7. Circumstances in Which an Applicant May Be Suspended for A Period of Time Under Section 20B
7.1 The circumstances in which a landlord may suspend a new applicant from receiving an offer of housing are set out below. Landlords will need to consider all the circumstances of an individual application when deciding whether to impose a suspension. This legislation provides landlords with powers that they can choose to use – landlords do not need to impose a suspension where the wider circumstances of an application may mean it is inappropriate, for example where an applicant has been the victim of domestic abuse and needs to move.
7.2 The legislation does not differentiate between new applicants applying for housing and existing tenants applying to move. Section 20 of the 1987 Act requires landlords to allocate houses in line with their allocation policies. The law applies equally to transfer and external applicants for social housing in terms of the reasonable preference groups. This means that landlords ought generally to treat their existing tenants and external applicants in the same way when imposing suspensions.