Homelessness—suitability of accommodation
Produced in partnership with Catherine Rowlands of Cornerstone Barristers
Homelessness—suitability of accommodation

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Catherine Rowlands of Cornerstone Barristers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Homelessness—suitability of accommodation
  • Discharging the housing duty
  • The standard of suitability
  • Factors that must be taken into account
  • The local area
  • Is the accommodation reasonable for the applicant to accept?
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Tenure and the private rented sector
  • The position in Wales
  • Challenges to the suitability of accommodation

This Practice Note sets out guidance upon the standards applicable to accommodation offered by a local housing authority (LHA) in discharge of its housing duty under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996), including the question of how suitability is assessed. For information on how an applicant may go about challenging suitability, see Practice Note: Homelessness review and appeal.

Statutory guidance was issued on 22 February 2018 to coincide with the coming in force of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRA 2017) on 3 April 2018, and has been updated periodically since. This guidance is referred to throughout this Practice Note as the Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities 2018 (2018 Code). It will apply to all applications and reviews requested from 3 April 2018. The previous statutory guidance will remain relevant to decisions taken prior to that date and is referred to throughout this Practice Note as the Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities (July 2006) (2006 Code).

Discharging the housing duty

All accommodation secured by an LHA in discharge of its housing duties under HA 1996, Pt VII must be suitable. That includes accommodation secured in discharge of its interim powers and duties, such as the duty under HA 1996, s 188(1) to secure accommodation pending a final decision as to the duty owed to