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Legal definition of homelessness

This section looks at the definition of homelessness and the threat of homelessness.

The legal definition of homelessness

This section outlines the criteria for being considered 'homeless'. 

Split households

A split household is one where a household cannot live together in the accommodation available to it. 

No accommodation in the UK or elsewhere

This section looks at the definitions provided by the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 and the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 of 'no accommodation'. 

Reasonable to continue occupation

An applicant can be considered as homeless despite having accommodation from which they do not face imminent eviction. 

Applicant cannot secure entry to the accommodation

Section 24 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 also defines as homeless someone who has accommodation but cannot secure entry to it. 

Risk of domestic abuse

An applicant should be accepted as homeless if s/he has accommodation but it is likely that occupation of it will lead to abuse or threats of abuse. 

Overcrowded and a danger to health

A homeless application can be made if current accommodation is overcrowded. 

Moveable structures

A person may be considered homeless if they live in a 'moveable structure'. 

Threatened with homelessness

The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 provides a definition of the 'threat' of homelessness. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 29 December 2014