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6 Losing your Home
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:
However, the council should not claim that you are intentionally homeless if:
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'?
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.
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Shelter.
Leaflet version: June 2019
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CLS Legal Info Leaflets
29 I am in arrears with my rent. What are my rights?
(Legal Information Leaflets)