Information about Social Housing Appeals
If you're applying for, or already living in, social housing and either Housing or the Guernsey Housing Association (GHA) make a decision about your case that you think is unreasonable, unfair or against the law, you have the right to ask a panel of independent people to review that decision. This process is called an appeal and the panel of independent people is called a tribunal.
Please note - the advice on this page does not relate to appeals against Population Management decisions. If you wish to lodge an appeal against a Population Managment decision, you are advised to consult an Advocate. For more information, please visit the Population Management section of this website.
The information on this page relates to appeals against Housing or GHA.
For a copy of the States Housing (Tribunal and Appeals) (Guernsey) Regulations 2005 as amended, please contact the Clerk to the Housing Appeals Tribunal by following this link. The Clerk is also available to offer advice and answer any questions you may have.
How to make an appeal
- First, you need to ask Housing or GHA to reconsider its decision. This is called an internal review.
- Housing or GHA will write to you to inform you of the outcome of the internal review. If you don't agree with the outcome of the internal review then you can appeal to the Tribunal.
- You'll need to fill out an appeal form which can be downloaded on this page. You'll need to submit your appeal form within 28 days counting from the date you were written to by Housing or GHA.
- If you miss this deadline (or think that you will) you should contact the Clerk to the Housing Appeals Tribunal as soon as possible - follow this link for contact details. Sometimes the Tribunal accepts late submissions if there are good reasons why you have missed the deadline.
- The Clerk to the Housing Appeals Tribunal will contact you to talk about your appeal and tell you about the appeals hearing.
What can I appeal against?
- You'll be told as part of the internal review whether you have a right of appeal against a decision.
- You can appeal against Housing or GHA decisions related but not limited to:
- Rent payments
- Rent rebates
- Tenancy reviews
- Allocations (the properties that Housing or GHA offer you or refuse to offer you)
- Applications for social housing
- You must have reason to believe that the decision fell into one or more of the following categories:
- It was ultra vires i.e. unlawful. Housing or GHA did not have the power in law to make the decision in the first place.
- It was unreasonable in law. The decision was perverse because in reaching it Housing or GHA ignored relevant information (or took into account irrelevant information).
- It was based on a significant factual or procedural mistake. The decision was flawed because Housing or GHA got an important fact wrong or followed procedure incorrectly.
- It was taken in bad faith. Housing or GHA's decision was irrational, discriminatory, motivated by ill-will or dishonesty, or influenced by the fact that they disliked you personally.
- It was disproportionate. The decision was 'over the top' or lacked proportionality.
What is a Tribunal Hearing
- The Tribunal Hearing is when the Tribunal considers your case.
- You will be asked to attend the hearing and answer the Tribunal's questions. If you can't or don't want to attend in person, you can submit a written statement to the Tribunal instead, as long as the Tribunal and Housing or GHA agrees.
- The Clerk may ask you to provide the Tribunal with some information about your appeal before the hearing.
- Hearings are usually held in public, but the Tribunal can decide to hold the hearing in private if it thinks there is good reason to do so.
- If you would prefer a private hearing you should say so on your appeal form. The Clerk to the Tribunal will contact you to talk about the reasons why before asking the Tribunal to decide.
- Hearings are supposed to be simple and informal so you can bring a friend, relative, legal or political representative to assist you.
- If you seek any legal advice or the services of an advocate, you will need to pay for this yourself.
- Before the hearing, you will be sent copies of all of the documentation that the Tribunal will consider on the day of the hearing.
What happens at a Tribunal Hearing
- Your appeal will be considered by three members of the Panel sitting as a Tribunal.
- Someone representing Housing or GHA will be present at the hearing too.
- The Chairman of the Tribunal will ask both sides to swear an oath or affirmation to make sure neither side gives false or misleading information.
- The Tribunal will consider the written evidence provided by both you and Housing or GHA.
- You will be asked about the grounds for your appeal and the Tribunal will listen to what you say. The Tribunal will also listen to what Housing or GHA says.
- Hearings usually last between one and two hours. After the Chairman has closed the hearing, everyone will be asked to leave and the Tribunal will make a decision about your appeal.
The Tribunal's Decision
- The Tribunal will write to you and Housing or GHA with its decision a few days after the hearing. You are able to ask the Tribunal to explain why they came to their decision. The Clerk to the Housing Appeals Tribunal can give you advice on this.
- Your appeal will either be upheld or dismissed.
- If your appeal is upheld it means that the Tribunal have decided that Housing or GHA's decision was wrong and they would be asked to reconsider their decision.
- If your appeal is dismissed it means that the Tribunal have decided that Housing or GHA's decision was right and therefore stands.
- Housing or GHA will write to you within 28 days to explain what effect the Tribunal's decision will have on you.
Further information and advice