Homelessness Assistance

Homelessness factsheet

You are considered homeless if you have no accommodation in the United Kingdom or elsewhere which you are entitled or permitted to occupy in one of the following ways:

  • have a right to occupy because of a legal interest (for example as an owner or tenant), or because of a court order;
  • have a right or permission to occupy (for example as a lodger or an employee with a service occupancy); or
  • have some protection given by law. The person may have a positive right to occupy the accommodation, or may be protected only by a restriction on another person's right to repossess the accommodation.

We will consider you to be threatened with homelessness if you are likely to become homeless within the next 2 months. This may be because:

  • you have been taken to court by you landlord and the court has said you must leave.
  • you have been living with friends or relatives who have asked you to leave.

You may also be considered homeless if either:

You have accommodation but it is unreasonable for you to continue to live there because:

  1. your accommodation is below tolerable standard (a specific test of unfitness).
  2. your accommodation is not considered to be long-term.
  3. you are subject to external violence (which includes racially motivated violence and harassment).
  4. your continued occupation poses a substantial risk to physical or mental health.
  5. it is mobile and you have nowhere to place or live in it.

Wherever possible evidence of homelessness or the threat of homelessness needs to be provided, for example by providing a copy of your notice to quit or notification from mortgage lender that they are repossessing your home.

What does intentionality mean?

We may consider you to be intentionally homeless if you have become homeless as a result of something you have deliberately done, or failed to do.

We will take account of all the circumstances of your application before reaching a decision on intentionality, and each case will be decided on its merits.

In order to assess an application as being intentionally homeless we have to satisfy ourselves on 3 criteria:

  1. That the homelessness is a result of the action of the applicant or their failure to take action,
  2. That it was reasonable for the applicant to have remained in the accommodation from which they became homeless, and
  3. That the applicant was aware of the facts in relation to their homelessness before taking or failing to take the action which led to homelessness.

If we assess you as being intentionally homeless, you are entitled to receive temporary accommodation, advice and assistance for a reasonable period.

Having a local connection

We also need to investigate if you have a local connection, your case officer can provide further information about how we do this.

We may refer you to another council and ask them to assist, if you have no local connection with this area. Your case officer will advise you if they intend to make a referral to another local authority and the grounds on which that referral will be made.

Appealing your homeless decision

Find out more information on your rights to appeal

Homelessness services

Monday to Thursday: 8:45am-5pm, Friday: 8:45am-3:45pm, Emergency out of office hours: 01896 752111

Address: Galashiels Area Office
Paton Street
Office access is Monday to Friday: 10am to 12noon and 2pm to 3:45pm

Telephone: 01896 661385