Made Homeless – What rights and options do you have?
Being made homeless for whatever reason is a terrifying prospect and most people will not know where to turn in this type of crisis
. Although there isn’t as much support out there as is needed, there are people who can provide people on the brink of homelessness with as much advice as possible so that they are aware of their rights and also so that they are aware of the options that they have available to them.
After an eviction notice is served but before the eviction date a tenant must get advice. One of the best places to turn is to Shelter.This is an organisation dedicated to helping homeless people either before they are made homeless, or after they find themselves with no permanent place to live.
Tenants who have been given an eviction notice should immediately consult with someone who can help them to check whether they are being evicted legally, or whether they do actually have the right to remain in their home. In some cases it is possible to return to a home after an eviction has taken place.
Two possible scenarios that may lead to this is if a landlord has attempted an eviction but has not followed the correct legal procedure, or if there has been a relationship breakdown.
Anyone being evicted should note that they should not leave their accommodation unless they absolutely have to, and if they have the right to return but choose not to take it, then the amount of help that they will be eligible for from the government is likely to be affected.
There is a right to emergency housing that is in place and which local councils have very specific legal duties to carry out for homeless people. If anyone is either being threatened with becoming homeless or they are already homeless the council is bound to provide them with both advice and assistance.
There are three terms that can be looked up to find out what sort of assistance will be given.
The first is ‘eligible for assistance’, the second is ‘legally classed as homeless’ and the third is ‘in priority need’.
The second term is a lot more general that may be thought as it applies not only to people living on the street, but also to people who have no fixed address and are relying on friends kindness and sofas, people living in very poor conditions, which also includes squatting in disused buildings that are not fit for human habitation, people who are at risk in the location they are currently living in because of threats of violence and also people who live on vehicles or boats but have nowhere to put them.
Eligibility refers to whether someone lives permanently in the UK. People may not qualify if they have any other type of immigration status. Finally, priority need refers to women who are pregnant, under-16s, vulnerable people or homelessness that has been caused by some sort of disaster.