Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The mandatory housing review officer's duty

The Court of Appeal have dismissed an appeal by Lambeth (in Johnston v Lambeth London Borough Council) for the decision to allow J to challenge a decision of a review officer under section 202 of the Housing Act 1996 to uphold Lambeth’s earlier decision that Mr Johnston did not have priority need for assistance as a homeless person.

The Times Law Report is here.

Effectively regulation 8(2) of the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Review Procedures) Regulations (SI 1999 No 71) " was not a discretionary option that the review officer could apply or disapply according to whether or not he considered that the service of a “minded to find” notice would be of material benefit to the applicant".

The officer now had a dual mandatory obligation:-

1. to consider whether there was a deficiency or irregularity in the original decision.

2. if there was, and if the review officer was none the less minded to make a decision adverse to the applicant on one or more issues, to serve a “minded to find” notice on the applicant explaining his reasons for his provisional views.

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