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Housing Rights

Housing Human Rights Challenges

Jayesh Kunwardia
Jayesh Kunwardia
Partner
Daniel Fitzpatrick
Daniel Fitzpatrick
Partner
Farzana Chowdhury
Farzana Chowdhury
Partner
Sophie Bell
Sophie Bell
Partner

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to everyone. In the UK they’re covered by the Human Rights Act (HRA). This includes being treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

These fundamental rights extend to your home and housing situation. Therefore, if you feel decisions made by your council or housing association breach your human rights, our specialist team can help you find the justice you deserve.

Challenging local authority decisions

If your council or housing association makes a decision that you believe to potentially breach your human rights, we can help you challenge that decision and to get justice for you. 

Some of the most common reasons for challenging local authority decisions include if:

  • The council states that you do not meet their set criteria for longer-term housing.
  • You are referred to a different council under local connection rules.
  • An offer of temporary and longer-term housing is unsuitable. 

You can’t challenge unsuitable emergency accommodation. 

If you decide to challenge any council or local authority decisions, they will have to send you a letter explaining:

  • Why they think the offer is suitable.
  • What will happen if you accept or refuse.
  • If it’s a final offer. 

We can then advise you on the appropriate next steps and help you to reach a more positive outcome.

"I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN FOR HELPING ME THROUGH THIS CRUCIAL TIME IN MY LIFE. I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR YOUR DEDICATED AND SINCERE ADVISE TO MY CASE."

The Human Rights Act and housing

The Human Rights Act (HRA) covers several basic human rights that every person in the UK is entitled to. Those that relate closest to housing are the right to:

  • Respect for private life, family life and home. 
  • A fair trial. 
  • Prohibition of discrimination. 

If your local council or housing association makes a decision that you think breaches these rights, we will work closely with you to hold the organisation responsible accountable. 

Terms of tenancy

The HRA doesn’t set a level of housing or level of rent that’s acceptable. However, the terms of your tenancy should refer to the property as your ‘home’ meaning you are entitled to enjoy the respect and privacy in your home in line with the HRA. As such, you may have a claim if you feel your housing association or landlord has infringed on your right to privacy or harassed you. 

Aids and adaptations

In line with being able to enjoy respect for your home and private life, you should be allowed to make adjustments or include any aids that make living in your home more manageable if you have a disability or mobility issue.

Housing conditions

While landlords, councils and associations must act in line with regular, statutory and contractual agreements, there is no specific human right to a home of a certain quality. But courts recognise some situations are, or can become, so bad they affect the tenants’ health and wellbeing. As a result, these situations might breach your human rights, such as the right to freedom from inhumane or degrading treatment. 

Environmental impact

When making decisions on housing, councils and local housing authorities must ensure that:

  • Their decisions do not negatively or unjustly impact the enjoyment of your home.
  • They take reasonable steps to protect occupiers from adverse environmental difficulties. 

If you find your property doesn’t meet these criteria and your council or housing supplier hasn’t responded to your issues, contact our team.

Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?

We are one of only three firms in the UK to be listed as a Tier One firm for this area of law in the Legal 500 guide. We are also independently ranked as a Band One firm for housing law by Chambers & Partners UK.

Our specialist team of housing solicitors are passionate and driven by achieving the best result for all our clients. We’ll support you with the help and advice you need while working on your behalf to get the justice you deserve. 

We have an excellent track record for successfully challenging authorities and resolving claims quickly, with vast experience dealing with a range of housing claims.

"YOUR FAITH, KNOWLEDGE AND DETERMINATION WERE SOMETHING THAT SOLVED MY WORRIES."

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"They are hard-working, take action immediately and work on best outcome for the client." Chambers UK, 2021

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