28 Oct 2013

In this era of austerity, even if there are ‘green shoots’ appearing, there is clearly a long way to go before those shoots turn into something pretty or edible, (or both!). It follows that many more people will, understandably, be unable or unwilling to accept, without a fight, decisions which adversely affect them.

Social landlords, eager to be fair (and be seen to be fair) consult their tenants on an increasing scale. It’s done with the best of intentions, but perhaps sometimes without a full appreciation of the legal requirements involved. So, in case you’re wondering what those might be, see below.

Whether or not consultation is a legal requirement, it must be carried out properly.

That means:

  1. Consultation must be undertaken at a time when the proposals are still at a formative stage;
  2. Include sufficient reasons for particular proposals to allow those consulted to give intelligent consideration and an intelligent response (and adequate time must be given to do so); and
  3. The product of consultation must be conscientiously taken into account when the ultimate decision is taken.