Homelessness—suitability of accommodation
Produced in partnership with Catherine Rowlands of Cornerstone Barristers
Last updated on 21/11/2019

The following Local Government practice 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
  • Public sector equality duty
  • Other personal factors
  • Factors that must be taken into account
  • Affordability
  • Location
  • Is the accommodation reasonable for the applicant to accept?
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation
  • More...

Homelessness—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 HA 1996, Pt VII, 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 HRA 2017 on 3 April 2018, and is updated regularly. 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 an LHAs 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 a potentially homeless applicant and the relief duty under HA 1996, s 189B. (See Practice Note: Homelessness—Interim

Related documents:
Key definition:
Authority definition
What does Authority mean?

The public sector body procuring the project. This might, for example, be a Local Authority, an NHS Trust, a central Government Department or a Non-Departmental Public Body.

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