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Categories of ineligible persons

This content applies to England

The categories of persons who are ineligible for an allocation.

Unless a person falls into one of the ineligible groups s/he may be allocated accommodation by a local authority. The categories of ineligible persons are:[1]

  • people subject to immigration control (with limited exceptions)
  • 'people from abroad' as defined by the Secretary of State.

The restrictions apply to the applicant, or to a joint application where one of the applicants is an ineligible person.

Subject to immigration control

A person subject to immigration control will not be an eligible person unless s/he falls within one of the classes of person as prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.[2] The categories of persons subject to immigration control who are eligible for an allocation of social housing are the same as those are eligible for assistance as homeless persons. For further information see the page Eligible for assistance.

A person is subject to immigration control if s/he requires leave to enter or remain in the UK.[3]

Other persons from abroad

The Secretary of State can prescribe other classes of person from abroad as ineligible for an allocation.[4] This includes British nationals who have lived abroad and are not habitually resident in the Common Travel area, and European Economic Area (EEA)/European Union (EU) nationals who do not have a right to reside in the UK. The categories of persons not subject to immigration control who are ineligible for an allocation of social housing are the same as those who are ineligible for assistance as homeless persons. For further information see the section Eligibility: EEA/EU nationals and British nationals.

Ineligible members of an eligible applicant's household

An ineligible member of an eligible applicant's household, such as a dependent child subject to immigration control, should be taken into account in deciding the size of property to be offered.[5] However it could be lawful for a local authority to disregard an applicant's non-dependant adult children who were subject to immigration control, as being part of the household.[6]

Exception to ineligible status

A person who falls into one of the ineligible categories of person will be eligible for an allocation, where s/he is:[7]

  • already a secure, flexible or introductory tenant, or an assured tenant of accommodation allocated by an authority, and
  • applying for a transfer, and is in one of the categories of person to be given reasonable preference under an allocation scheme.

Unacceptable behaviour

Prior to 18 June 2012, applicants who the local authority decided were guilty of unacceptable behaviour were a category of ineligible person. This category has been removed.[8]

Wales

The information on this page applies only to England. Go to Shelter Cymru for information relating to Wales.

[1] s.160ZA(1) Housing Act 1996, as inserted by s.146 Localism Act 2011.

[2] s.160ZA(2) Housing Act 1996, as inserted by s.146 Localism Act 2011; reg 3 Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/1294; paras 3.8 to 3.11 Allocation of accommodation: Guidance for local housing authorities in England, MHCLG, June 2012.

[3] s.13 Asylum and Immigration Act; s.1 Immigration Act 1971.

[4] s.160ZA(2) Housing Act 1996, as inserted by s.146 Localism Act 201; reg 4 Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (England) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/1294; paras 3.12 to 3.17 Allocation of accommodation: Guidance for local housing authorities in England, MHCLG, June 2012.

[5] R (on the application of Kimvono) v Tower Hamlets LBC (2000) 33 HLR 78.

[6] R (on the application of Ariemuguvbe) v Islington LBC [2009] EWCA 1308.

[7] s.160ZA(4A) and (4B) Housing Act 1996, as inserted by s.146 Localism Act 2011.

[8] s.147 Localism Act 2011; The Localism Act 2011 (Commencement No. 6 and Transitional, Savings and Transitory Provisions) Order 2012 SI 2012/1463 (C.56).

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