LEGALLY HOMELESS UK: Legal homelessness could be if you:
• Have no legal right to live in accommodation anywhere worldwide.
• Cannot get entry into your home (e.g. locked out by your landlord).
• Feel threatened to stay in your home (e.g. risk of abuse or violence).
• Have no suitable accommodation and forced to live apart from your family or people you usually live with.
• Live in extremely poor conditions (e.g. derelict property or overcrowded)
Note: Your local council decides if you have entitlement to emergency housing when you apply for help. They determine if you are homeless and whether you should get help with longer term housing.
The council has a legal duty to provide help if you are legally homeless or threatened with homelessness. The full assistance package that they give varies according to the specific situation.
It can range from offering professional advice to arranging emergency accommodation for you. As a rule the help you get from the council depends on things such as whether:
- You became homeless and it was through no fault of your own.
- You are eligible for help with emergency council housing.
- Yours is a priority need.
Emergency Housing Eligibility
Living permanently in the United Kingdom means you usually qualify for emergency housing assistance. But, you may not be eligible if you are from abroad. It would depend on your immigration status.
Note: You can read through the ‘Shelter guide on housing rights‘ to work out if you are eligible. The guidance also explains what help you may get entitlement to.
Legal Aid Advice
Emergency Housing Priority
You could be an emergency council housing priority need if you:
- Are pregnant or someone you live with is pregnant.
- Have ‘dependent children’ under 16 living with you (under 19s if they are studying full-time).
- Are ‘vulnerable’ perhaps because of a disability or old age.
- Have become homeless following a disaster such as a fire or severe flooding.
Note: In some cases you may qualify for Housing Benefit to help pay for your housing costs.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Housing and Local Services: Information on local government housing rules and regional services.
Housing Association Eviction: The eviction procedures of council or housing association tenants.
Eviction Process for Private Renting: What is the eviction process for private tenants in the UK?
Landlord Harassment: Advice for dealing with harassment and illegal evictions by private landlords.
Court Hearing for Tenant Eviction: How does a court possession hearing proceed in England?
Accelerated Possession Procedure: Find out what it is and how to get an accelerated possession order.
House Repossession Process: A guide explaining the legal process of house repossessions in the UK.
Squatting and the Law: What is squatters’ rights and how to remove squatters from your property.