I'm homeless or at risk of being homeless

I am being evicted from my private rented tenancy or I am having problems with my private landlord

How the council can help

If you are facing eviction from your private rented home, we can help you go through the housing options available to you. 

Most often where you currently have a private rented tenancy, we will work with you to help you try and hold on to it or help you find another one. 

See information on our HomeLet scheme that can provide some financial help for those on low incomes to get a private rented tenancy. 

As a last resort, the council can help with temporary accommodation. Our first course of action will always be to help prevent you from being homeless and move to settled accommodation rather than be stuck in temporary accommodation.

To get help from the council you will first need to register on our online Housing Customer Portal here and we will get in touch with you and arrange an appointment to see you within 5 working days to discuss your housing situation with you.  We will ask you to bring several documents to the appointment.  The documents needed include ones that prove your identity and your eligibility to receive advice and support, your family's details, anything to do with your housing situation such as a tenancy agreement and notice asking you to leave, and information about your income and expenditure.  See here to find out more about how to use the Housing Customer Portal.

 

What you can do

There are things you can do and find out for yourself if your landlord is asking you to leave your private rented home.

Your landlord cannot bring your private rented tenancy to an end without following certain rules set out in housing law.  What the landlord should do depends on the type of tenancy you have.  You can check the type of tenancy you have and your rights here:  Shelter's tenancy rights checker.  You can also go on to follow Shelter's advice on what to do next.  

Your landlord must give you a proper written notice of eviction.  The notice of eviction must by law contain certain information for it to be valid.  You can get advice on what sort of notice should be served and what it should contain again at Shelter's website.

If you come to the council for help, because you have received a written notice from your landlord, we will also check the notice to make sure it is valid.  If it is not a valid notice, we can help you request the landlord to serve the right notice. We can also talk to the landlord about whether you can carry on living where you are now.

If you are being harassed by your landlord to leave your home or they have changed the locks so you cannot get back in, then your landlord is acting illegally. You can get help with this at Citizens Advice Watford, follow the government's advice in My landlord wants me out, or go to a local solicitor that deals with housing issues for help.

For further information on finding a place to live, see here for private rented accommodation.

The council does not own any homes for rent itself.

If you are looking for a housing association home, then you will need to apply to the Council's Housing Register. The number of housing association homes available for letting to Housing Register applicants has gone down in recent years. Only one in four people on the Housing Register are likely to be housed in any one year, and applicants generally have to wait a long time.

If you are interested in the actual legislation that protects all tenants from being evicted unfairly please see the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

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