Domestic violence and council tenants

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The Wandsworth Community Safety Partnership Plan 2017 - 2021 sets out the priorities for the Council to address violence against women and girls and our commitment to meeting the needs of men and boys who are victims of violence.

Domestic abuse is defined as any behaviour which is abusive towards you from a current or ex-partner, or family member, regardless of gender or sexuality, provided you are both aged 16 or over.

The abuse could be physical or sexual abuse, violent or threatening behaviour, controlling or coercive behaviour, economic abuse, psychological or emotional abuse.

It does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or forms part of an ongoing pattern of abusive behaviour. The relationship does not need to include all of these forms of abuse to be considered abusive.

Read more information and advice about domestic violence and abuse.

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What are my options?

Stay Put Stay Safe: security measures for your home

The Stay Put Stay Safe scheme is for people affected by domestic violence and victims of hate crime.

If you live in Wandsworth and are being threatened or physically harmed by someone who does not live with you, you do not need to leave your home. We may be able to make it a safer place to live by improving the security of your home.

We may use a range of measures such as new locks, heavy-duty doors, additional window security and safe rooms.

Email the Accommodation Procurement Team on SSPS@wandsworth.gov.uk for more information.

Or you can be referred by a support agency, such as the Police, Victim Support, a social worker or your estate manager.

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Staying in the property: your rights

If you are being threatened or hurt by someone who lives with you, you have a right to remain in the property.

  • If you own a property or have a tenancy (in your name or with another person) you have a right to live in the property.
  • If you do not own the property or have a tenancy but live with your spouse or civil partner who does, you are legally entitled to live in the home. They cannot legally evict you without obtaining a court order.
  • If you are not living in your home currently, you can apply for a court order to gain entry to live there.

Moving

If you are a council tenant or are fleeing violence from a council tenant who you have been living with, please contact your estate manager or managing agent.

You may be eligible for an urgent move to another property if you are being abused and it is not safe for you to remain at your current address. The council will take steps to evict the abuser from the original property.

If you are a housing association tenant, you may want to contact your housing association to find out if you can get a transfer.

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Emergency accommodation

To make a homelessness application to Wandsworth Council:

  • Complete the Housing Options and Enquiries form
  • Contact Housing Options and Assessment team on 020 8871 6161 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm) or
  • Emergency social services on 020 8871 6000 (out of hours)

You can approach any local authority for an assessment if you are at risk of homelessness due to violence. It is worth considering if it is safe to apply to your home borough, and any support networks you may have in other areas.

If you are eligible for housing support and are unable to remain in your home due to domestic abuse, you are considered in priority need and the local authority must secure you interim accommodation if this is what you want. This accommodation may not be in the borough you have applied to.

You do not need to have already left your accommodation to be considered homeless. The law says that if continuing to stay at your accommodation will lead to further risk of domestic abuse, then you are considered homeless.

Do not give up your accommodation until you have obtained legal advice.

For further advice or to make a homelessness application, contact our Homelessness Prevention Team by email housingadvice@wandsworth.gov.uk.

More information can also be found at Shelter.

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