usually you have to be considered ‘legally homeless’ before you get help. in legal terms, being homeless isn’t simply about whether you have somewhere to sleep. if you’re homeless, you won’t have a suitable home in the uk or elsewhere, but that alone doesn’t always mean you’re legally homeless, though. the council will check that you’re ‘unintentionally homeless’, meaning you didn’t choose to leave a suitable home where you could’ve stayed. depending on where you live, you could also have to show you’ve got a ‘priority need’ – although this no longer applies in scotland. “you don’t have to reach that point to be entitled to help.” if you’re likely to become homeless in the next 28 days, the council should class you as being ‘threatened with homelessness’. if you didn’t legally have to leave at that time, they could say you chose to make yourself homeless. you may have intentionally made yourself homeless if you’ve left a suitable home, if you’re living with friends or family who are willing for you to stay, or you’re married or in a civil partnership with a tenant or home-owner.
if you choose to move out, the council could say they don’t have to house you. however, if you want to leave because of annoying rules, or a relative who just gets on your nerves, you’re not being made homeless. unless your partner is abusive, threatens you or throws you out, or they’ve walked out and you can’t pay the rent by yourself, you’re not becoming unintentionally homeless if you leave. its worth noting though that unfortunately, you may have to let the rent arrears build up and wait for your landlord to send you an eviction notice before you’re recognised as being ‘threatened with homelessness’. if you move out because you can’t afford the rent, you risk being seen as intentionally homeless. if they think you’re intentionally homeless, they’ll need to prove it – and they should look at your whole situation before making a decision. welcome to the mix, a support service for young people. your voices is a community-focused section of the mix where you can share stories about your experiences on a specific issue. at the mix we’re always trying to improve our services.
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