Homelessness—the meaning of the terms ‘homelessness’ and ‘threatened homelessness’
Produced in partnership with Alexander Campbell of Field Court Chambers
Homelessness—the meaning of the terms ‘homelessness’ and ‘threatened homelessness’

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Alexander Campbell of Field Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Homelessness—the meaning of the terms ‘homelessness’ and ‘threatened homelessness’
  • The LHA’s duty
  • The meaning of homelessness
  • Accommodation in the UK or elsewhere
  • The type of accommodation
  • Available for occupation
  • Reasonableness of occupation
  • Reasonableness generally
  • Reasonableness—factors that must be taken into account
  • Threatened with homelessness

Coronavirus (COVID-19): During the current pandemic, legislation and changes to practice and procedure in the courts and tribunals have been introduced, which affect the following:

  1. proceedings for possession

  2. forfeiture of business leases on the grounds of non-payment of rent

  3. a landlord's right to exercise Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and enforcement agents taking control of goods

  4. service of various notices to recover possession of residential properties

  5. practice and procedure in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)

  6. insolvency legislation of both a permanent and temporary nature

For further information and guidance, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property and Coronavirus (COVID-19)—social housing tracker.

Where a local housing authority (LHA) believes that a person is homeless or may be threatened with homelessness, it has a duty to make inquiries into their eligibility for homelessness assistance and into what housing duty (if any) is owed to them under the Housing Act 1996 (HA 1996). For more on the types of inquiries the LHA has to make, see Practice Note: Homelessness—planning services, strategies and reviews.

This Practice Note considers the definitions of the terms 'homeless' and 'threatened with homelessness’ as set out in HA 1996, s 175.

HA 1996 was amended by the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRA 2017). Pursuant to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (Commencement and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Regulations 2018, SI 2018/167, which were made on 8 February 2018, HRA 2017

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