If you decide to sell your home, you need to find alternative accommodation that you can afford. This could be through:
- staying with family or friends
- buying a cheaper property
- renting from a private landlord
- asking the local council for help because you are homeless.
The council have legal duties to help people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days. If you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, you should contact the council to see if they can help prevent you from losing your home.
If it’s not possible to keep your home, the council will have a duty to help you to find somewhere else to live. The council will only have to provide you with accommodation while they help you find somewhere else if you are in priority need, eg if you have dependent children, you/your partner is pregnant, or if you have a disability or are vulnerable in some way.
The council’s duties to help you are likely to be for a limited time if they decide that you are intentionally homeless if you lost your home because you didn’t pay your mortgage. The decision will depend on your particular circumstances, not just the fact that you couldn’t pay your mortgage. If there was a reason you were unable to pay your mortgage (for example, if your problems were caused because you lost your job, split up with your partner or became ill), then the council shouldn’t decide you are intentionally homeless. Get help urgently if the council tell you they are likely to decide you are intentionally homeless. You can ask for them to review the decision within 21 days of being notified.
If you think you will need to apply to the council for help, get help before the sale is final. An adviser may be able to help you convince the council that you did everything you could to keep your home.
See the section on homelessness for more information on when a local council must help you.