Rights in current accommodation
The client may be entitled to return to or stay in her/his present accommodation should s/he want to, and should be advised accordingly.
However it is important to be sensitive to the possibility that the client may not want to remain in current accommodation, and that there may be hidden reasons for this, such as domestic abuse.
Rights to remain
Whether or not someone has rights to remain in a property will depend upon her/his security of tenure. For further information, please see the section on security of tenure.
If the client wants to go back to her/his present home, the adviser should establish what legal status the client has there, and also what the client's rights are there. For example, if a client has an order for eviction against them, it should be checked whether a minute for recall is possible.
The client may have been unlawfully evicted by her/his landlord. If this is just happening, or about to happen, the client should be advised to contact the police with clear instructions as to what to say, as the police are often unaware of the law concerning evictions. If the eviction has already taken place then, again, the police should be notified and the client should also be referred to a solicitor as s/he may well have a claim for damages against the landlord. For more information, please see the section on harassment and antisocial behaviour.
For many people, the only reason why they find themselves facing homelessness is that they are fleeing a violent situation or because their relationship has broken down. However, neither of these situations will automatically result in homelessness, as the client may well have rights to stay in her/his accommodation. For more information, please see the section on relationship breakdown.
Last updated: 29 December 2014