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Intentionally homeless?

Intentionally homeless means that you are homeless because you left accommodation that you could have stayed in or you lost your home as a result or your actions.

When deciding if you are or aren't intentionally homeless, the council must consider the reasons you became homeless and whether;

  • You did, or failed to do, something that caused you to leave your home
  • The act, or failure to act, was deliberate or you were aware of what was going on
  • It was reasonable for you to continue living in your accommodation

You have the right to explain your actions to the council in relation to your housing situation.

Some examples of making yourself intentionally homeless include:

  • You decided to leave a property when you didn't have to.
  • You could have afforded to pay the rent or mortgage and didn't pay it. We will investigate your financial circumstances.
  • You didn't claim housing benefit or renew your claim; you failed to give the benefit section the information about your circumstances that it needed to processed your claim.
  • You were evicted for anti-social behaviour.
  • You have made yourself homeless to try to get housed more quickly.

If the council decides you are intentionally homeless

If the council decides that you intentionally caused your homelessness, you will be given this decision in writing.

The Council would only have a duty, if you are in priority need, to provide temporary accommodation for a limited, short term period so that you could make arrangements to find somewhere else to live. After assessing your needs, we would give you appropriate advice and assistance to do this.

If you have children, we will also discuss with you the possibility of referring your case to social services.

If the Council decides that you are NOT intentionally homeless

If the council decides that you are in priority need and not intentionally homeless, then the final thing we look at is whether you have a local connection to the Council area.

What happens next?

If we decide that you are: Eligible for assistance, homeless, in priority need, not intentionally homeless and you have a local connection

The council will provide you with temporary accommodation if this is needed and we will provide an offer of a longer term home. Your offer of accommodation may be provided by:

  • Offer of social housing (council or housing association)
  • Private Rented Sector Offer, with a 12 month assured shorthold tenancy
  • A 6 month private sector tenancy if you have previously refused an offer of suitable accommodation, or have been given notice due to deliberate and unreasonable refusal to co-operate

We may also be able to help you to access, through our bond deposit scheme, accommodation with a private landlord, if you are in agreement with this.

The council cannot guarantee exactly when an offer will be made. We also cannot guarantee where the offer will be, as vacant properties are in short supply.

If the council feels that any property offered to you is suitable for your needs and that you are being unreasonable in refusing it, then we are under no obligation to offer you another property and will have no further duty towards you. It is important that you tell us if there is a genuine reason for refusal - such as if the property is too close to an abusive former partner.