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

Homelessness duties

This content applies to England

A look at the advice and accommodation duties owed by local authorities to homeless people under the Housing Act 1996. It also discusses the suitability of the accommodation offered and referrals to other authorities.

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 her/his 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 pending their inquiries. 

Duties for 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

Where an applicant has not cooperated with a step in her/his personal housing plan, the main housing duty may not apply. 

Main housing duty

The main housing duty under homelessness law. The security of tenure of people housed under the homelessness provisions and the specific arrangements for people who are subject to immigration control. 

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

An explanation of local authority duties with regard to notifying the applicant of duties owed. 

Cooperation with other agencies

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

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