 0333 344 3788.
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