Applications for Permanent Council and Housing Association Accommodation (including transfers)
Every Council must have a policy which sets out how it distributes housing to those who have registered for permanent accommodation. That is known as an allocations policy. The Council must publish its allocations policy and must follow that policy when allocating accommodation.
Many Councils now operate Choice Based Letting Schemes whereby applicants are invited to bid for available properties. Due to a severe shortage of housing it is common for hundreds of applicants to bid for the same property. The Council should apply the rules of its allocations policy when deciding who should be offered the property. Increasingly, it is the relative length of waiting time that determines the priority of competing applicants.
There is no right in law to permanent Council or Housing Association accommodation. That means that we cannot force the Council to offer accommodation to an applicant. However, we can advise you whether your application has been properly assessed and in some cases may be able to argue that the priority of your application should be increased, for example, on medical grounds.
Our team of housing lawyers have a particular expertise in this area of law. We successfully brought a case in the High Court to challenge the lawfulness of Waltham Forest Council’s allocations policy and also brought a case to challenge Newham Council’s allocations policy, which was heard both by the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords.