Our client was housed with her son in temporary accommodation which suffered from the following problems:
- Extensive damp which prevented the living room from being used.
- Damp in the back bedroom
- The smell of damp through the house
- Problems with cold due to ill-fitting doors and windows.
The extensive damp and mould problems were confirmed in an expert report. Our client and her son had lived in this accommodation since 2018.
Redbridge Council did not respond to the initial letter sent regarding the suitability issues and complaints had to be made through the internal complaints process to obtain a response. However, the complaint response contained a decision that the accommodation was suitable and we then requested a suitability review of this decision under S. 202 Housing Act 1996. Redbridge Council initially refused to conduct a suitability review as it had been considerably more than the 21 day limitation period since our client moved into the accommodation. However, we sent a pre-action letter, citing the judgment of R(B) v Redbridge LBC  EWHC 250, stating that once a new suitability decision is made (after the expiration of the original 21 day limitation period), then a review can be requested on that new decision.
Redbridge Council subsequently conducted a suitability review and found that the accommodation was unsuitable. Our client’s homeless duty was then discharged with an assured tenancy with a social landlord.
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