Local authority homelessness duties

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.

This content applies to England

Last updated: 17 March 2021

  • Duty to provide information and advice

    Local authorities have a duty to provide information and advice about homelessness

  • Local authority homelessness inquiries

    Local authorities have a duty to carry out inquiries if they have reason to believe someone is homeless or threatened with homelessness.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cooperation between agencies

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

  • Notification of duties

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

  • Homelessness strategies

    A local authority's duties to carry out a homelessness review and publish a homelessness strategy.