Alert Section

Homeless or At Risk of Homelessness

How the Homeless Team can help

The Homeless Team will aim to prevent homelessness by offering advice and assistance to allow you to remain in your home, or they may be able to help you find alternative accommodation by looking at all the available housing options, including securing accommodation in the private sector.

We will work with you to understand your housing need and develop a Personal Housing Plan to resolve your housing situation. This will be a collaborative approach and conversation about the help we can offer and the active role you can play in resolving your homelessness/threat of homelessness with your Homeless Officer.

Please view the 'Frequently Asked Questions' below which should help you with your initial enquiry.

Do not wait until you are actually homeless, contact the team as soon as possible, as we may be able to prevent you becoming homeless.

If the Homeless Team are unable to prevent your homelessness, they will conduct enquiries to confirm:

- you are eligible for our service

- you are homeless

- you are in a priority need

- whether you have made yourself intentionally homelessness

- determine if you have a local connection to Flintshire.

If necessary, temporary accommodation may be offered whilst these enquiries are carried out. 

Please remember the Homeless Team are responding to a crisis situation and therefore, may have to rely on temporary accommodation that may not be in an area of your choice.

You can call the Homeless Team on 01352 703777


Worried about someone sleeping rough?

StreetLink is a website that enables the public to alert local authorities in England and Wales about people sleeping rough in their area.  This service offers the public a means to act when they see someone sleeping rough, and is the first step someone can take to ensure rough sleepers are connected to the local services and support available to them.

Please use Streetlink to ensure that services within the council are notified and can offer advice, support and assistance.

Housing Support Programme Strategy

This Strategy provides a very clear vision of ending homelessness and overcoming housing problems, for all partners working to improve the lives of the people of Flintshire.

As we now focus on the recovery from the pandemic, we know we must do more to tackle the causes of homelessness and remove barriers to people being able to move into long term safe and settled housing at a time when the housing market is changing, and demand for affordable housing is increasing

Open the Housing Support Programme Strategy

Frequently Asked Questions

I've recieved notice from my landlord

The type of notice will depend on the type of agreement you have.  If your landlord wants you to leave, they must give you notice in a particular way.  If you are in doubt about your rights, please contact the Homeless Team on 01352 703777.

My landlord lives with me and I’ve been told to leave

People who share accommodation with their landlord have different rights to those who rent from a non resident landlord. This means you are likely to be an excluded occupier if you are in any of these situations:

  • you share accommodation with your landlord
  • you are living in your accommodation for a holiday
  • you do not pay any rent for your accommodation.

If you are an excluded occupier you will have very few tenancy rights. It is important to be aware that your landlord is able to ask you to leave your home, and is not required to provide notice and follow legal possession proceedings. We would request that reasonable notice is given, but this is not enforceable

It would be reasonable to ask your landlord for 28 days as reasonable notice, but, depending on the reason you are being asked to leave, this may not be possible.

My landlord/agent has told me via text/verbally that they are going to give me notice

If your landlord / agent has told you in person or via text they are going to issue you with notice this means you are not homeless or threatened with homelessness at present.  Verbal notice or texting by a landlord / agent is not valid notice.

I’ve received a Section 21 Notice Requiring Possession

The majority of private rented tenancies are an Assured Shorthold Tenancy which means you can occupy the property for a minimum of 6 months and you cannot be lawfully evicted without a Court Order. A court cannot make an order for possession unless you have been issued with a valid Section 21 Notice. The notice cannot be backdated and must be at least two calendar months. In order to issue a valid notice the landlord will be required to have registered any cash deposit provided within 31 days, and will need to registered and licensed with Rent Smart Wales.

Where can I get advice from?

You are strongly advised to contact the Homeless Team on 01352 703777 without delay in order that we may work with you, and your landlord, to prevent you from becoming homeless. In some circumstances, we may be able to get your notice revoked with some negotiation (e.g. if there are arrears, we may be able to arrange to agree a payment plan, or arrange for a support worker to assist with any financial problems that has resulted in notice being issued).  Early intervention could also mean that court costs would not be passed on to you from your landlord. Alternatively, you can contact Shelter Cymru or the Citizens Advice Bureau for independent advice regarding your housing situation.

I'm struggling to pay my rent

If you are not able to pay your rent talk to your landlord as soon as possible. Whether the problem is due to a change of circumstances, a budgeting problem, redundancy or a cut in your benefits, below are some simple steps you can take to help get yourself back in control and avoid eviction or repossession.

Talk to your Landlord

While it is understandable you may be reluctant to tell your landlord that you are going to be late with the rent, it is far better to get the issue out in the open before you actually fail to pay.

