The council's assessment and decision

The council must assess whether you’re eligible for homelessness help.

The council will check if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. They can check if you become homeless intentionally and if you have a local connection. If you meet the criteria you should be offered permanent accommodation.

Get help if you have nowhere to stay

Day or night, contact the council if you have nowhere safe to stay.

You should be given accommodation on the day you need it.

The council must help if you are homeless or likely to become homeless in the next two months.

Get help from the council

The legal definition of homeless

When you make a homeless application, the council will check if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. You could be homeless if you are sofa surfing or your home is not suitable for you.

Intentionally or unintentionally homeless

Before the council offers you permanent accommodation, they can look into the reasons that led to you become homeless.

Local connection

The council can check if you have a 'local connection' to the area where you made your homeless application. If they do not think you have a connection, they may refer you to another council provided you are not at risk there.

The council's decision letter

Once the council has made a decision about your homeless application, it must send you a letter explaining the reasons behind the decision and what happens next.

Temporary accommodation once the council has made its decision

When you make a homeless application to the council, you will be given somewhere to stay while they assess your situation. How long you can stay depends on their decision.

General housing advice from the council

If you make a homeless application to the council and are eligible for help, you will be entitled to advice and assistance for homelessness prevention.

Other housing options if the council does not have a duty to help

You'll need to find your own place to stay if the council does not have a duty to offer you a permanent home. You can rent privately or apply for a housing association or council house.

Last updated: 9 June 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England