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What is intentional homelessness?

This content applies to England

Ways in which a person can become homeless or threatened with intentional homelessness .

Ways to become intentionally homeless

The first way in which a person can become intentionally homeless has three parts, all of which must be satisfied:[1]

  • the applicant must deliberately have done, or failed to do, something in consequence of which s/he has ceased to occupy accommodation which was available to her/him
  • it must have been reasonable for the applicant to continue to occupy the accommodation
  • the applicant must have been aware of all the relevant facts before deliberately taking or failing to take the actions. An act or omission in good faith on the part of a person unaware of a relevant fact should not be treated as deliberate.

The second way in which a person can become intentionally homeless relates to collusion between the applicant and the person who is accommodating her/him. It has four parts, all of which must be satisfied:[2]

  • the applicant enters into an arrangement under which s/he is required to cease to occupy accommodation
  • it must have been reasonable for the applicant to have continued to occupy the accommodation
  • the purpose of the arrangement is to enable the applicant to become entitled to assistance as a homeless person
  • there is no other good reason why s/he is homeless or threatened with homelessness.

For more information, see Collusion.

Applications made before 3 April 2018

The current Homelessness Code of Guidance was introduced on 3 April 2018. For applications made before this date, the recommendations of the 2006 Code of Guidance should apply.

[1] ss.191(1) and (2) and 196(1) and (2) Housing Act 1996.

[2] ss.191(3) and 196(3) Housing Act 1996.

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