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Why get advice?

Throughout our Get advice pages we encourage you to get further advice from a housing specialist. But why is this so important? What can a housing adviser do for you? This page explains why you should get advice.

Why get advice?

Housing law is very complex. If you are not familiar with housing issues, resolving a housing problem can be a daunting prospect - and that's where housing advisers come in.

Housing advisers have knowledge of a wide range of housing issues. They can go through your housing options with you to see which is the best solution, taking your personal circumstances, financial position and housing situation into account.

It is important to get advice as early as you can. If there's no time to get advice before you become homeless, it is still worth getting advice once you are homeless. You might have rights or housing options you don't know about.

Shelter Scotland's advice services and Citizens Advice are free. Whatever you say is usually just between you and the adviser you speak to. They won't contact anyone else about your situation unless you agree to it.

How can an adviser help me?

Advisers can deal with a wide range of housing problems. They can:

  • tell you more about your rights
  • answer your questions about housing
  • put you in touch with other agencies that can offer you practical help
  • find housing associations or rent deposit schemes for you
  • help you fill in application forms for housing or benefits
  • help you find accommodation in your area.

If you are homeless or about to become homeless, an adviser:

  • may be able to help you keep your current home:
    • by helping you sort out problems with your landlord or mortgage lender; or
    • by explaining your rights and helping you enforce them if someone is trying to make you leave.
  • can tell you what emergency housing is available in your area if you have nowhere to stay
  • may contact accommodation providers, such as hostels, on your behalf
  • can tell you if you have rights to get help from the council housing department or whether the social work department can give you any assistance
  • can help you make a homeless application to the council
  • can help you appeal against a decision made by the council if you feel you have been wrongly treated.

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

Are you homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?

I need help

The important points

  • Advisers can help make sure you know your housing rights.
  • Even if your situation seems complicated there might be things we can do to help.
  • Advisers can help you fill in forms or explain any legal jargon. 
  • All advice from Shelter Scotland is free and confidential. 

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