Homeless help from the council: private tenants facing eviction

How the council can help

The council's homeless team can:

  • help you stay in your home or find somewhere else

  • offer a tenancy through a private landlord or from the housing register

  • refer you to a refuge, hostel or supported housing if this is what you need

The council must provide emergency housing for some homeless people.

Find out who qualifies for emergency housing and when the council must provide it.

Help to stay in your home

The council will check if you could stay in your home with more help.

For example, if you can't afford the rent they might offer discretionary housing payments to meet the shortfall if this would persuade your landlord to let you stay.

If your landlord is selling up or wants to move in themselves, they may not be willing to let you stay in the longer term. But the council should make sure your landlord follows the legal eviction process.

Help to find a new private tenancy

Many councils will expect you to find a private tenancy yourself though they may offer help with a deposit or removal costs once you've found somewhere.

Some councils work directly with private landlords and may be able to help you find and set up a new private tenancy.

Housing association and council homes

You should be allowed to join the housing register. You will get some priority on the waiting list if you're facing homelessness.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee you will be offered a council or housing association home before you have to leave your private tenancy, or even at a later date.

Find out how the housing register works in your area. You may need to bid on properties or express an interest in them to have a chance of being offered one.

Refuges, hostels and supported housing

The council can refer you to this type of specialist housing if this is what you need.

There may be waiting lists for this type of housing.

If the council offer you housing

You should accept a housing offer made by the council even it's only another private tenancy.

It's likely to be better than emergency housing or facing eviction through the courts.

A housing offer is only suitable if you can stay there for at least 6 months.

You can ask for a review if you think it's unsuitable. But if you turn down a suitable offer you may not get any more help or offers of housing.

Find out about housing offers and how to ask for a suitability review.

Last updated: 22 November 2021

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