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How we will assess if we have a legal duty to house you?

Our priority is to help you avoid becoming homeless. We can do this by negotiating with the people you live with or your landlord, giving you advice, or by helping you find another home quickly.

If we cannot prevent you from becoming homeless we may have to give you temporary housing while we investigate if it is Islington Council’s responsibility to provide longer term housing. In the first place this is likely to be hotel type accommodation as half of our temporary accommodation is outside Islington.

Councils no longer have to offer homeless people a council or housing association home but can instead offer them a property with a private landlord.

By law, all local authorities must find out if they have a responsibility to provide someone with long term housing. We need to look at the following to make an assessment:

Are you homeless?

By law, you are homeless if you do not have a home here or abroad in which you have a legal right to live. You are also homeless if you have a home but it is not reasonable for you to continue living in it.

Are you eligible for help with housing from a local authority?

Although most UK residents are entitled to such help, some people from abroad are not.

You might not be eligible if any of the following apply:

  • you are a visitor to this country
  • you are a student from another country or a sponsored immigrant
  • you are an illegal immigrant
  • you are seeking asylum
  • you claimed asylum but the Home Office refused to give you asylum
  • you do not usually live in the UK or Ireland
  • the Home Secretary has said, you no longer have a right to stay in the UK

Do you have a priority need for housing?

You may have a priority need if any of the following apply to you or to a member of your household:

  • you are pregnant
  • you are 16 or 17 years old
  • someone in your household is under 18 years of age (or under 19 if they are in full-time secondary education)
  • you are 18 to 21 years of age and as a child you were placed in social services care
  • you are homeless because of fire, flood, or a similar disaster
  • you are aged 60 or older
  • you have a mental illness or disability which makes you vulnerable
  • you have a physical disability which makes you vulnerable
  • when you were a child you were placed in the care of a local authority, a health authority, foster parents, a children's home, or a care home and this has made you vulnerable
  • you have been in this country's armed forces and this has made you vulnerable
  • you have been in prison or remanded in custody and this has made you vulnerable
  • you have left your home because of violence or threats of violence and this has made you vulnerable
  • you are vulnerable for another special reason

To be vulnerable means you cannot fend for yourself so that you will suffer injury or harm where a less vulnerable person would not.

Note: the person's with the priority need must also be eligible for help with housing from a local authority.

Are you intentionally homeless?

You may be intentionally homeless if you lost your home because of something you have deliberately done, or failed to do. There are lots of ways this can happen, but one of the most common is if you are evicted from your home because you did not pay your rent when you could have done so. Another is if you give up your home when it is reasonable for you to continue living there.

You will be intentionally homeless if we find that you have colluded with your landlord, parent or friend and fabricated a situation where you have been asked to leave your accommodation, in order to obtain housing from the council.

Do you have a connection to Islington?

If you meet the criteria above and are not intentionally homeless, then you will be entitled to housing from a local authority. This means Islington Council must either offer you a home or, if you are not connected to Islington, refer you to a council you are connected to, for them to find you a home.

We may offer you a home if any of the following apply:

  • You have a connection with Islington because you have lived here for at least six out of the last twelve months, or three out of the last five years
  • You have a connection with Islington because you have a close relative (parent, child or sibling) who has lived in Islington for the past five years
  • You have a permanent job in Islington
  • You are connected to Islington for some other special reason
  • You have a local connection with another area, but someone in your application might experience domestic violence if they return there
  • You are not connected to any council in this country. For example, if you have recently come here from abroad

If none of these apply to you, we will refer you to a council to which you are connected to. We will not force you to return to an area where you have experienced, or are likely to experience violence.

If you have no connection with any area, we may still have a duty to house you or help you to obtain accommodation.

How to get help

If you think you might become homeless, please contact the Housing Aid Team as soon as possible, so that we can try to prevent you from losing your home.

The Housing Aid Team

Islington Customer Centre

222 Upper Street

London  N1 1XR

Tel: 020 7527 2000

Email: advice.housing@islington.gov.uk

Please bring the following documents with you:

  • proof of identity - full birth certificates or passports for all the people in your household
  • documents concerning the loss of your housing - for example, letters from your landlord or the court informing you that you must leave
  • proof of income - for example, wage slips, benefit books, P45, bank statements and savings books
  • details of where you have lived for the last five years - such as tenancy agreements, rent books or receipts for rent , postmarked letters, bills, bank statements, medical cards
  • if relevant, documents confirming you are married or divorced, you have custody of children, you are pregnant, any medical information you have.
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