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

Local authority homelessness duties

This content applies to England

Duties that a local authority may owe a homeless person, including to prevent or relieve homelessness, and to provide interim, temporary or long term accommodation.

Local authority prevention duty

A local authority must take reasonable steps to help the applicant secure that accommodation does not cease to be available for their occupation. 

Local authority relief duty

A local authority must take reasonable steps to help the applicant secure that accommodation becomes available for at least six months. 

Interim duty to accommodate

When local authorities have a duty to provide homeless applicants with interim accommodation while carrying out inquiries.  

Duties owed when intentionally homeless

Duties a local authority has towards an applicant who is in priority need but intentionally homeless. 

Accommodation duty in cases of non cooperation

The main housing duty may not apply if an applicant has not cooperated with a step in their personal housing plan. 

Main housing duty

The main housing duty owed by a local authority to someone who is homeless, eligible, has a priority need and is not intentionally homeless.  

Protection of property

An explanation of the duties local authorities have to protect the personal belongings of those to whom it has a duty to provide accommodation. 

Notification of duties owed to homeless applicants

The local authority must notify the applicant when a homelessness duty is owed. 

Homeless applications cooperation between agencies

How local authorities can ask other agencies for assistance with discharging their duties towards an applicant. 

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