Homelessness

If you are homeless, threatened with homelessness or you are worried about your housing situation please ACT NOW!

Call 01353 665555 to book an appointment, or come to the council offices to see one of our advisers at our new drop in clinics

Drop In Clinics - Mon, Tue and Wed 8:45 am – 12 pm

Our housing advisers will be able to advise you on your housing options and legal rights if you have any.

Your housing adviser will try wherever possible to prevent you from becoming homeless.

Tenancy Support Drop-ins - EVERY Thursday from 9 am - 12.00pm

We will be offering support with all aspects of maintaining a tenancy, such as:

  • Resolving benefit issues
  • Help to claim the right benefits for you (Housing, health and employment benefits)
  • Help with budgeting
  • Signposting to other agencies and more

For some it may be necessary to take a homeless application, although the council will only have a duty to provide temporary accommodation in certain circumstances.

Homelessness Advice Leaflet 2013

I'm a landlord and I would like advice, can you help me?

Yes the housing advice team is here to help advise landlords as well as tenants. We can help with any problems you may have, for example;  tenancy issues including housing benefit issues, evictions, repairs, best practice and tenancy agreements…etc. Please do get in contact with us we will be happy to help.

Landlords Rights & Responsibilities Leaflet 2014

Can I look for a property in the private sector?

Absolutely, in fact we encourage it. Renting in the private sector is not only a quicker solution to your housing issues but your choice of area is unlimited. You may think that this is an expensive option due to the large deposits that are required to secure a property, however, as part of our homeless prevention service we can offer (subject to assessment) a loan to pay your deposit. We can also help you to talk to landlords and agents about securing a property with the council’s rent deposit scheme. As well as assisting financially we can help you to set up your housing benefit and even refer you for floating support to help you set up in your new home and maintain your tenancy. If you are threatened with or are homeless and would like to rent in the private sector, please contact the housing options team and we will be happy to give you more information on private renting and our deposit scheme.

My landlord has given me a notice, what do I do?

To be able to evict you from your property Landlords must follow a legal procedure, which includes giving you some form of notice, the notice will depend on the type of tenancy you have. If your landlord has given you notice you must seek advice as soon as possible. Your housing advisor will be able to check the validity of your notice and advise you of your options tailoring them to your own personal circumstances.

Tenants Rights & Responsibilities Leaflet 2014

My Landlord is trying to force me out of my home, what can I do?

If your landlord tries to get you to leave your property without notice or behaves in a threatening manner in order to force you from your home then they could be acting unlawfully and may be liable for prosecution.

If you think that this may be happening to you, you must drop in or call for advice, bring with you all available paperwork and any evidence you may have regarding the actions of your landlord (i.e. threatening letters, texts etc). Your housing advisor will be able to contact your landlord and advise them of their responsibilities and will also assist them to follow the correct eviction process. You will also be advised on your rights and options for the future.

Tenants Rights & Responsibilities Leaflet 2014

My Parents have asked me to leave, I’m 16/17yrs old what will happen to me?

If you are aged 16-17 and are threatened with homelessness, you must seek help as soon as possible. Your housing advisor will initially talk to your parents/carers to see what has happened and why you have been asked to leave (if there is no threat of violence) wherever possible measures will be put in place so that you can go home.

In circumstances where you are unable to return home a referral to Social Services will be made to assess your needs as a minor this will be done jointly with your housing adviser. When the assessment is complete you will be given your options, this may include a referral to supporting housing for young people. The options offered to you will depend on the outcome of the assessment.

Homelessness Advice Leaflet for 16/17 Year Olds 2013

I am struggling with my rent/mortgage and have arrears, what do I do?

If you are in financial difficulty and you are falling behind with your rent or mortgage, it is best to seek assistance as soon as possible to reduce the risk of your arrears increasing. Your adviser will be able to look at solutions to prevent your arrears from causing you to become homeless. Referrals for debt advice and floating support can be made to help manage your budget. All options to alleviate your situation will be explored and will be tailored to your own personal situation.

Mortgage Advice Leaflet 2013
Do you have Mortgage Worries? - Advice Leaflet 2013

I'm not a British Citizen, can I still get help with my housing situation?

If you are from outside of the UK you may be eligible for assistance; this will depend on your nationality, worker status and length of time in the UK. Each person’s eligibility will be individually assessed as the criteria for accessing public funds is very complicated. You will need to book an appointment or drop in to the clinic and bring with you;

  • ID for all members of your family
  • Proof of your income
  • Proof of residence in the UK (housing history)
  • If you are not from within the EEA or A2 countries, then you must provide your visa and all accompanying paperwork.

If you are unsure of your status then please call, book an appointment or drop in.

Asylum & Refugee Advice Leaflet 2014
EU & EEA Nationals Homelessness Advice Leaflet 2014

How long will it take to be housed?

If you are accepted as being homeless unintentionally and have a priority need for accommodation, the length of time you wait will depend upon the areas you have said you want to live in, the number of properties becoming vacant in those areas and the number of people who may have been accepted before you but not yet housed.

The average wait is 9-12 months but this can vary tremendously depending on the size and location of property that you require.

Violent breakdown in a relationship,

If you have to leave your home because of violence you should see a housing adviser at the Council offices as a matter of urgency.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, first make sure that you and your children are safe. This may mean leaving your home for a short time while you take action to remove the violent partner.

The housing adviser will refer you to specialist services that can help with legal advice and a safe place to stay.

If you are a council/housing association tenant your landlord may be able to help you. Talk to your housing officer if you have one.

Whether you are a tenant or an owner occupier there are legal steps you may be able to take to remove a violent partner from the premises and to make the premises more secure.

Domestic Abuse Housing Information Leaflet 2014

You should always report domestic violence to the police.

For more help and advice on dealing with domestic violence, please visit our domestic violence pages

Women’s Aid - 0808 2000 247 – can help you to find a refuge and/or advise you what to do in your situation.

National Centre for domestic violence – 0844 8044 999 – can help obtain injunctions to keep you and your family safe as survivors of domestic abuse.

ManKind Initiative – 01823 334244 – Mon – Fri 10am – 4pm and 7pm – 9pm, free confidential advice for male victims of domestic violence.

Men’s Advice Line (for male victims of domestic abuse/violence) – 0808 801 0327 – free from landlines and most mobiles.

Useful Links

Sanctuary Housing Association
Homes & Communities Agency
Shelter - Homelessness Advice
Shelter - General Advice