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

Accommodation duty in cases of non cooperation

This content applies to England

Where an applicant has not cooperated with a step in her/his personal housing plan (PHP), the main housing duty may not apply.

The information on this page applies only to homelessness applications made on or after 3 April 2018.

Accommodation duties may be owed to some applicants who have not cooperated. This will depend on whether the applicant is in priority need and unintentionally homeless, and at what stage s/he was found not to have cooperated.

Applicant not in priority need

Where a notice of deliberate and unreasonable refusal to cooperate has been served on an applicant who is eligible and homeless or threatened with homelessness, but not in priority need, this will end the prevention or relief duty and no accommodation duties will apply. However, if the applicant fails to cooperate at prevention stage and then becomes homeless, the relief duty will apply, giving the local authority power to accommodate.[1]

Applicant in priority need and intentionally homeless

Where an applicant is in eligible, homeless, in priority need but intentionally homeless, the main housing duty will not apply. The local authority will instead have a duty to secure that accommodation is available for a reasonable period to allow the applicant to find an alternative address.[3] This is likely to involve only a short period of accommodation and the duty is unaffected by any failure of the applicant to cooperate with steps in the PHP.

Applicant in priority need and not intentionally homeless.

Where an applicant who is homeless, eligible, in priority need and not intentionally homeless has been served a notice of deliberate and unreasonable refusal to cooperate with a step in her/his PHP, the main housing duty will not apply.[3] However, the authority will still have a duty to secure that accommodation is available.[4] Such accommodation must be suitable.[5] The duty can be ended if the applicant:[6]

  • ceases to be eligible for assistance
  • becomes intentionally homeless from accommodation provided
  • accepts an offer of an assured tenancy from a private landlord
  • voluntarily ceases to occupy accommodation provided
  • refuses or accepts a suitable final accommodation offer or a final part 6 offer.

[1] s.193C(2) Housing Act 1996 as inserted by s.7(1) Homelessness Reduction Act 2017; s.189B Housing Act 1996 as inserted by s.5(2) Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and s.205(3) Housing Act 1996 as inserted by s.6 Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. See also para 15.34 Homelessness Code of Guidance, MHCLG, Feb 2018.

[2] s.190(2) Housing Act 1996.

[3] s.193C(3) and s.193C(4) Housing Act 1996 as inserted by s.7(1) Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

[4] s.193C(4) and s.193C(5) Housing Act 1996 as inserted by s.7(1) Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

[5] s.206(1) Housing Act 1996.

[6] s.193C(5), s.193C(6) and s.193C(9) Housing Act 1996 as inserted by s.7(1) Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

Back to top