Social housing allocations legal framework: statutory guidance for social landlords

Sets out the legal framework which social landlords must work within when developing their allocations policies.

6. Unsatisfactory Housing Conditions

6.1 There is no legal definition of 'unsatisfactory housing conditions'. The term covers a wide range of circumstances such as the physical condition of the house, its unsuitability as a result of a medical condition or disability of the occupant or other aspects of an applicant's circumstances, such as unsatisfactory living arrangements, problems with neighbours, harassment and domestic abuse.

6.2 It could also cover houses which do not meet the tolerable standard or households which are overcrowded. These were previously separate reasonable preference categories which landlords had to provide for, but they now fall to be considered within the category of living under unsatisfactory housing conditions.

6.3 Landlords should set out what they consider as living under unsatisfactory housing conditions in their allocations policy. Factors that are usually taken into account include the following categories:

  • overcrowding[7];
  • living in a house that is below tolerable standard[8];
  • health and disability;
  • harassment and abuse;
  • social, community or family support.



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