Generally speaking, you are entitled to help from us unless you are under immigration control, or are not habitually resident in the UK. We will be unable to provide housing for some people who come or return to the UK if they do not pass the ‘habitual residence test’. The test is the same one that the Department for work and pensions uses. The test looks at where a person used to live, family ties and their long term intentions, such as whether they plan to stay in the UK or leave.
Homeless or Threatened with Homelessness in the next 56 days
- Under the Housing Act 1996 (as amended) you are homeless if you and your family do not have anywhere to live in the UK or elsewhere in the world. But sometimes even if you have a home, you may be also be defined as homeless or threatened with homelessness if:
- You have been evicted illegally
- You are experiencing domestic abuse or other forms of violence or it is likely that you will be if you continue to live in your home
- If you have been served with a valid Section 21 notice from your private landlord
- The accommodation you are in is in poor condition or is unaffordable.
- You have been served with a warrant for y our eviction
- You have no legal right to remain in the property and have been asked to leave
- You will be classed as being in priority need if:
- You have dependent children or you or a family member are pregnant, a family member is someone who can reasonably be expected to reside with you and/or is a current member of your household.
- You are aged between 16 and 17 and are not being looked after by social services (applications made under these circumstances will be assessed jointly with children’s services).
- If you or a member of your family is vulnerable – we must assess you to work out whether your are vulnerable due to one of the reasons below:
- Are elderly
- Have a physical or mental disability
- Are aged 21 or over and have previously been a care leaver
- Have been a member of the armed forces
- Have served a custodial prison sentence
- Have stopped living in your home for a good reason, because of violence or threats of violence.
- The law requires us to investigate why you are homeless or why you are likely to become homeless. We will contact your previous landlord, building society or anyone else who may be able to provide information to help us work out whether or not you have deliberately caused your homelessness or not taken appropriate action to prevent it. Reasons we may consider you are intentionally homeless could include:
- You chose to leave a home which you could have reasonably stayed in
- It was your fault you lost your home i.e. none payment of rent or mortgage that was affordable
- If you have been evicted from accommodation due to your behaviour
If we find you intentionally homeless and you have a priority need we will not have a duty to provide you with long term housing. However we may have a duty to provide you with temporary housing (usually for up to 28 days)
- If you are threatened with homelessness, you may make your homeless approach to any Local Authority who will have to provide you with advice and assistance and work with you for 56 days. However in order for a duty to be accepted to house you, you will have to establish a local connection with Solihull. Sometimes it is best to approach the local authority with whom you have a local connection to prevent delays in resolving your housing difficulties.
- You may have a local connection with Solihull if you:
- Have normally lived in the area for six months in the past year or for three years in the past five years ( this does not include being in prison, hospital or other institution)
- Have a permanent paid job in the area
- Have close family (this means parents, brothers sisters) who have lived in the areas for the last five continuous years. We may consider other close associations where the applicant can prove that the association is close and on-going i.e. grandparents.
People fleeing violence do not have to have a local connection established but it is useful to know that you are safe in the area before applying. Solihull borders many areas of Birmingham and Warwickshire and therefore we may not be able to safely house you in our area.
If we find you do not have a local connection in this area, we will refer your homeless application to a local authority for an area where you do have a local connection.