The Appeals Procedure applies to all housing matters dealt with by the Directorate of Housing and Community Services.
What can I appeal about?
You can appeal if you think we have made a decision on a housing matter that affects you and you believe:
- We have failed to take into account all relevant matters when making a decision
- We have made our decision unfairly or with malice or bias
When does The Appeal Procedure not apply?
Some of our decisions are subject to procedures laid down by Parliament. They are called Statutory Procedures. They include your legal right of appeal to, or review by, the courts, a tribunal or within the council, for example:
- Homelessness appeals
- Introductory tenancy reviews
If a decision if subject to a statutory right of appeal or review, we will notify you of your legal rights at the time of the decision and the procedures and timescales that apply.
Problems that are about to go to court or tribunal
The appeals procedure will generally not deal with problems that are about to go to court or tribunal (or have already done so) or that are subject to ongoing insurance claims.
How do I lodge an appeal?
Stage one - Review and written explanation
On receiving your appeal, the Director of Housing and Community Services will appoint a senior officer as Reviewing Officer to review the original decision. The Reviewing Officer will have had no prior involvement in the matter. The Reviewing Officer will take into account your views and comments and will give you a full written explanation for the decision, usually within 14 days of receiving your appeal.
Stage two - Housing Appeal Panel hearing
If you remain unhappy with the decision, you may appeal to the Housing Appeals Panel. If you want the panel to hear your appeal, you must give notice of this appeal within 28 days of receiving our full written explanation under Stage one. When we give a full explanation under Stage one, we will explain that you can have your appeal heard by the panel.
The Housing Appeals Panel
The Housing Appeals Panel comprises at least three elected members of council (councillors), none of which will have had any previous involvement in the matter. The Appeals Panel will hold a hearing within 28 days and we will tell you when this will be. You will have the right to make written comments to the Appeals Panel. But if you wish to attend the hearing to make comments in person, you may do so if you give advance notice to the Appeals Panel. When the council tells you of the panel hearing date, it will ask you to make any further written comments. If you have chosen to attend the Appeals Panel in person, the council will also explain the procedure to be followed at the hearing.
The Housing Appeals Panel decision
You will be told in writing of the Appeals Panel’s decision within seven days of the hearing including, where appropriate, the reasons for reaching that decision.
What if I am still unhappy?
If you are still unhappy you may take up the matter with the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is an independent person who looks into complaints of maladministration (bad practice) against councils. Information on how to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman is available from any Council office.