Breaking up with someone: get help in an emergency

If you need to leave your home you can get help to find a safe place to stay.

Find somewhere to stay

If you have nowhere to go, the council has to help you with accommodation.

You should be given temporary accommodation the day that you need it.

Apply as homeless

What to take with you

The following items will be helpful, but only take them if you can.

  • Passport

  • Driving license

  • Keys to your home, your car, and your place of work

  • Legal papers, such as birth and marriage certificates

You may also have belongings or furniture that you need to take with you. If the council offers you temporary accommodation they can help with the storage of your belongings.

Find out about how the council can help you with the storage of your belongings.

Help paying for accommodation

There can be rent or housing costs when you move somewhere temporarily. If you are given temporary accommodation by the council your income should be taken into account when they decide what to charge.

You can get financial help by applying for benefits. You can sometimes get benefits to pay for two homes, if you are leaving domestic abuse or a threat of violence.

Check if you're entitled to benefits

Use the Turn2us benefit calculator

You’ll need information on your household’s:

  • income and savings

  • outgoings, such as rent

  • existing benefits and pensions

  • council tax bill

Get help managing your money

Services that can help with budgeting, applying for benefits, and debt:

Ending a tenancy

Leaving somewhere that you rent does not automatically end the tenancy. You will still have a contract with the landlord. You will still have to pay rent, even if you are not staying in the home.

Find out how to end your sole tenancy if you are the only tenant.

Find out how to end a joint tenancy if you rent with someone else.

Finding a permanent place to stay

If you have found somewhere temporary to stay, you can then look at options for your permanent home.

You may be offered a permanent home if you made a homeless application to the council.

If you have not made a homeless application, you can get information on finding somewhere else to live.

Contact a housing adviser at Shelter Scotland if you need to discuss where you will live in the future.

You may want to return to your home, if it is safe to do so. You can find out about remaining in the family home.

You can take legal action to protect yourself and your children. You can find out more about going to court.

You can also try arbitration or mediation to resolve a dispute. These can help you come to an agreement about your home.

Last updated: 30 June 2021

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England

Get homeless help from the council

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

Get emergency help from the council