C had applied for a community care grant for help with removal costs. C had moved home due to their child being bullied at school and within the community. The council declined the application on the basis that C had already moved into the property by the time they had made their decision and could not make a payment retrospectively. C had applied in advance of the move, but had been unable to provide a copy of their tenancy agreement to the council at the time. C requested a first tier review but the council did not change their decision.
We reviewed the council's case file and spoke with C about their situation. They told us that the move took place as part of a mutual exchange of tenancies and that they did not receive the new tenancy agreement until the day after they had moved. We confirmed this with their housing officer.
We disagreed with the council's approach as C's new tenancy could have been confirmed by contacting the housing department. We were satisfied that C had provided the necessary information and that the invoice had only become a debt as the council had declined the award without a tenancy agreement. As such, we changed the council's decision and instructed them to pay the applicant’s removal costs invoice. We also provided feedback that the council had failed to make sufficient enquiries and that the lack of tenancy agreement should not have precluded an award in this case.