A letter for informing a homeless applicant that you're minded to decide they:
The letter gives the applicant a date by which they should make representations and provide any supporting information.
The letter also warns the applicant that you may draw adverse inferences if they don't comment on the issues raised.
The 'right to be heard'
Fairness may require a homeless applicant to be informed of matters upon which you intend to rely, when proposing to make a negative decision.
There are two elements to the 'right to be heard', namely the duty to:
Authorities commonly send a 'minded to find' letter to give effect to this right, and avoid an argument that the decision-making process was unfair.
However, decision-makers may potentially give effect to this right other than by sending a 'minded to find' letter. It may be less time consuming to put matters to the applicant and take their comments orally. There is no rule of law which states that the opportunity to comment cannot be done over the telephone or in person.
However, where there is a right to be heard the applicant must be given a genuine and reasonable opportunity to answer what is being said. If the applicant is verbally informed of allegations made against them but wishes to obtain evidence to rebut the adverse information, proceeding to make a negative decision without waiting for the evidence is likely to be unlawful.
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