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Does it matter how I became homeless?

There are many ways you can find yourself homeless. Depending on how you became homeless, the council may have to find you somewhere long term or only for a short time.

Does it matter how I became homeless?

The council may only have to give you short-term accommodation if it decides that you are 'intentionally homeless'. This may happen if:

  • you chose to leave a home you could have stayed in
  • you didn’t pay the rent when you could have afforded to
  • you made yourself homeless to take advantage of the system, or
  • you were evicted because of anti-social behaviour by you or someone else in your household.

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When you aren't 'intentionally homeless'

However, the council should not decide that you are intentionally homeless if:

  • your home was less fit to live in than other properties in the area
  • you lost your home because you didn’t pay your rent or mortgage, and you had a good reason for this, for example you lost your job or your benefit was not paid on time
  • you left your home because you really did not know you had the right to stay there
  • you were evicted because someone in your household did something that you did not know about, or that you had no control over, or
  • you (or someone else in your household) were the victim of violence at your home.

Even if the council says you are intentionally homeless, it must still house you for a time if you are eligible for assistance and in priority need. But this might be for only a short time.

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What you can do now:

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