Local Authority Arranged House Move — Scope | Disability forum

Local Authority Arranged House Move

keira Member Posts: 133 Courageous
A friend of mine recently moved home from one council house to another. This was arranged and paid for by her local council. However the removal company that the council uses damaged several of her white goods. These are beyond repair. The removal firm have stated that my friend will have to claim compensation from their insurers but the full cost of the replacement goods will not be met as the insurance policy  is indemnity only and not new for old. Therefore my friend will be left without essential items! Also, the council have been lending her white goods whilst this has been going on but are now stating that they want payments from her for the loan of these? The terms of the insurance were never explained to her nor was it advised to her that she would have to pay rental costs for the white goods on loan. She has several physical and mental health problems and this is why the council arranged her move to more suitable accommodation in the first place. Can anyone give any advice as to what her rights are in this very worrying situation and what she should do. Thanks.


  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,212 Disability Gamechanger
    There maybe some assisstance in helping to replace the white goods


    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
    Goodness! So sorry to hear about your friend's experience, @keira

    @Debbie_Scope, is there anything you can suggest?
  • Jean_OT
    Jean_OT Member Posts: 513 Pioneering
    edited April 2018


    Hi @keira

    In my opinion this essentially sounds like a legal matter considering if contracts have been properly applied and also if your friend had capacity to enter into those contracts at that time (Mental Capacity Act). Her local CAB or community law service may be able to advice further.

    I would have thought that regardless of the removal company’s insurance/contract they are still legally obligated to take ‘reasonable care’ of the items that they moving. If they failed in this respect then maybe your friend may have a claim against them for all of the expenses that she has had as a result. Sometimes the small claims court is a way of getting readdress: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money

    In the meantime may be it would be a good idea to quickly find an alternative to the white goods loaned by the local authority to avoid incurring additional costs. Most towns and cities have an organisation that sells donated white goods cheaply to those in needs: https://reuse-network.org.uk/find-items/#/ some charities will also give grants for white goods https://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/search-grants

    Then she could use the local authority’s complaints procedure to complain about the fees for the loaned equipment that the local authority are asking for. It could be argued that these are unreasonable/unfair if she didn’t know what she was agreeing to when she accepted the white goods. She could ask that under the circumstances they waive the fees.

    Hope she is able to resolve things


    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist