What will the council check?

When you make a homelessness application, the council will want to check certain information so that they can make decisions about what help to give you.

What information will the council check?

The council will want to know:

  • the circumstances that have caused you to become homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • your housing needs, and those of any person living with you
  • whether you, or any person living with you, needs support
  • what you want to achieve from making the application.

The officer should allow you to explain your situation and allow you to feel able to discuss all of your options and concerns.

The council will look at the information you provide and any documents you take with you. Have a look at our Items to support a homeless application checklist which sets out the type of information that you should take with you.

The council may also contact people and organisations that know about your housing situation to find out more about your circumstances. This might include your previous landlord or mortgage lender and/or any agencies that have provided support for you in the past.

If there are people you do not want the council to contact because, for example, you have been experiencing violence or threats, you should say so.

What decisions will the council make?

At different stages in your application, the council might need to decide:

  • whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • whether you are eligible for assistance
  • whether you are in priority need
  • whether you have a local connection with the area.

The council may also decide to check whether you are intentionally homeless, although not all councils will do this.

Each of these criteria have special legal meanings. For more information on each criteria and when they are considered click on the links below:

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an advisor
email us

Legal definition of homelessness

The council will have to decide if you meet the legal definition of being homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Eligibility for assistance

The council will want to decide if you are legally eligible to receive homelessness assistance.

Priority need

When deciding whether you are entitled to emergency housing or a duty to secure final accommodation, the council will want to consider whether you are in ‘priority need’.

Intentional homelessness

In some circumstances, when deciding whether it must find you a place to live, the council can decide to look at the law to see if you are intentionally homeless.

Local connection

The council may check if you have a local connection to the area. If you do not have a local connection it can decide to send you to another area, provided you have a connection with that other area and you are not at risk of abuse there.

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 0345 075 5005.

This page was last updated on: April 30, 2018

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.