When you speak to your landlord:

  • explain why you are going to be late with the rent and ask for some extra time
  • be clear about what you are doing to address the problem to help ensure it should not happen again
  • identify the problem and make a plan

Being repeatedly late with your rent or mortgage could lead to eviction, and a bad reference from your landlord if you rent, or repossession of your home if you have a mortgage. 

Your two-step plan

Your two-step plan:

  1. Use an Income and Expenditure Form to assess if there is a shortfall between your monthly income and your expenses
  2. Once you have done this, look at ways you can cut back or boost your monthly income to close the gap.

Boosting your Income

If your circumstances have changed and your income has fallen as a result, you may be able to claim benefits to help you maximize your income. Benefits such as Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction may be able to help. If your benefits have been cut as a result of the benefit cap or because you are classed as ‘under-occupying’ your home – you can apply for Discretionary Housing Payments

Where to get free help and advice

If you want to talk to someone about how to deal with your landlord, you can call Shelter or the Citizens Advice Bureau. They will also be able to talk to you about what entitlements you may be able to claim to help you meet your rent payments if you are on a low income. Alternatively, you can contact the Homeless Team on 01352 703777 for assistance. 

I'm struggling to pay my mortgage

If you are not able to pay your mortgage, talk to your mortgage lender as soon as possible. Whether the problem is due to a change of circumstances, a budgeting problem, redundancy or a cut in your benefits, below are some simple steps you can take to help get yourself back in control and avoid eviction or repossession.

Talk to your Mortgage Lender

While it is understandable you may be reluctant to tell your mortgage lender that you are going to be late with the mortgage, it is far better to get the issue out in the open before you actually fail to pay.

When you speak to your mortgage lender, they will be keen to help and will talk through your options. They must make reasonable attempts to reach an agreement with you, including considering whether to change the way you make payments and when you make them.

If you fall into mortgage arrears, within 15 days your lender must:

  • list all the payments which you have missed
  • tell you the total sum of your arrears
  • tell you the amount of any charges incurred because of missing any payments
  • tell you the exact amount outstanding under your mortgage
  • give you a reasonable time to make good any shortfall in payments
  • tell you the likely charges in future if the arrears are not cleared

Furthermore, your lender must not seek repossession unless all other reasonable attempts to resolve the situation have failed, and they must give you reasonable notice before taking that action. Offer to pay what you can afford when you discuss your options with your lender - continuing to make some payments is better than paying nothing and will help reduce your arrears.

Identify the problem and make a plan

Being repeatedly late with your mortgage could lead to repossession of your home 

Your two-step plan:

  1. Use an Income and Expenditure Form to assess if there is a shortfall between your monthly income and your expenses
  2. Once you have done this, look at ways you can cut back or boost your monthly income to close the gap.

Boosting your Income

If your circumstances have changed and your income has fallen as a result, you may be able to claim benefits to help you maximize your income. 

Where to get free help and advice

If you want to talk to someone about how to deal with your mortgage lender, you can call Shelter or the Citizens Advice Bureau. They will also be able to talk to you about what entitlements you may be able to claim to help you meet your mortgage payments if you are on a low income. Alternatively, you can contact the Homeless Team on 01352 703777 for assistance. 

My relationship has broken down and my partner is asking me to leave

Can my partner ask me to leave our home?

Usually, this depends on:

  • the legal status of your relationship
  • whether you have occupancy rights

I'm married / I'm in a civil partnership / I'm a tenant / I live with my partner and have occupancy rights granted

If any of these situations applies to you, you have strong rights to stay in the family home and your partner would have to obtain a court order (e.g. an exclusion order) before they could make you leave your home. For more information on the rights you have to stay in the home, read the section on occupancy rights.

If your partner tries to force you out, e.g. changing the locks so you cannot get back into the house, this is illegal eviction.  Illegal eviction is a criminal offence and you can report your partner to the police. In addition, you may be able to take out an injunction, a non-harassment order, or another type of court order against them to prevent them acting in this way.

I live with my partner but don't have occupancy rights granted

In this case your partner will be able to evict you without a court order if they give you reasonable notice (we would ask for 28 days). Once your partner has withdrawn their permission for you to share their home, you will no longer have a right to remain there and your partner has the ability to change the locks if they wish to do so.

If you refuse to leave, your partner can apply ask the police for help in removing you.

If you do not want to leave, you will need to apply to the court for occupancy rights.

You may also be able to apply for occupancy rights after you have left the property. 

I moved out – does this mean I can move back in again?

