If you think you might become homeless

Complete our online housing options wizard to receive detailed housing advice.

We have a duty to help to prevent you from becoming homeless. If you think you are going to be homeless we can help by:

  • advising you of your housing rights
  • negotiating with your landlord or people you live with
  • giving you advice about finding somewhere else to live.

By doing so, it may be possible to solve your problem and prevent you from becoming homeless. There is a shortage of affordable housing in the borough and so we will try to help you to remain in your current accommodation wherever this is appropriate.

If we cannot stop you from becoming homeless

We will investigate whether we have a legal duty to provide housing for you. In some circumstances, we may have to provide you with short term accommodation while we make our inquiries.

Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 and The Homelessness Act 2002 define the criteria we must use to decide whether we have a duty to house you.  There are five main areas that we need to investigate.

  • Homelessness - if you do not have a home in the UK or abroad where you have a legal right to live. Or your current home is not reasonable for you to live in.
  • Eligibility - this depends on the permission you have to be in the UK and whether you are entitled to help. Some people from abroad may not be entitled to housing.
  • Priority need - e.g. if you are pregnant or have dependent children, or you are considered to be significantly vulnerable due to old age, illness or disability.
  • Intentional homelessness - if we believe that you have deliberately done (or failed to do) something which has caused you to be homeless, you may not be entitled to housing.
  • Local connection - e.g. if you have lived in the borough for 6 months out of the last 12 months, or 3 years out of the last 5 years, you have permanent employment in the borough, or you have immediate family who have lived in the borough for the last 5 years.

We no longer have a duty to offer homeless people a council or housing association home. If we have a duty to provide you with housing we may offer you a property with a private landlord. If we do not have a duty to provide housing we will give you advice and assistance to find other accommodation.

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness and need help please contact Housing Services as soon as possible.  Do not leave it until the last minute.

16-17 year olds

If you are aged 16-17 and are homeless or threatened with homeless, contact Surrey County Council Youth Support Service on 01483 519198 or ysshomeless.prevention@surreycc.gov.uk.

Out of hours service

If you have a homeless emergency in the evening or at the weekend, phone 01372 732000. An out of hours duty officer will speak to you.

Further information


Housing options