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The rights of people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness

Rights to stay in your home

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness you may have legal rights to stay in (or return to) your home. This may be the case if your landlord tries to evict you without following the correct procedure or after a relationship breakdown.

Even if you have already left, you may be able to return if you still have the right to live there. Leaving your accommodation when you don’t have to could affect any right you may have to get help from the council.

For advice on your legal rights to stay in your home contact the Council’s Housing Options team on 0300 123 2442 or contact Shelter.

Rights to assistance from the council

You have a right to make an application to the council if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. You will also have the right to:

  • an assessment of your housing and support needs and a personalised housing plan which the council will develop with you
  • assistance for 56 days to help you stay in your current accommodation or help to find you a new place to live before you become homeless
  • help from the council to help you secure accommodation for 56 days if you are already homeless or become homeless
  • an offer of interim accommodation if you are homeless and the council has reason to believe you are eligible for assistance (not subject to immigration control) and have a priority need
  • if you are eligible, homeless, in priority need and not homeless intentionally you will have a right to the main housing duty and the council must ensure that suitable accommodation is available to you and your household until the duty ends, usually through a suitable offer of a settled home. This may be the responsibility of another council if you do not have a local connection with the council you applied to.
  • written notifications on any decision on your application and the reasons behind those decisions
  • request a review on most decisions and, if you are still dissatisfied, you have the right to appeal to the county court on a point of law
  • when you request a review of the suitability of an offer of accommodation, you have a right to be accommodated pending the review.
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