CLS Direct - Home Page

Site Map | Feedback | Key Shortcuts | Help   
 
 

6 Losing your Home

pdf icon

Download Losing your Home (PDF File, 65kb)


1. Introduction

2. Will the council find me somewhere to live?

3. Does it matter how I become homeless?

The way you became homeless will affect how long the council has to help you for. You may be entitled to only very short-term accommodation if the council decides that you are eligible for assistance and in priority need but 'intentionally homeless'. This may happen if:

  • you chose to leave a home you could have stayed in;
  • you didn't pay the rent when you could have afforded to;
  • the council offered you a suitable place to live, but you didn't accept it;
  • you made yourself homeless to take advantage of the system; or
  • you were evicted because of deliberate actions or behaviour by you or someone else in your household.

However, the council should not claim that you are intentionally homeless if:

  • your home was unfit to live in;
  • you lost your home for failing to pay your rent or mortgage, for example because you lost your job or your benefit was not paid on time;
  • you left your previous home because you did not know you had the right to stay there; or
  • you were evicted because of something someone in your household did that you did not know about, or that you had no control over.

Even if the council says you are intentionally homeless, it still has to house you for a short time as long as you are eligible for assistance and in priority need. But this will only be long enough for you to find somewhere else to live (usually 28 days).

If the council says you are intentionally homeless, you need to get expert advice about what to do as the law is very complicated.

What is a 'local connection'?
The council will also check whether you have a 'local connection' with the area before agreeing to help you. You will usually have a local connection if you (or someone in your household) have:

  • lived in the area for at least six months in the last year, or three years in the last five years;
  • a job in the area; or
  • a close relative who has lived in the area for some time and you want or need to live near them.

There may be other special situations which mean you have a local connection, for example if you have a serious health condition and are receiving specialist treatment which could not be given elsewhere.

If you have no local connection, you still have the right to apply as a homeless person. The council may decide that another council should take responsibility for housing you. But it cannot send you there until it has gone through the proper procedures and the other council has agreed to help you. If you do not agree with the decision, you should get advice.

The council cannot send you back to a place where you would be at risk of violence.

Even if you are not in priority need, as long as you meet the other conditions the council must still give you advice and help you to find somewhere else to live. You will also be able to apply for permanent housing.

 

4. What if the council offers me somewhere unsuitable?

5. What can I do if I disagree with the council's decision?

6. Where can I go if I need somewhere to stay urgently?

7. What if my landlord wants to evict me?

8. What can I do if my landlord is harassing me?

9. Further help

10 About this leaflet







Logo of ShelterThis leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Shelter.

Leaflet version: June 2016




go to top of page

CLS Legal Info Leaflets



Find a local Advisor


Enter your postcode or town to find a local advisor.

 
CLS Legal Information Leaflets Legal Factsheets CLS Fund & Charges Legal Aid Calculator Other Links Using Advice Search Topics Using the Directory Nationals & Helplines Categories of Law Charges Complaints News Quality Mark Information for Providers GEO SEO and langauge translation by Benedict