I'm married or in a civil partnership

If you left the family home (e.g. if you went to stay in a refuge or with family or friends), you have the right to move back in again along with any children or grandchildren you look after. If your partner does not want you to return then you can apply to court for an order to enforce your occupancy rights. This will allow you to move back in. However, you do have the right to access the property without a court order. If you need to do this (e.g. if you need to collect furniture or belongings) it is best to ask the police to accompany you if you consider there is a risk to you returning.

If you moved out on or after the 4 May 2006 then your right to return to and live in the home will only last for two years. However, you will only lose your rights if, during the two-year period, you have not lived with your partner or in the family home.  

You will also lose your right to live in the home if:

  • you give up your rights to live there, or
  • you get divorced or dissolve your civil partnership

If you moved out before the 4 May 2006 then you will have the right to move back in until you get a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership or you renounce your rights.

I have occupancy rights

If you have occupancy rights granted by the court, you can return to the family home while those rights last. Your rights last as long as is specified in the court order (up to six months) or until you are legally evicted from the home. You can apply to the court to renew your occupancy rights once they have expired. You must remember to do this though because you will not receive reminders. If your partner does not want you to return to the family home, you can ask the court for an order to enforce your occupancy rights and allow you to move back in.

I'm a tenant or joint tenant

In this case, you will retain the right to return to your home until your tenancy officially ends. Your tenancy may end because:

  • you end the tenancy yourself
  • your landlord issues notice and pursues possession proceedings via court

I want to leave my partner as I do not feel safe


Make sure you have a safety plan in place, even if you are not planning to leave straight away. Try to leave while the perpetrator is not at home so s/he cannot try to stop you.  If possible, arrange a place to stay before you leave and get advice about custody if you have any children. If you have to leave in an emergency because your partner has assaulted you, call the police. They may be able to arrest her/him, which will give you some time to leave.

Domestic violence helpline for women and men

You can contact Live Fear Free, which is open 24 hours / seven days a week on 0808 8010 800.

Staying in your home

If you have suffered domestic abuse or violence, you may want to stay in your home, have the perpetrator excluded and make your home safer to stay in, especially if you have strong family links or children’s schooling in the area.

Call the Police

In some cases, the best way to ensure the perpetrator leaves will be for them to be arrested. This may only remove them from the situation for a short period of time, however if they are charged, then they may be either held in custody, or given bail, with conditions, which should include that they do not attend the property or contact you. If a criminal offence has been committed, they may be prosecuted, which could result in a custodial sentence.

Change the Locks

You may want to change the locks to stop the perpetrator getting into your home. However, you need to be aware of two things:

  • simply changing the locks is unlikely to stop a determined attacker, except when combined with other security measures
  • if the perpetrator has rights to occupy the home (if you have a joint tenancy, for example), you could be illegally evicting them.

Make your Home Safer

There are several measures you can take to make you safer in your home, for example by:

  • fitting more secure locks, door chains, and peepholes for the front doors
  • reinforcing doors and door frames
  • getting window locks, bars, and grills installed
  • installing alarms, CCTV and security lighting
  • improving fire safety measures
  • having a reinforced and lockable safe room in the house, from which the police can be called
  • letting neighbours know that the perpetrator no longer lives with you, and asking them to let you know if they see them hanging around
  • changing telephone numbers and screening calls.

These measures can be used along with other legal measures to exclude the perpetrator (e.g. an Occupation Order, Non-molestation Order or an injunction). They will only protect you while you are inside your home, so you may want to consider other security measures for while you are out (e.g. personal alarms, a mobile phone, self-defence classes).  

The police can give you further advice on security measures. Make sure your local police station knows that you have been a victim of domestic abuse.  You should also give them a copy of any relevant orders/injunctions, especially if a power of arrest is attached, so they are aware that they will need to respond quickly to any call from you.

Occupation Orders

Occupation Orders are court orders that extend or restrict a person's right to occupy a home. They can, for example, give you the right to stay in the family home where you didn't previously have that right (for example, where the tenancy is a sole tenancy in the perpetrators name), or exclude the perpetrator from the home.  

An Occupation Order can be applied for separately, or as part of other family law proceedings (divorce or custody proceedings, for example). The details of the order you can apply for will depend on your relationship to the perpetrator and the type of accommodation you live in.

Occupation Orders can have a power of arrest attached so, for example, if the perpetrator has been excluded from the home, they can be arrested if they try to force their way in. The perpetrator can be given a custodial sentence or fined for breaching the order.

