Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Housing Decisions


London Borough of Newham (17 017 876) 19/09/2018


The Council wrongly told Ms B that it could not provide interim accommodation until it had carried out a home visit, to confirm that she was homeless.

London Borough of Newham (17 001 635) 11/12/2018


Miss B complained the Council unreasonably withdrew an offer of accommodation and excluded her from the Housing Register. The Ombudsman found fault by the Council including its delay in responding to Miss B’s review request, and not correcting its error which led to her wrongly being excluded from the Housing Register.

Kettering Borough Council (18 004 478) 03/01/2019


The Ombudsman found fault on Miss T’s complaint against the Council about the way it dealt with her homelessness application. It delayed processing it for about 5 weeks. It also failed properly to consider her for interim accommodation before making a decision on her application.

London Borough of Enfield (18 005 035) 31/01/2019


The Council failed to provide Mr X with accommodation when he asked for help when he became homeless. Mr X has physical and mental health issues and had to sleep in a car for five months.

Horsham District Council (18 008 548) 31/01/2019


The Council’s Housing Register and Nominations policy was not discriminatory. The Council acted in accordance with this policy. It sought medical information when required, and acted on the information it received.

Birmingham City Council (18 006 907) 01/02/2019


Miss X complained about the way the Council considered her housing applications and request for priority. There was delay in the Council’s processing of Miss X’s housing application. There was also fault as the Council failed to give reasons for decisions on Miss X’s housing application or to provide the names and positions of officers reaching those decisions. The Council also failed to identify it had already received medical evidence from Miss X entitling her to a higher band score. The Council was told it should backdate Miss X’s priority band and pay her £250 for the time and trouble and uncertainty caused.

London Borough of Merton (18 007 593) 28/02/2019


Mr X complained about the way the Council handled his homelessness application. The Council was at fault for delaying sending a personalised housing plan and decision letter, for not offering interim accommodation, and for not advising about its housing register or how it could help with a deposit.

London Borough of Harrow (19 000 787) 28/10/2019


There were serious failings in the way the Council responded to Miss X’s housing needs as a vulnerable woman who was homeless because of domestic abuse and harassment. This had a significant impact on Miss X. She was left for a long time in accommodation where she was at risk.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets (19 000 068) 11/11/2019


A pregnant woman was left in in unsuitable, unfurnished interim accommodation; for example she had to sleep on a hard floor as she did not have a bed, until she was awarded a grant one month into the tenancy. After three months, she moved into privately rented accommodation.

The Council was at fault as it delayed assessing her and issuing her with a personalised housing plan (PHP). The council also did not consider the suitability of the interim accommodation it provided, or reconsider it when she asked it to.

The council agreed to pay the woman a discretionary housing payment to cover the shortfall in her rent for a period of time, to refund the deposit she paid for her private rental accommodation and pay £1,000 to recognise the time she had spent living in unsuitable accommodation.

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (18 005 804) 11/11/2019


The Council was not at fault for placing Mrs X in self-contained accommodation attached to bed and breakfast style accommodation. The council ensured it was safe and sanitary, and provided support under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (referring to the The Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2003).

London Borough of Redbridge (18 017 247) 27/11/2019


The Council wrongly treated Mrs B’s family as two separate households when they presented as homeless, failed to engage with a homelessness application for six months and failed to provide interim accommodation for six months. That meant the family were separated and had to spend time sofa-surfing. An apology, payment to Mrs B and her daughter and a training session for officers was a satisfactory remedy for the injustice caused.

London Borough of Hillingdon (18019714) 16/12/2019


The Ombudsman found fault on Ms T’s complaint about the Council’s children’s services failing properly to consider her and her daughter’s needs, or suitability, when providing them with accommodation out of borough. It failed to show that this was the only available accommodation. It also failed to show it considered, and kept under review, its suitability in light of her daughter’s needs and the 4 hours’ travelling it tooke for her to get to and from school.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council (18 018 663) 02/01/2020


The Council was at fault as it failed to consider information provided to it by a family which applied for housing. It delayed helping them until they were actually homeless.