Refusing an offer of accommodation & penalties
Homeless Households – 1 suitable offer
Homeless applicants, where the Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has accepted a full statutory duty, will only be made one suitable offer of accommodation anywhere in the borough.
The one offer will be the Council’s final offer of accommodation to meet its full homeless duty and there are very serious consequences if the offer is refused.
The Council will no longer be subject to any further duty under the homelessness legislation including any duty to provide temporary accommodation. The Council would then instruct the applicant’s landlord to start possession proceedings to evict the applicant from their temporary accommodation.
If an applicant does not consider that the offer of accommodation is suitable they do have a right to request a review.
However, we would advised the applicant to protect their position and ensure that they have accommodation to live in by accepting the offer and still exercising their right to review its suitability. If the Review finds in the applicants favour the council will still be under a duty to make another offer of suitable accommodation.
Emergency cases in Band A - 1 suitable offer
Applicants who have been awarded Band A will be made one suitable offer of nomination for accommodation anywhere in the borough. If an applicant with an emergency banding refuses a suitable offer of nomination they will no longer be entitled to the emergency banding awarded. Any further nominations will then be made in accordance with the normal procedure regarding needs and choice.
Waiting list and transfer applicants - 3 suitable offers
Waiting list and transfer applicants will be allowed to refuse 3 suitable offers of accommodation. Applicants who refuse 3 suitable offers of accommodation will be entitled to remain on the Housing Needs Register but will have their priority reduced. Their degree of preference (banding) will continue to be determined by their housing need assessment but their Band Date will be amended to be the date of refusal of the third offer, therefore reducing their priority within the band.
Suitability of a property
In determining the suitability of a property, consideration will be given to any medical needs, the location of employment, schooling and support networks, mobility and transport issues and any proven issues of violence or harassment. However, we are a small borough and we would not generally consider the distance between areas to be an issue.