Homelessness application & request for interim accommodation by representative on applicant's behalf

A letter that housing advisors and other advocates can use to:

  • Submit a homelessness application on a client's behalf.
  • Request interim temporary accommodation, and
  • Ask that action is taken to protect the client's personal possessions (if there's a risk they may be lost or damaged because of the client's inability to protect or deal with them).

The letter is useful if you want to:

  • Ensure the council is made aware of all relevant information, including those factors suggesting the client should be accommodated pending a decision on their application (under section 188 of the Housing Act 1996).
  • Evidence that a request for accommodation has been made on grounds of homelessness (so that if the council fails to take action the letter can be used subsequently to evidence this fact).
  • Obtain confirmation that the council has taken a homeless application and is providing temporary accommodation.
  • Warn the council that the applicant will obtain advice from a legal aid provider should the council fail to arrange temporary accommodation.
  • Ask that copies of the statutory notifications (which the applicant is entitled to) are forwarded to you, so you can continue to advise or support the applicant.

The letter contains examples of how it might be argued that there is reason to believe the applicant:

  • May be eligible for help (on immigration and nationality grounds), and
  • May be homeless, and
  • May have a priority need.

This is the legal threshold that councils must apply when deciding whether they must provide temporary accommodation (under section 188(1) of the Housing Act 1996).

You may wish to refer to the priority need categories when drafting the letter, which are set out at:

If you are not a legal advisor consider referring the applicant to a specialist housing advisor under the legal aid scheme. Details of local providers are available here.

If you're a legal adviser this letter may need to be sent as a pre-claim letter in accordance with the Judicial Review Pre-Action Protocol (see 'Related Documents' below).

Country England

User Advocate

Subject Homelessness

Document Type Letter


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