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Intentional homelessness

This content applies to England

The definition of intentional homelessness, as contained in sections 191 and 196 of the Housing Act 1996.

Intentional homelessness definition

The legal definition of intentional homelessness, for people applying to their local authority as homeless. 

Deliberate act or omission

How a local authority can decide if a homelessness applicant is intentionally homeless due to a deliberate act or omission. 


When an applicant may be found intentionally homeless because of the deliberate act or omission of another person. 


The causal link between a deliberate act or omission and the loss of accommodation which must exist for a decision of intentional homelesness. 

Reasonable to continue to occupy

When a person will not be intentionally homeless because accommodation was not reasonable for them to continue to occupy.  

Inquiries into intentional homelessness

How a local authority should carry out inquiries to establish if an applicant is intentionally homeless. 

Welfare of children

How local authorities should deal with families with children under 18 who have been found intentionally homeless. 

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