When the council can help

If you are aged 16 or 17 and are homeless you will need to contact Children's Specialist Services

  • Telephone: 020 8871 6622

Our duty

We are unable to provide housing to everyone who is homeless. The level of assistance we can provide is controlled by law under the Housing Act 1996. If you approach us for help you should expect to answer questions about your situation and provide evidence if asked.

We have a full duty to ensure that you have a home only if all the following 5 criteria apply to your circumstances:

1. You are eligible for assistance

Being eligible for assistance means you are entitled to help with housing under immigration regulations. This will depend on your immigration status in the UK and whether you are habitually resident.

2. You are homeless

You are homeless or at risk of homelessness within the next 28 days.

You are homeless if you do not have a legal right to live anywhere (in the UK or anywhere in the world). Or you have a home but it is not reasonable for you to continue living in it. 

3. You are in priority need

You are normally in priority need if you or one of the people included in your homelessness application falls into one of the situations listed here.

  • You have dependant children (under 18s) who live with you
  • You're pregnant
  • You're a care leaver aged 18 to 21
  • You've been made homeless by fire, flood or other disaster
  • We have assessed you as vulnerable

4. You did not become homeless intentionally

We will check that you haven't made yourself homeless. For example we will check that you weren't evicted because you didn't pay your rent or because of anti-social behaviour. We will also check that you did not give up your home when it was reasonable for you to continue living there.

5. You have a local connection to Wandsworth

We will check that you have a local connection to the Wandsworth borough. You have a local connection if you have lived in the borough for at least 6 months within the last year, or you have lived here for a minimum of 3 years within the last 5 years. You may also have a connection if you work in the borough or have close family in the area (parents/siblings/non-dependent children.)

If you have no local connection with Wandsworth we may refer you to the borough that you are connected with so that they may accommodate you. We will not refer you to a borough you are not safe in because of violence or harassment.

If we do not have a duty to find you a home

If you do not satisfy the first 4 criteria, we will not be able to offer you somewhere to live or give you financial assistance for a tenancy with a private landlord. However, we will provide you with advice and assistance to help you find alternative accommodation.

Please see Other housing options for guidance on the type of advice we provide.