0808 808 4000 Get help now
On this page
At a glance: Help if you are worried about losing your home.
Reading time: 2 mins
This summary covers England and Wales
For a version of this summary that covers Scotland, please click here.

What help can I get?

If you think you might lose your home, your local council may be able to help you stay in your home or find another one. In some cases, they have to offer you another home.  

There are rules in England and Wales that tell councils what help to give if you might become homeless. If the council thinks you can get help under these rules, they must help to try and stop you being made homeless. The rules use special terms. These include: 

  • Eligible for help. 
  • Threatened with homelessness.  

Am I eligible for help?

Am I eligible for help? 
You are eligible for help unless you are ‘a person from abroad’. Although, if you are from abroad, you may be eligible for help if you meet certain criteria, such as having: 

  • Refugee status. 
  • Settled immigration status. 
  • Exceptional leave to enter and remain. 

Am I threatened with homelessness?

You are threatened with homelessness if either of the following applies: 

  • You are likely to be homeless within 56 days. 
  • You have received a valid Section 21 (s21) notice from your landlord that runs out within 56 days. In England, a landlord can use an s21 notice to start the legal process to end an assured shorthold tenancy. You do not need to have missed rent payments or broken any conditions of your tenancy agreement. Your landlord must follow the correct procedure. They cannot force you to leave your home without a court order. 

What will the council do if I am threatened with homelessness?

If the council thinks you are eligible for help, they have a duty to try to stop you becoming homeless. This duty starts 56 days before the date you are likely to become homeless. The council will:  

  • Carry out an assessment. 
  • Create a personalised housing plan for you.   

The council must take reasonable steps to help stop you you from becoming homeless or to help you keep your current home. The steps might include: 

  • Giving you advice on how to defend a repossession claim. 
  • Mediation to try to keep your family together. 
  • Help with a deposit to allow you to find new accommodation. 

The council’s duty can end sooner than 56 days in some cases: 

  • If you find suitable accommodation that you can live in for a minimum of 6 months. 
  • You refuse to cooperate with the council or withdraw from the process.   
  • You refuse an offer of accommodation. 
  • You become homeless (in this situation you will be able to get further help. See our Advice if you are homeless guide). 

Learn more about this topic

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth guide.

Read in-depth-guide

Was this page helpful?

We're here to support you
However you feel comfortable, we can help you make a plan to take control of your debt.