Challenging your SFA’s Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS) band

1. Right to Challenge

If you believe an error has been made in assessing your SFA, you have the right to challenge the CAAS Band assessment, on routine occupancy, or on change of SFA Type / CAAS Band.  Your challenge must be made within 28 working days of any of these events.  The challenge follows a 2-stage process detailed below.  Crucially, any challenge must be against the factual component of the CAAS assessment: condition, scale or location.

2. Basis of Challenge

The basis of the challenge must be stated e.g. you disagree with the condition assessment of the SFA because you believe it does not meet the modernity criteria under Decent Homes Standard.  In considering the basis of the Challenge you should familiarise yourself with JSP 464 Volume 3 Part 2 ( which details condition, scale and location criteria, where you will also find Challenge Policy and a template letter to be used.

3. Submitting your Challenge

Use the template detailed at paragraph 2 above, attaching any supporting evidence you feel is appropriate (e.g. photographs).  All challenges (both at Stage 1 and at Stage 2) will be processed via a single point of contact, and must be submitted in writing or by email (telephone challenges will not be accepted) to:

Address:  FAO CAAS Team – Pinnacle, 2nd Floor, Aviation House, Windward Drive, Estuary Business Park, Speke, L24 8QR

Email:  [email protected]

Alternately if submitting on ModNet a template letter is also available at:

4. Two Stage Process

The two stage Challenge process is:

a. Stage 1 – Challenge. If you wish to submit a challenge, you must do so within 28 working days of receipt of this letter1. Stage 1 will be administered by Pinnacle with DIO oversight; Pinnacle has three working days to acknowledge receipt of your challenge. Allow 28 working days for a response in full. A Challenge will have two possible outcomes:

  1. Uphold the challenge. Where it is agreed that the assessment is incorrect (in accordance with JSP 464), the Challenge will be upheld and the assessment amended accordingly if appropriate.
  2. Reject the challenge. If the correct assessment is apparent, the Challenge will be rejected.  An Appeal to this decision can be made at Stage 2 (see below).

b. Stage 2 – Right to appeal. You retain the right to appeal an unsuccessful challenge; the timescales mirror Stage 1 and the appeal will be administered by DIO. An appeal will have two possible outcomes mirroring those at Stage 1: Uphold or Reject. However, if the Stage 2 appeal is not upheld any further recourse is via a formal Service Complaint detailed in JSP 831.

[1] DIO recognise that postal delivery speeds vary and that up to 5 working days may elapse between date of letter and receipt of letter.

5. Referring the Challenge

At both Stage 1 and Stage 2, in exceptional circumstances it may prove necessary to refer more complex cases to a higher authority. You will be informed if this referral may mean that the 28 working day timeframe will not be met.


  1. A successful challenge may result in a change of underlying data, but may not impact on the overall CAAS Band e.g. the number of electrical sockets recorded was wrong; the actual number means an extra point is applied to the assessment but the impact is insufficient to incur a reduction in CAAS Band.
  2. A reassessment of SFA following a challenge to the CAAS Band may mean that the correct band to be applied is actually a higher one; the occupant will be notified that the higher charge will be applied in line with policy timescales.