Homelessness decisions

A group of people investigating a contract

Review of your homelessness decision

  • If you do not agree with the review decision you can make an appeal.
  • If you approach us to ask for housing assistance under the Housing Act 1996, Part VII (amended), you have the right to request a review in some circumstances.
  • You can appeal to the county court on any point of law arising from the decision of the review, or on the original decision if we have not met the time limit to complete your review.
  • An appeal must be brought within 21 days of the date we tell you of our review decision.
  • If you are considering appealing to the county court, the local Citizens Advice Bureau can assist you.

For independent advice, you can contact:

Cambridge Citizens Advice BureauA woman giving support advice over telephone

66 Devonshire Road
Telephone: 0344 848 7979

For independent advice visit the Citizens Advice website.


Telephone: 0808 800 4444
Online help: Go to England Shelter website page where you can chat online. 

Local Government Ombudsman

PO Box 4771
Telephone: 0300 061 0614

Take a look at their fact sheet, aimed at people who are, or may become, homeless and may be considering making a complaint to the Ombudsman.

Examples of when you can request a review:

  • When we have made a decision that you are not eligible for assistance
  • If you do not agree with what duty, if any, we owe you if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • If you do not agree with the steps we take as stated in your Personal Housing Plan under the prevention and/or relief duty
  • If we have ended its prevention or relief duty to you
  • If we have served notice due to deliberate and unreasonable refusal to cooperate with the steps set out in your Personal Housing Plan
  • If we have referred its relief duty to another local authority and the referral has been accepted by the notified authority
  • If we have referred its main homeless duty to another local authority
  • If another local authority has accepted a referral of a main homeless duty
  • If we have has offered accommodation after accepting a main homeless duty and you feel that this accommodation is unsuitable
  • If we have offered accommodation intended to end its prevention, relief or main homeless duty and you feel that this accommodation is unsuitable

You must ask for a review within 21 days of the date of the letter notifying you of the decision. 

You can make this request in writing. If you are unable to write, please contact us in person or by telephone, confirming that you are asking for a review.

Your review will be considered by a senior officer on the team who was not involved in making the original decision that you are asking to be reviewed.

The request should be addressed to:

Housing Advice and Homelessness Service
South Cambridgeshire District Council
Cambourne Business Park
CB23 6EA

Making a complaint

If you are not satisfied with our review decision you can make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The ombudsman will consider a complaint if you believe you have been treated unfairly as a result of maladministration.

Examples of being treated unfairly:

  • Delayed taking action without good reason
  • taken into account irrelevant information and ignored relevant ones
  • not followed our own rules or complied with the law
  • given you wrong information
  • not reached a decision in the correct way

The ombudsman will not investigate certain matters, for example, if 12 months has passed since the cause for complaint occurred or when matters are or could be subject to court proceedings.

Important: If you are unable to make a review request within the time limit, you can still ask for a review, providing reasons for your delay. We may refuse to consider an out of date request.

Local Government Ombudsman

PO Box 4771
Telephone: 0300 061 0614

What if I have new information or my circumstances have changed since the decision was made?

If you have new information which you feel should have been taken into account in making the decision, you should ask for your application to be looked at again.

This will be done by the officer who made the original decision. If the information does not change our decision, it will be considered during your review.

Will I be given somewhere to live during the review process?

If you request a review of the suitability of an offer of accommodation which we have made in order to end its relief duty, you are already in temporary accommodation and you would be owed a main homeless duty, we will provide accommodation during the review process.

We also have the power to accommodate you under exceptional circumstances pending a decision on a review in all other circumstances.

You will be asked for any extra information you feel should be considered that was not included in your original request for a review.

It is in your best interest to provide us with as much information as possible. If you do not provide any extra information within the time given, the review will be based on the facts already known to us.

We must make a decision on your review and provide a decision in writing within a given time, dependent on what decision you are asking to be reviewed. This may be extended in agreement with you.

The deadlines are as follows:

  • 3 weeks from the date of the review request of a decision to bring the prevention duty to an end
  • 8 weeks from the date of the review request of a decision to bring the relief duty to an end, decision on eligibility, decisions on duties owed, decisions to refer and decisions on suitability of accommodation
  • 10 weeks from the date of the review request of a decision jointly made by this and another local authority on whether the conditionals for a referral have been met

During the review process, if it appears that there has been some irregularity in the original decision but that the decision is likely to be upheld, you will be invited to a meeting to discuss this. This is known as an oral hearing.

  • To accept your appeal, which may mean that we reconsider your application
  • To reject your appeal, which means our decision remains the same
  • To issue a new decision based on the new information you’ve provided

Related Information

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