The Council’s decisions on homelessness

There are different decisions the Brent Council can make about your homeless application.

Link: Summary of the different decisions and what they mean

The Council must write to you to tell you about their decision. The letter must say

  • which of the 4 legal tests you have passed and
  • which you have not passed and
  • why you did not pass them and
  • why they do not accept what you say and
  • how you can challenge their decision

When Brent Council says it has a ‘main housing duty’ to you

The Council has a ‘main housing duty’ to you if your application passes the 4 legal tests. This means the Council has a statutory duty to offer you a home.

The Council normally offers people a home leased from a private landlord. The offer has to be suitable for your needs. You do not have the right to view the home first before you say if you will accept it.

Most people are offered a home outside Brent. Many get offered homes outside London. If you have a strong reason for staying in Brent, the Council will try to find one here. But not many people get offered a home in Brent.

The Council can legally say it will no longer help you if you after a single offer of a private rented home outside Brent, or outside London.

What does suitable mean?

‘Suitable’ means the Council believes it will meet your housing needs as they see them.

The Council’s rules say a home can be called suitable even if:

  • it is not near the schools your children go to or
  • it is not near where you work or
  • it is not in Brent but is somewhere else in the UK or
  • it needs repairs or
  • you think it will be bad for your health if you have depression, asthma, back pain or problems like this or
  • it does not have a garden or balcony, parking space or
  • the decoration is bad or the layout is confusing or difficult to live in

Shelter – what is a suitable offer

Warning – Do not turn down the Council’s offer

Do not turn down the Council’s offer even if you believe you cannot live there. If you believe you cannot live there
move into the home and:

  • tell the Council straight away you want a review of the offer and
  • get specialist advice to help you with the review

‘Review’ means the Council looks again at how suitable the home is. Choose Getting a decision looked at again below to help you.

Turning down the offer before asking the Council to review the offer means:

  • you will not get another offer from them
  • the Council can say it has fulfilled its legal duty to you because it has done everything the law says it must with just one offer.

When Brent Council says it does not have a ‘main housing duty’ to you

Tell the Council straight away you want them to review this decision – to look again at it – because you believe it is an unlawful decision.

‘Unlawful’ means the Council has not kept to the law in the way it made the decision. Choose Getting a decision looked at again below to help you.

Shelter – options when the council won’t help

Getting a decision looked at again

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