If you’re applying for Council Housing and you (or a joint applicant, or member of family) have been guilty of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ at the time of application, we’ll consider excluding you from the housing register.
Examples of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ include...
- Outstanding rent arrears
- Nuisance or annoyance caused by you or family members
- Anti-social behaviour perpetrated by you or family members
- Conviction for using a property for illegal or immoral purposes
Our exclusion policy applies to...
- Waiting list applicants - new housing applicants, including former tenants
- Homeless applicants - applications will be re-assessed by the Estate Manager at the housing office where the application has been referred to, by a Housing Options Officer
- Transfer applicants - housing applicants who currently have a tenancy with us
What will happen if I’m being considered for exclusion?
Your application will be registered and immediately suspended until the outcome of any decision to exclude is settled.
Due to the potentially sensitive nature of the process, applications being considered for exclusion are the responsibility of senior housing staff.
We’ll let you know in writing immediately, if you’re being considered for exclusion. You’ll be invited to an interview, to discuss the grounds for exclusion and the reasons for the application.
We’ll arrange and hold interviews no later than 14 days after the initial letter is sent.
The interview will usually be held at the housing office where your application has been registered. It’s important that you attend this interview as it is an opportunity for you to state your case.
Investigation and evidence gathering
We’ll check with relevant organisations and people about any unacceptable behaviour. If your application can be accepted onto the housing register after this investigation, we’ll write to you and let you know.
However, if we are satisfied that your application should be excluded, this will be carried out by the Estate Manager, or in their absence, a senior housing officer. We’ll write to you to let you know that you’re being excluded, and the reasons why we have taken this decision.
All exclusion decisions will be based on the individual merits of each case, after gathering appropriate evidence and properly investigating the matter.
We’ll send you a letter to let you know whether we’re continuing with the exclusion request and we’ll always inform you if a delay is likely while we’re in the process of requesting exclusion.
How we decide whether to exclude
When considering exclusion, we follow the Welsh Government’s Code of Guidance by applying this three stage test…
1) Where there’s evidence of unacceptable behaviour, was it serious enough that an ‘Outright Possession Order’ was given?
2) Was, or is the behaviour serious enough that the applicant or a household member would be unsuitable to be a tenant?
3) We must be satisfied that the applicant is still unsuitable at the time of the application.
It isn’t necessary for you, as the applicant, to have been a Council Tenant when the unacceptable behaviour happened (it could relate to previous or existing tenancies, held by you or a family member).
The deciding factor is whether we would have been entitled to an Outright Possession Order, if you had been a secure tenant in those circumstances. Receiving an Outright Possession Order means that you were given a date to leave your home by the Courts.
If you’re an applicant being considered for exclusion we’ll keep you informed throughout the process.
If we do decide to exclude you from the housing register this could be for an indefinite period, but you do have the opportunity to ask for a review of any decision to exclude.
Request a review of a decision
You have the right to ask us to review any decision made regarding eligibility to join the housing register, if you feel that you can prove a change and improvement in behaviour.
You must be able to provide evidence to show your behaviour has improved, as well as any extra evidence that could prove that you’re now suitable to be a tenant.
How can I request a review of a decision?
An application for a review of a decision must be made within 21 days of you receiving the letter notifying you of our decision.
To request a review you’ll need to complete the ‘Request for Review’ form (attached to the letter you received confirming that you’ve been excluded) and return it to the address on the letter.
We’ll then arrange a review meeting, which you’ll be invited to.
The Review Panel is made up of senior members of staff. They will meet with you and give you an opportunity to state your case. You can also ask a family member to attend, or another representative.
The Review Panel will take account of any new evidence or circumstances relating to your case.
How will I find out the result of a review?
All requests will be considered by us and we’ll write to tell you if the panel decides that the exclusion still applies or that your application has been accepted onto the housing register.
You have the right to reapply for housing if you believe your behaviour or circumstances have changed, however proof of any changes must be provided.
We consider the personal circumstances of each applicant when deciding to exclude - as the Welsh Government Code of Guidance states it’s unlawful to have a policy classing all applicants as unsuitable if they were previously evicted on one of the discretionary grounds.
We’ll also consider any language, access or communication needs when contacting you and arranging interviews.
Wrexham County Borough Council's Policy on Exclusion has been based on the requirements of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 and Welsh Government’s Code of Guidance for Local Authorities on the Allocation of Accommodation & Homelessness.