Applicants have a right to request information about their application including how their application is being treated and how long it is likely to be before they are offered accommodation.
Applicants will have the right to a review of the operation of the Choice Based Lettings Policy on their application for re-housing.
Bassetlaw District Council will follow the requirements of the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002 and the Localism Act 2011.
Applicants have a right to be:
Informed in writing if Bassetlaw District Council:
- reduces their preference for re-housing; or
- suspends an applicant from the Housing Register
- determines that an applicant in ineligible for an allocation of accommodation
- determines that an applicant is not a “qualifying person” for entry on to the Housing Register
- refuses to re-house the applicant because of unsuitable behaviour
The applicant will have the right to:
- be informed in writing of the decision and of the reasons for this decision
- request a review of a decision
- submit information in support of their appeal against the decision
- be informed in writing of the decision of the review and the grounds for it
The request for a review must be made within 21 days of notification of the original decision of Bassetlaw District Council. The request for a review should be made in writing. The request can be made by a representative on the applicant’s behalf.
A Senior Officer (who did not make the original decision) will review the decision. The applicant will be notified in writing of the decision of the Senior Officer within 28 working days of receipt of the request for a review. The Senior Officer will consider the review on the basis of the Choices Based Lettings Policy, any legal requirements and other relevant information (this includes information provided by the applicant relating to relevant developments since the original decision was made). The applicant will be notified of the outcome of the review and the reasons for the decision, in writing.
If the applicant remains dissatisfied with the decision of the Senior Officer they can apply for an appeal of that decision. The application for appeal must be made within 21 days of the date of the notification of the review. A more Senior Officer will conduct the appeal. The applicant will be notified in writing of the decision within 14 working days of receipt of the request for an appeal.
The decision of the appeal will be final and applicants will not be able to re-appeal.
Applicants may not request another review unless there is a substantial and significant change in their circumstances from when the original review was requested.
False Statements and Withholding Information
This scheme falls within the provisions of Part VI of the Housing Act 1996. Section 171 of the Act states:
A person commits an offence if, in connection with the exercise by a local housing authority of their functions under this Part:
- he knowingly or recklessly makes a statement, which is false in material particular,
- he knowingly withholds information which the authority have reasonably required him to give in connection with the exercise of those functions
The penalty for the offence contrary to Part VI Housing Act 1996 is a fine up to level 5 (£5000)
In more serious cases action can also be brought under the Fraud Act 2006 for either:-
Section 2 – Fraud by False Representation
A person is in breach of this section if he—
- Dishonestly makes a false representation, and
- Intends, by making the representation—
- To make a gain for himself or another, or
- To cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss, or
Section 3 – Fraud by Failing to Disclose Information
A person is in breach of this section if he:
- dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and
- intends, by failing to disclose the information—
- to make a gain for himself or another, or
- to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.
The maximum penalty for offences contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 is 10 years imprisonment.
Where false information is found to have been given, the applicant may also be excluded from the Housing Register or removed from the Housing Register.
Where false information has resulted in the applicant obtaining accommodation, Bassetlaw District Council may bring possession proceedings for recovery of the property.
All applications will be dealt with sensitively and in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Last Updated on Monday, October 16, 2023