LGBTQ+

Lots of our advice is the same regardless of your sexuality or gender identity, but there are some areas that affect people within the LGBTQ+ community disproportionately compared to others.

If you are under 25 and need housing advice, we have dedicated LGBTQ+ advice for young people here.

Homelessness

People within the LGBTQ+ community are most at risk of homelessness around the time when they tell their family about their sexuality or gender identity, but it is important to know that there is help available and organisations that can support you.

If you are worried about becoming homeless, read our general advice on homelessness and what to do if you are at risk of becoming homeless.

If you are thinking about telling your family about your sexuality or gender identity and you are worried  that they might kick you out, you can get help from Shelter Cymru. An adviser can help you work out your housing rights.

If you are homeless and have nowhere to stay, you should contact your local council‘s housing department and ask to make a homelessness application. The council may have to help you find temporary accommodation, whilst they look at your application.

Take a look at our step-by-step guide to find out what will happen when you make a homelessness application.

Emergency accommodation

If your local council offers you emergency or temporary accommodation, it must be suitable for you and any members of your household.

Make sure you tell the council about your needs and any concerns that you have. If you do not think the accommodation they have offered you is suitable you can ask the council to look at it again (this is called asking for a ‘review‘), but you should not refuse an offer without getting help first. Otherwise they may not have to offer you anything else.

Read more about the suitability of temporary accommodation here.

Domestic abuse

If you are staying with friends and family, or living in a refuge, hostel or bed and breakfast hotel as a result of domestic abuse, you may still be considered to be homeless and able to get help from your local council.

If you are in an abusive situation, there is help available, see our advice on domestic abuse.

There are a number of specialist support helplines that you can call:

Stonewall Cymru provides advice and support on a range of issues to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Wales.

Galop : LGBTQ national domestic violence helpline 0800 9995428

Live Fear Free : national free support helpline 0808 80 10 800

Lgbt Cymru : helpline providing general counselling and support 0800 917 9996

Discrimination

Discrimination can take many forms and under the Equality Act (2010) discrimination against a person’s sexuality or gender identity is against the law. You might suffer from homelessness or have specific housing needs which arise as a result of direct or indirect discrimination against you because of your sexuality or gender identification.

If you feel that you have been the victim of discrimination which has affected your housing contact, get help from a Shelter Cymru adviser.

You can also find more information on discrimination oi Citizens Advice discrimination pages and the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

Harassment

Landlord harassment is a criminal offence and it is unlawful for a landlord to evict you without following the right legal process.

Harassment can be anything that your landlord does intentionally or indirectly to upset your life or to make you leave your property. It can include:

  • cutting off or restricting gas, electricity or water supply
  • visiting your home regularly without warning
  • interfering with your post
  • threatening you
  • threatening to evict you
  • sending builders round without notice
  • entering your home when you are not there, without your permission
  • beginning disruptive repair works and not finishing them
  • harassing you because of your gender, race or sexuality
  • making homophobic or transphobic remarks.

There are practical steps you can take:

  • Write to or email your landlord or letting agent to tell them to stop harassing or threatening you
  • tell them that they are acting unlawfully and if it continues you will take legal action
  • have a friend or adviser with you whenever you have to deal with your landlord in person.

Contact the police if your landlord makes you feel unsafe in your home, threatens you with violence or is violent.

If you are in need of help, get help as soon as possible.

You can find out more about landlord harassment and unlawful eviction here.

I don’t feel safe in the area that I live in, what can I do?

You have the right to feel safe in your home, and the area in which you live.

If you are living in rented accommodation that is provided by a community landlord and feel unsafe because of LGBTQ+ hate, then you should report this to your local housing office.

You can also make a homelessness application to your local council, and apply to the community landlord waiting list.  Explain the reasons why you feel unsafe. The council should look at your circumstances and decide whether or not the accommodation is suitable for you to continue living there.

If you disagree with the council’s decision, get help immediately.

Asking for security measures in rented accommodation

If you live in rented accommodation and are being harassed, then you can ask the landlord if they can help you with improved security such as window locks, spy holes and door chains. If your landlord doesn’t allow this then get help. Depending on whether you have a community landlord or a private landlord and the type of change you are asking for, you may be able to use equality law to help get the changes made.

If you have a community landlord you could also ask for a waiting list transfer to other accommodation. Providing the council or community landlord with evidence of the harassment will be helpful.

Joint occupation contracts

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 changed the housing rights of people who have registered a civil partnership or who are living together as if they were civil partners.

This means that  if you are a same sex couple living together as if you were in a civil partnership, then you and your family have the same housing rights as those of an unmarried opposite sex cohabiting couple and their families.

If you register a civil partnership and one of you is a secure contract-holder, then you are entitled to add your partner’s name to the contract.

Inheriting an occupation contract

When a contract-holder dies, their occupation contract does not automatically end. Some people have the right to take over the contract. This right is known as ‘succession’.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 gives same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples in relation to succession.

The Act means that civil partners have the same rights as married couples, and couples living together as civil partners have the same rights as couples living together as married couples.

Succession rules can be complicated and you have to act fast. It’s important to get help as soon as possible.

Find out more about succession of an occupation contract here.

Relationship breakdown

If your relationship with your partner breaks down and you have both agreed which one of you will continue to live at the property, you usually have the right to transfer the occupation contract into their name. To find out more about this process, read our advice here.

Please see our Families and relationships advice section for more information.

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

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This page was last updated on: Ionawr 31, 2024

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.