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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.