Skip to main content

Council problems?

How can the council help me?

If you are aged 16 or over, you can apply for council housing. Renting from the council is usually cheaper than renting from a private landlord and you won't have to pay a deposit before you move in. However, waiting lists can be long and it may take a while before you get a place. If you are homeless or likely to become homeless soon, you can make a homeless application to the council. This is not the same as putting your name down on the housing list.

What if the council won't let me apply for housing?

Anyone aged 16 or over can apply for a council house in Scotland. If the council turns you away, go and see an adviser at a housing aid centre or Citizens Advice Bureau. They can contact the council on your behalf and help you make your application.

What if the council won't let me make a homeless application?

The council has to accept your homeless application - don't let them turn you away at the door. However, in certain circumstances the council may decide that you're not eligible for help. This may be the case if you've lived abroad, or have made a homeless application recently and your circumstances haven't changed since. Find out here what to do if the council says you can't apply.

Will I get somewhere to stay?

When you make a homeless application, the council should give you somewhere to stay in temporary accommodation. If the council tells you that it doesn't have any temporary accommodation available, or gives you a list of hostels so you can find somewhere yourself, you should go and see an adviser at a housing aid centre or Citizens Advice Bureau. They will be able to check whether you should get temporary accommodation, and can then contact the council to ask it to find a place for you.

What if the council won't help me?

If the council won't help you or you are having problems dealing with the council, call Shelter's free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444 or go and see an adviser at a housing aid centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, or other local agency. You can use the Advice Services Directory to find an agency near you. The council may not be offering you the help the law says you should get. An adviser will be able to look at your situation and help you get what you're entitled to.

What if I have problems with the housing benefit department?

If you are finding it difficult to deal with the council's housing benefit department, for example, if your claim is taking a long time to process or you don't agree with their decision about your benefit, talk to an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau or welfare rights agency. An adviser can help you work out what you're entitled to and can contact the council for you about your application. Use the Advice Services Directory to find help near you.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're England

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

Was this page helpful?

This feedback tool can't offer advice. If you still need help, please call our free housing helpline on 0808 800 4444

Would you recommend Shelter Scotland's website to a friend, colleague or family member?
(0 - not at all likely, 10 - extremely likely)

Your feedback is being submitted

Success! Thank you for your feedback.

Sorry, there was a problem sending your feedback to us. Please try again or contact us via the website if this error persists.

The fight isn't over - support us this winter

far from fixed campaign logo
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today. Join our campaign
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today.
Support us by running in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival
Raise money by running the Edinburgh Marathon for Shelter Scotland
Have you had a bad housing experience? Tell us about your story.
Share your story of a bad housing experience