Hastings woman denied ‘perfect’ home after council error

Kerry Turner with her children Robbie, 16, Kayleigh, 15, Roxy, 11, and Frankie, 5
Kerry Turner with her children Robbie, 16, Kayleigh, 15, Roxy, 11, and Frankie, 5

A Hastings woman was left devastated after the council denied her the ‘perfect’ home without contacting her about their error.

Kerry Turner, 38, said she, her partner and her four children were ‘so excited’ when she received a letter from Hastings Borough Council saying she had been nominated for a four-bedroom housing association property, but the council said this had been sent to her in an ‘administrative error’.

Kerry said the property, in Knowsley Court, St Leonards, would have been perfect for her family after being faced with a section 21 order from her previous landlord of 12 years.

However, days after receiving a letter to say she has been nominated for the property, Hastings Borough Council told her the housing officer had made an administrative error and she should have been the top nominee for a three-bedroom property instead.

Kerry said: “My children were so excited. I had told them we were moving into a perfect new property and they could have their own rooms.

“After receiving the letter from the council, I went down to the council offices and asked if this property was definitely for me. The person behind the counter said they wouldn’t send out letters unless I had been nominated for the property and that I would hear more in a few days.”

Having not heard back from the council, Kerry checked the housing section of the council website and said her priority had dropped.

Concerned by this development, she contacted the council who informed her of their mistake.

She added: “To rectify the situation, the council offered to make me the second nominee of the property but what good is that? This first nominee isn’t going to turn down the property.

“I’m convinced had I not chased the council about this I still wouldn’t have known about the error. It’s disappointing because my children were so excited.”

Admitting its error, Hastings Borough Council said Kerry was ‘nominated for the four-bedroom property rather than being the first nominee’ but also acknowledged Kerry disagreed with this interpretation following her meeting at the council offices.

A council spokesman added: “As you are aware, the council does not own any housing stock. Her nomination only guarantees her a viewing via the housing association, but there are other requirements to be met before the house would be allocated to her. The client who has been put forward as first nominee has done so in line with the council’s housing allocations policy.

“Although the short list process has been completed, the nominee is yet to view the property; the allocation process is not yet complete and there is a possibility that it could still be allocated to Ms Turner.”

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