I am homeless or facing homelessness

I'm homeless or facing homelessness

Our homelessness service provides advice and assistance to all eligible households who are either homeless or imminently threatened with homelessness.    

Our homelessness service provides advice and assistance to all eligible households who are either homeless or imminently threatened with homelessness.

A formal application is taken and thoroughly investigated before the Council’s legal duty to assist is determined.  In each case the following have to be considered:

  • Eligibility – are you entitled to help from the Council, this determined by legislation including those subject to immigration control.
  • Actual Homelessness – is there anywhere that is available and suitable for you to occupy
  • Priority Need – this is a test of vulnerability, consideration may be given to a combination of factors
  • Intentionality – a deliberate act or failure to act that led to you losing your home
  • Local Connection – are you specifically linked to North Kesteven, we will take into account current/previous residency inc immediate family, or other special circumstance

Each of the above affect the type of assistance the Authority must legally provide, ranging from actually providing accommodation through to assistance to enable households to access accommodation for themselves.

Depending on your circumstances the Council may ensure accommodation is available to you whilst the investigation is undertaken.

Please download the Homelessness Guide NK, for further information on what you can expect from North Kesteven District Council, when you make a Homelessness Application.

We urge you to contact us as soon as possible for advice and assistance.  We operate a 24hr service, so please contact us at the Sleaford Office during opening hours or if you find yourself in an emergency situation, with nowhere to stay, outside these times please contact our out of hours service on 01529 308308. or you can Email us if it is an option.

North Kesteven District Council works in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, all of the Lincolnshire District Councils and several other statutory and voluntary agencies in the Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy Group.

Working together to ensure appropriate advice and assistance is readily available to everyone who is either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, therefore enabling its prevention or its solution in securing suitable accommodation.

The partnership strives to develop and maintain the strategic aims developed for previous county-wide homelessness strategies; to continue

  • To prevent homelessness through early intervention and targeted prevention;
  • To increase access to good quality suitable accommodation;
  • To offer support where homelessness has already occurred.

Homelessness remains a complex issue, compounded by a time of austerity and economic challenge.  Our priorities for the Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy 2017-2021 are: 

  • Partnership - Developing and maintaining strategic relationships and partnerships;
  • Prevent - Preventing homelessness wherever possible to do so;
  • Protect - Protecting the most vulnerable from experiencing homelessness, including tackling rough sleeping;
  • Place - Ensuring access to the right type of housing solution;
  • Possibility - Ensuring a sustainable future for supported housing. 

You can download the Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy from the downloads section.

We provide a full housing advice service to everyone who lives in North Kesteven, regardless of tenure.  Customers who are worried about losing their home will have an opportunity to discuss their circumstances with a case worker who will provide information, advice and practical assistance regarding housing rights, responsibilities and options available to them.

We aim to prevent homelessness through our housing advice service and various prevention tools/initiatives.

We provide assistance to stay in your current accommodation through the following services:

  • Landlord Liaison/Negotiation
  • Family & Friends Reconciliation
  • Mortgage Assistance – including mortgage rescue & liaison with lender

  • Sanctuary Scheme –work to improve security to your home

  • Prevention Payments – one off payments eg: agency application fees

  • Discretionary Payments – when there is a shortfall of housing benefit

  • Debt Management – inc income maximisation & liaison with lenders

  • Floating Support Service – practical assistance to enable them to remain in their home

We also provide assistance to find alternative accommodation through the following services:

  • Family Liaison

  • Landlord Liaison

  • Rent Advice & Deposit Guarantee

  • Referrals to other Housing Providers eg: Foyers

  • Prevention Payments

  • Low Cost Homeownership

If you are worried about losing your home please contact us as soon as possible, ask to speak to a Housing Needs Officer who will arrange a Housing Options Interview.

If you are threatened with eviction your situation is extremely serious and may result in you losing your home. There is no guarantee that a Court will not evict households with children, and the Council generally has no obligation to re-house people who are evicted for non-payment of rent or anti-social behaviour.

Don’t ignore the problem. There are things you can do and people who can help. But you need to act!

Read any letters you receive carefully.  It explains how much rent you owe.  If you’re not sure what it means, or why you've been sent it, get in touch with us straight away. 

Your rent is your responsibility.  Even if you are getting benefit, it is up to you to make sure your rent account stays up-to-date.   If you cannot understand why you have arrears, you still need to contact us so it can be sorted out.

Get free help and advice.  We can refer you to the Council’s Money Advice Service for advice on benefits and help in managing all your debts, not just rent arrears.  You can also get your own advice from a solicitor or housing advice centre.

Your rent is a priority debt - if you don’t pay your rent, you could lose your home. The Council takes legal action because of rent arrears. In 2007/08:

  • 35 Court Orders were obtained against tenants who did not pay their rent.      
  • 17 tenants were evicted because they did not pay their rent as ordered by the Court.   This included families with children, single people and couples. 

Contact us straightaway and we can agree with you what you can afford to pay. Make sure you contact your Housing Officer on 01529 414155 so we can agree with you what will happen next. 

The law in squatting is complex, and we cannot just ‘throw a person out’ who is squatting: there is a legal process that we must go through to repossess a property.  We regard a squatter as someone who occupies the property without obtaining the Council’s permission. 

If there are squatters in a Council property, we need to know about it so that we can start action to get them out, and then offer the property to a household on the waiting list.  A Court Order issued by the County Court is required to repossess a property from squatters. Once a ‘possession order’ is obtained a bailiff’s appointment will be requested and the squatters will be notified of the date of eviction.

If the squatter or occupant of the premises at any time makes representation or an application for re-housing, then they will be referred to the Council’s Housing Needs Team.

Unauthorised occupants are in the main ‘left behind’ in a tenancy following the departure of the tenant. The tenancy is still in existence although the tenant is no longer resident.

Unauthorised occupation covers a multitude of situations including unauthorised assignment / exchange, people staying on following death of tenant, residents who have no right to succeed, children remaining after the parents have moved.

The Council cannot be expected to know what is happening in all the properties that it owns and we greatly appreciate the information we receive from our tenants. If you believe that a Council property is being used by squatters or unauthorised occupiers, please contact us and let us know. We will be extremely grateful for the information and you do not need to give your name and address.