You didn’t pay the rent or mortgage when you could have
Losing your home is likely to be considered a deliberate act if you:
- knowingly and continually failed to pay your rent or mortgage, even though you could afford to, or,
- knew you couldn’t afford the rent or mortgage payments when you moved into your home.
However, losing your home because of mortgage or rent arrears may not be considered intentional if:
- you got into arrears because of significant financial difficulties that were out of your control, for example illness, redundancy or a reduction to your benefits. This is especially true if you can show you did everything possible to try to save your home.
- you got into rent arrears because of delays in your housing benefit or universal credit payments
- you couldn’t manage your money because of a physical or mental illness or disability
- you thought your partner was paying the rent but they weren’t.
If your partner did something that caused you to be evicted, they may be intentionally homeless. You could be found to be intentionally homeless too if you knew what your partner was doing or joined in or if you failed to take action that could easily have solved the problem.
You can make a homelessness application in your name even if the council decides your partner is intentionally homeless. Your partner can be included in the application.
You neglected your personal finances or ignored professional advice
You could be considered to be intentionally homeless if you were given advice, for example by a housing options officer, and you ignored this advice.
You or your family were evicted for antisocial behaviour
You may be found to be intentionally homeless if you’ve been evicted because you or your child were involved in antisocial behaviour. Parents are usually held responsible for their children’s actions, especially young children.
What you did to try to stop the antisocial behaviour could affect the council’s decision.
You left accommodation which was available and reasonable for you to live in
You are likely to be intentionally homeless if the accommodation you left was available and reasonable for you to live in. This applies to accommodation in the UK and abroad. The accommodation you left must have been available for you as well as:
- anyone who normally lives with you as a member of your family and
- any other person who would normally live with you as a member of your family but can’t at present because of your housing situation
However, you may not be considered to be intentionally homeless if the accommodation was not reasonable for you to stay in because:
- you or someone you live with was experiencing abuse or threats of abuse
the accommodation was in a very poor condition compared with other local housing
- you couldn’t afford the rent or mortgage payments unless you went without essentials such as food and heating
the accommodation was causing damage to your health.
You might think it’s unreasonable for you to stay in your accommodation for other reasons, such as overcrowding. Get advice if you think you have strong, valid reasons for leaving but the council doesn’t agree.
You left a job that provided you with accommodation
Housing that comes with a job is known as tied accommodation. This type of accommodation is particularly common in farming. If you leave a job that came with housing and, as a result, end up with nowhere to live, you may be considered to be intentionally homeless.