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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 14773
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I need legal advice on my housing situation, I am in the

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Hi I need legal advice on my housing situation
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in the borough of Ealing at the moment but have a housing issue with Hillingdon council
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Well this is where I need advice. I have been disputing my social housing need for the last 18 months as my family had to flee due to domestic violence
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I believe I have been wrongly advised in regards ***** ***** housing needs and now am being threaten with homelessness if I do not accept a property that is in complete disrepair

Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.
Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.

There is a solution with the dispute involving a council.

You should first make a complaint to the council - this is required before you can involve the Ombudsman. The complaint would be due to having been wrongly advised and due to negligence on the council's part. You can make a complaint via this link: https://hillingdon.gov.uk/complaints

If that does not resolve this, involve the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) : https://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint

The LGO may be able to help but you would need to firstly exhaust the council's complaints procedure, unless you have done this already. The Ombudsman scheme is free of charge and quicker than court action. As it is an arbitration scheme, the Ombudsman’s decision would be binding upon the council if you accepted the decision.

If the Ombudsman does not uphold your complaint, or you disagree with their decision then there is a legal remedy available against a council with it being a public body.

You can issue "Judicial Review" proceedings which is where you involve the court, and a senior judge or panel of judges looks at the legality of a council's decision. If the judge(s) find in your favour, they will make an order which is binding on the public body (e.g. they may say the public body’s decision was invalid) and they are then forced to act to sort the problem out. Further, if your human rights were breached then compensation may also be payable.

The issue with judicial review is that the cases are quite complex, but as a result of that, a law firm can usually recover their legal costs from the council if they win the application. You should be able to have a no win no fee agreement with the law firm, to sue the council. Or if you are in receipt of means tested benefits then legal aid may well be available to you.

Here are a few firms who specialise in this area :

I hope this helps - please feel free to ask me anything else.

JimLawyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Many thanks,
Jim

Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.

Best wishes,

Jim