Find out if your housing situation means you are legally 'threatened with homelessness' and what help you can get from the council.
How the council must help
You can ask for council help if you're facing homelessness.
You're legally threatened with homelessness if you're likely to become homeless within the next 8 weeks.
If the council decide you're threatened with homelessness they must usually:
If you don't meet immigration and residence conditions, the council only has to give general advice and information.
If the council decide you're not threatened with homelessness, they should give you a letter with reasons. You can ask for a review within 21 days if you think the decision is wrong.
Private tenants facing eviction
Your landlord starts the eviction process by giving you notice to leave.
After a section 21 notice
You're threatened with homelessness if your landlord gives you a valid section 21 notice that ends within 8 weeks.
When the notice period ends, the council decides if you're still threatened with homelessness or if you're now legally homeless.
If you live with your landlord
You're threatened with homelessness if your contract ends within 8 weeks and your landlord wants you to leave. Your landlord must give you notice to leave if you have a rolling contract.
Asked to leave by family or friends
You're threatened with homelessness if you're asked to leave within the next 8 weeks. The council may contact your family or friends to see if you can stay.
You're legally homeless if you stay for short periods with different friends or family because you have nowhere to live (sometimes called sofa-surfing).
At risk of violence or abuse
The council should treat you as legally homeless rather than threatened with homelessness if you're experiencing or threatened with:
- domestic abuse by a partner, former partner or family member
- violence in your home from someone unrelated to you
It can help to provide police or medical reports if you have them. The council shouldn't turn you away if you don't.
Rent or mortgage arrears
You're probably threatened with homelessness if you have rent or mortgage arrears.
If you can't afford basics like food or heating once you've paid your rent or mortgage you might already be legally homeless.
Eviction for antisocial behaviour
The council should treat you as threatened with homelessness if your home is at risk because you're facing eviction for antisocial behaviour.
Overcrowded or poor housing conditions
You can ask for council help if your home is severely overcrowded or there's a significant risk to your health because of poor conditions.
Useful evidence of poor housing could include:
- an environmental health report
- a letter from a GP or health professional which explains the effect on your health
The council may decide you're threatened with homelessness rather than homeless if conditions in your home can be improved.
Last updated - 03 Apr 2018
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