People ineligible for an allocation of accommodation by the local authority

People may be ineligible for a social housing allocation under a local authority's allocation scheme because they do not live in the UK or do not have a qualifying right of residence.

This content applies to England

People ineligible for an allocation

Unless a person falls into one of the ineligible groups, they 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 is not an eligible person unless they fall within one of the classes of person as prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.[2]

A person is subject to immigration control if they require leave to enter or remain in the UK.[3]

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.

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

  • EEA nationals who do not have a right to stay in the UK

The categories of persons not subject to immigration control who are not eligible for an allocation of social housing are the same as those who are not eligible for assistance as homeless persons

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]

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 is eligible for an allocation, where they are:[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]

Last updated: 15 February 2021

Footnotes

  • [1]

    s.160ZA(1) Housing Act 1996, as inserted by s.146 Localism Act 2011; para 3.6 Allocation of accommodation: Guidance for local housing authorities in England, MHCLG, June 2012.

  • [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 3.13 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 3.15 and 3.16  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).