Homelessness

If you are homeless or being threatened with homelessness, you should contact the Council immediately. Do not leave it until the last minute. Do not permanently leave your home until you are legally obliged to do so (usually by a formal notice or court order) as this may damage any application for help that you make to this or any other council.

We use national law and guidance to assess homelessness applications, including the Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities which is located on the government services and information website.

Everyone can get advice from the Council around their housing, but the amount of assistance we can give will be determined by a number of tests within the legislation that are applied to all homeless applications. These are known as the ‘threshold tests’ and some examples of what we need to look at are below.

Eligibility

  • are you a British/Irish citizen, a European national working in the UK or with a permanent right to reside?
  • have you been granted leave to remain in the UK with recourse to public funds?

Homelessness

  • have you received a Notice or a Court Order requiring you to leave your home?
  • are friends or family that you have been staying with asking you to leave?
  • do you have to leave your home as a result of violence?

Priority need 

  • do you have children who live with you or are you pregnant? 
  • are you vulnerable as a result of your health, age or for other reasons?

Intentionally homeless

  • did you cause the loss of your accommodation because of rent arrears or antisocial behaviour?

We may also look at where you have a 'local connection', for example, where you have been living, or are employed, or have family. If you do not have a local connection to this borough we may ask the one that you do have a connection with to assist you with your longer term housing needs.

If we are satisfied that you are eligible and homeless, we have a duty to assess your housing needs and to agree a plan of action to help you to resolve your housing difficulties.

If we have reason to believe you may be eligible, homeless and in priority need, we have a duty to provide temporary accommodation while we assess your housing needs and carry out our enquiries.

Speak to us 

If you are worried about becoming homeless you should contact the Housing Needs Team as soon as possible. In the first instance, and if possible, please call us 0207 361 3008 or email us at: HHAT@rbkc.gov.uk

We will contact you within two working days to assess your circumstances so we can refer you to the most appropriate team for help.

If your situation is urgent we recommend you come to the Town Hall as soon as possible. Please arrive as early as possible otherwise you may have a long wait to be seen.

Visit us at RBKC Customer Service Centre

Kensington Town Hall
Hornton Street
London
W8 7NX

Our opening hours are: 9am to 5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 12pm to 5pm Wednesday.

for non-urgent housing queries, we recommend you contact us by phone on tel: 0207 361 3008 or email us at: at HHAT@rbkc.org.uk.

Statutory Bodies

If you are a statutory body and need to refer a client or service user to us please use the form on our Duty To Refer page.

Making a homeless application

If you make a homeless application, we will consider your individual circumstances to work out what, if any, housing duty is owed to you. The Council is obliged to assess your application under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996, as amended by Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.

We use national law and guidance to assess homelessness applications, including the Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities which is located on the government services and information website.

We will need to see certain documents to fully assess your application, for example we need to know what your nationality is and if applicable, what your status is in the UK. Try to bring as many of these with you as you can:

  • Identification for all family members:
    • full birth certificates
    • passport
    • European identity cards
    • Home Office immigration papers
  • proof of pregnancy (if applicable)
  • proof of residency for the last five years
  • tenancy agreement, notice to quit, possession summons/order, bailiff's warrant
  • letter from parents, relative or friend saying they can no longer accommodate you
  • rent book, receipts or any other proof of rent
  • marriage certificate, divorce papers (if applicable)
  • injunction orders, custody orders (if applicable)
  • contract of employment, letter terminating employment (if applicable)
  • wage slips, benefit books, bank statements, savings accounts

Everyone can get advice from the Council around their housing, but the amount of assistance we can provide will be determined by a number of tests within the legislation that are applied to all homeless applications. On the next page, there are examples of what can be considered in relation to each of the tests set out in the legislation. This list is not exhaustive. You can get more information from the Code of Guidance on the Government website.

Considering an application 

How long does it take for a decision to be made on my homeless application?

This depends on your circumstances and the enquiries we need to make, so it varies from person to person. Some of the important factors are:

  • where you were living before
  • your reasons for being homeless
  • your social and medical circumstances.

These are just some of the things we need to look at when taking an application.

Will I automatically be given somewhere to live?

This depends on your individual circumstances. If we believe you are eligible, homeless and in priority need, you will be offered temporary accommodation. We will then look at your application in more detail and decide if you should be given suitable accommodation.

When a decision is made

If you are eligible and homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days we will have a duty to prevent or relieve your homelessness. This means we will try to secure accommodation is available for your occupation. This will either be your current accommodation or somewhere else, and this is likely to be private rented accommodation.

If we decide that we do have an ongoing duty to provide you with accommodation, we will do so until that duty ends. We will put your details on the Housing Register. This is a list of all people looking for social housing (which is housing run by the Council or housing associations). Once you are on the register, you can bid for properties that become available. The properties you can bid for will depend on the priority points we award you. For more information, visit our social housing page. Councils are also able to offer suitable private rented accommodation instead of social housing. We are only required to make ONE offer of private rented accommodation to end our housing duty towards you. The property offered could be located anywhere in the UK, as long as we consider it to be suitable for your household’s needs.

If I don’t meet the criteria to be rehoused, what will happen then?

We will send you a letter explaining why we cannot rehouse you. if you disagree with the decision made, you can request a review.

If I am accepted for rehousing, how long does it take to be given accommodation?

It is impossible to say how long you will wait for longer-term accommodation.  It may take some time as the demand is far greater than the supply.

There is a huge demand for social housing in the Royal Borough but last year only 457 properties to let. The number and sizes of the properties let was as follows:

Properties let via the Housing Register 2019-20

Bedsit/Studios

107

One bed

201

Two bed

106

Three bed

38

Four bed

5

Total

457

We will give you information and advice about other options that may be available to you.