This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Defining homelessness

This content applies to England

This section covers the legal definition of homelessness and threatened homelessness, as contained in the Housing Act 1996. It also covers, in brief, local authority duties that may arise towards someone who is legally homeless.

Overview of legal definition

An overview of the legal definition of homelessness and local authority duties. 

Threatened homelessness

An explanation of the legal definition of threatened homelessness. 

No accommodation in UK or abroad

The definition of having no accommodation in the UK or abroad. 

No legal right to occupy

An explanation of a person who is considered as having no accommodation if s/he has no legal right to occupy accommodation. 

Reasonable to continue to occupy

A look at situations where it is not reasonable to continue to occupy accommodation. 

Violence from any person

When it is not reasonable to continue to occupy accommodation because of the probability of violence. 

Unable to secure entry

A look at homeless applicants who are unable to secure entry to their accommodation. 

Moveable structures

Homeless applicants who live in moveable structures. 

Split households

About split households where a household cannot live together in the accommodation it has. 

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