Terms and conditions
The advice we provide through this service is based on the information you give us. Housing law can be complicated, so sometimes we will only be able to give you a general answer. In these cases, we will also give you the details of local advice centres where you can access more personalised help. If your query is complicated or unusual, we may suggest you seek specialist legal advice.
We can only help with questions about homelessness and housing. We will NOT be able to answer questions on topics such as:
- welfare benefits (other than giving basic housing benefit advice)
- immigration and asylum (other than housing advice)
- debt (other than basic advice on rent or mortgage arrears).
We will give you details of other organisations that may be able to help with the questions we cannot answer.
Shelter does not provide housing, but we can give advice on how to find somewhere to stay and about the different types of accommodation available.
Take a look at the following information on what we do with your details (data protection), our confidentiality policy, about email security and to read our legal disclaimer.
Shelter complies with the Data Protection Act 1998. Shelter is the data controller for the purposes of the Act.
If you use our service, we will only record information about your query on our database in order to build statistics about the service and in case you need to contact us again. If you do not want us to hold your details, please write to the following address:
Housing Aid Manager
6 South Charlotte Street
Please enclose a photocopy of an original document that confirms your identity. Acceptable documents are passport, driving licence, birth certificate, NHS card, back page of benefit book or front page of child benefit book, signing card, SAL 1/2 or bank statement.
Please could you provide your full name, date of birth, brief details of your case, your email enquiry reference number and your password.
We need you to follow this procedure in order to comply with data protection regulations.
Unless you tell us otherwise, we take it that you agree to us holding your details.
We keep your enquiry on our database for six years and then destroy the information. Users can also request a copy of their file by following this procedure.
Information you give us about your situation will be kept strictly confidential to Shelter. We do not disclose your information to subsidiaries or other organisations, except in the situations below.
By law, we cannot provide confidentiality in the following situations:
- where information has been provided to us about a terrorist suspect or about an act of terrorism that will take place, or has taken place, anywhere in the world. In this situation we must immediately inform the police
- where legal action forces us to disclose specific information, eg as part of a criminal investigation.
We may also decide to break confidentiality when:
- it would be in the public interest to do so
- not breaking confidentiality would hinder a criminal investigation
- we believe that a user is in severe and immediate danger, or is about to place another person in great danger.
For most people, the security risks of using the internet and email are minimal. It is extremely unlikely that unauthorised people will intercept your email. If you are concerned about other people having access to your email account at home or at work, you may wish to set up a separate web-based email account for your personal use.
The advice and information contained in our email replies gives only general guidance on the law as it relates to England, Scotland and Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.
We make every effort to ensure that the legal content of our email replies is accurate and up-to-date at the time the email is sent.
We cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions, or for incomplete or misleading information that we may have received from you. Shelter takes no responsibility for the contents of linked websites, and the links should not be taken as our endorsement of these sites. Shelter has no control over the availability of the linked pages.