Homelessness Policy - Reasonableness of Occupation

The Council will investigate whether accommodation is available to the customer, whether it is suitable for them to remain and may ask the customer to provide evidence, depending on their situation.

In reaching a decision, the Council will consider each case on its individual merits, including (but not exhaustively):

  • the health and safety of the household;
  • any other statutory duty the Council has towards the household;
  • overcrowding and condition of existing accommodation i.e. unfitness, dampness and condensation etc;
  • information already obtained from medical applications and assistance requested to support medical applications;
  • fear of domestic abuse; and
  • fear of violence.

In accordance with legislation, a person will be considered to be threatened by homelessness or homeless where accommodation available to him/her is unreasonable to occupy because:

  • the accommodation is below the tolerable standard (BTS).
  • the person is living in bed and breakfast accommodation.
  • the person is living in a hostel or other accommodation such as a women’s refuge, which is not intended to provide long-stay accommodation.
  • there is external violence, including racial or other harassment.
  • there is a risk of domestic violence.
  • continued occupation of the accommodation poses a substantial risk to a person's health.
  • the accommodation is impracticable for a particular person because of his or her physical infirmities or disabilities.
  • he or she cannot secure entry to it.
  • he or she has a mobile home, caravan, houseboat or other moveable structure but has no place where he or she is entitled or permitted to put it or moor it and to live in it.
  • the accommodation is both overcrowded within the meaning of section 135 of the Act and may endanger health.
  • it is not permanent accommodation, and a local authority had a legal duty to house the person at the time he or she occupied it.
  • as a result of an emergency e.g. fire or flood.

View the next section: Assessment of Intentionality

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