Housing help after a fire

Find out what your rights are after a fire in your home.

Responsibility for repairs

Your landlord is responsible for making sure your home is fire safe.  

They are also normally responsible for carrying out repairs if your home is damaged by fire. Repairs may take several months if a lot of damage was done.

If you or someone in your household caused the fire, your landlord could ask you to pay for the repairs or deduct money from your tenancy deposit.

If your home has been very badly damaged, your landlord could decide not to repair it. Get legal advice if this happens to you.

Responsibility for damaged belongings

Your landlord isn't responsible for replacing or repairing any of your personal belongings that have been damaged or destroyed by fire.

You might be able to get help from a local welfare assistance fund to replace items.

If you have home contents insurance, contact your insurer to make a claim.

Paying rent 

Your landlord might want you to keep paying rent for your home, even if you can't live there temporarily because of the repairs.

You must keep paying the rent unless you can negotiate a rent reduction with your landlord. 

Options if you have to move out temporarily

Your landlord usually doesn't have to find you alternative housing, but ask if they have an insurance policy that could help cover the costs. 

If you rent your home from a housing association or from the council, they should provide temporary accommodation if you have to move out.

If you have to leave your home because of fire damage, ask your landlord for an estimate of how long repairs will take.

You should also get your landlord's agreement in writing that:

  • you had to move out due to fire damage
  • you'll be able to move back after repairs are finished

Homelessness help from the council

Your local council normally has a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation if you're made homeless by fire.

Anyone made homeless by a fire is automatically treated as being in priority need for homelessness help.

Contact your local council to make a homelessness application.


Last updated 05 Aug 2018 | © Shelter

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