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Your housing rights when you're pregnant

If you’re pregnant and homeless, or if you’ll soon have to move out of your home, the council must give you somewhere to stay.

If you’re not classed as homeless, but you need a more suitable home when your baby arrives, check your housing options. You could get priority on social housing lists.

If you cannot stay in your home

Make a homeless application to the council. You do not have to be living on the streets to be homeless.

You could be classed as homeless if it’s not safe or reasonable for you to stay in your current home while you’re pregnant or after your baby is born. For example, if:

  • you’re experiencing domestic abuse, violence or threats in your home or local area

  • your home is legally overcrowded

  • your home is harming your health or mental health – for example, because of repair problems

  • your partner or other family member cannot live with you in your home

  • you cannot afford to pay your rent or mortgage without giving up essentials like food or heating

You could also be homeless if you do not have a right to stay in your home and it’s likely you’ll have to leave. For example, if:

  • you’re staying temporarily with friends or relatives

  • you live with your parents but they want to you to leave

  • you’re staying in a hostel or refuge

When you make a homeless application, the council will look into your situation. If you have nowhere safe to stay, they should give you emergency accommodation on the day you need it.

If you’re being evicted

The council must give you advice if it’s likely you’ll have to leave your home within the next 2 months. They should try to help you prevent the eviction.

Your landlord cannot make you leave without following strict legal processes. Check our advice:

If the council gives you temporary accommodation

There are standards that temporary accommodation must meet. For example, it must have a private bathroom, enough space, and cooking facilities.

If you’re given emergency accommodation that does not meet these standards, like a bed and breakfast or hostel, you should not have to stay there for more than 7 days.

Check our guidance on temporary accommodation

If you need a more suitable home

Your home may become less suitable for you during pregnancy or when your baby is born. For example, if there are a lot of stairs or it's too small.

Even if you’re not classed as homeless, you could get priority on social housing lists.

Each council or housing association has its own rules about who gets priority. This is called the allocations policy. Check the policy before you apply. In your application, explain all the reasons you need to move.

Check our guidance on applying for social housing

If you already rent from the council or a housing association, you could:

You could also try finding a private rented home. Private rents are usually more expensive, but you could get a home more quickly.

Get help with work and money

If you’re in work, you’re usually entitled to some benefits during your pregnancy and after your child is born. Use GOV.UK’s tools to check:

It’s illegal for your employer to discriminate against you because you’re pregnant. If you’re having problems at work, contact Citizens Advice.

Check what benefits and grants you could get

Having a baby could affect your benefits entitlement. To check what benefits you could get, use the Turn2Us benefits calculator.

You could also apply for:

Check what other support you can get

For more advice about pregnancy, birth and being a parent, check:

If you need extra support during pregnancy, talk to your GP, health visitor or midwife. They can tell you about services in your local area.

Last updated: 17 March 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England