You will need to seek the advice of a solicitor to get an Occupation Order. They cannot guarantee your safety, and will only last for a limited time, so you will need to take further action to settle who stays in the property in the long-term.

Getting an order or injunction

You will need to get advice from a solicitor who specialises in family law.  The solicitor will help you to make an application to the court for an injunction.  Sometimes, injunctions can be sought as a part of family law (divorce or custody) proceedings.  The judge will consider the evidence of the violence against you, and whether:

  • the behaviour you want to stop is unlawful
  • the perpetrator is likely to carry out the actions
  • there is a likelihood of harm to you
  • the behaviour can be clearly explained so the perpetrator will understand what it is they are banned from doing
  • the order or injunction is necessary for your protection.

Unlike in the criminal courts, the violence does not have to be proven 'beyond reasonable doubt'; the judge will just have to be satisfied that it is 'more probable than not' that the violence happened.  The judge will then decide whether to make an order or injunction and, if so, what conditions to attach to it.

Getting help from the Housing Solutions Team

You can contact the team for help if you do not wish to remain in the home, especially if you do not feel safe.  

They can offer the following:

  • homelessness advice and assistance
  • accessing emergency accommodation or refuge
  • advice on excluding the perpetrator from your home
  • improvements in the security of your home (e.g. target hardening – alarms, locks, etc)
  • emergency contacts and ongoing support

Please contact the team on 01352 703777

I want to leave home or my family / relatives have asked me to leave

If you think that you need to leave home because of family arguments or disagreements, moving out is not your only option. It may be better for you to stay at home with your family and to try and sort out your difficulties.  

If you are having problems communicating with your parents, it may help to talk to someone else. This could be an elder brother or sister, your grandparents, aunt or uncle, a friend or teacher. They may be able to act as a go between, to help smooth things over with your parents.


If you feel that you need some “hands on” help sorting things out with your family then Housing Solutions can arrange for mediation to take place.  A mediator is a sort of neutral referee who can help you and your family sort out your problems. They don’t take sides, they don’t decide ‘who is right’ and they don’t tell you what to do. Instead, they’ll help you work things out for yourselves. If you are interested in learning more about mediation, contact our team on 01352 703777.

Can my parents/relatives ask me to leave?

Most family disagreements can be sorted out through communication and, in some cases, mediation.  However, sometimes it is not possible to stay at home as you may not feel safe, or your parents may not be willing to work with us and the mediation service, and have said that you have to leave. While Housing Solutions will do what they can to try and help you to remain in your home, where it is safe to do so, and if necessary provide support to help you and your family while we assist with a planned move, this is not always possible. In some circumstances, we can make a referral to Supported Accommodation projects in Flintshire, but these spaces are limited, so options with other family members/friends will be explored, as well as the private sector.

If you are aged 16 or 17 years of age

If you have been asked to leave by family and you are aged 16 or 17 years, you can contact Housing Solutions for some help. New rules came into force to help young people facing homelessness and they would undertake a joint assessment with Children’s Services. The assessment is completed to ensure that all your needs are addressed and you receive the right service for you.

If you wish to speak to a member of Young Persons Integrated Team please contact 01352 703164.

I'm experiencing harassment from my neighbour / landlord

The law protects people living in a residential property against harassment and illegal eviction. It does this in two ways: by making harassment and illegal eviction a criminal offence, and by enabling someone who is harassed or illegally evicted to claim damages through the civil court.

What constitutes harassment?

Harassment can occur in many forms.  It's described as 'causing alarm or distress' and also as 'putting people in fear of violence'.  It can include, but is not limited to, the following types of behaviour: 

  • Threats of violence against you or an actual act of violence committed upon you
  • Abusive and/or insulting behaviour or words
  • Threats of damage to your property and possessions or actual damage to them
  • Any written form of abuse or threat made to you, including letters, graffiti or any other kind of written material such as posters being put up that are derogatory towards you

Basically, harassment can be any type of behaviour or action taken towards you which threatens your own sense of security and peace or which causes you unnecessary inconvenience.

What can you do if you are a victim of harassment?

If you feel that you are being harassed, you should immediately notify the police. It’s also useful if you have kept a written record of all the occasions when any harassment has took place, including what form of harassment you suffered, the date and time it took place, and a name or description of the perpetrator(s). Even if you haven’t gathered all of this information or you do not know who might be responsible, collect and provide the police with as much information as you can.

The more you can tell them, the quicker and easier it will be to instigate any legal proceedings that might be necessary. Once you have been interviewed by the police, they will be on hand to offer you any advice while they conduct their investigations.

What if I live in rented accommodation?

If you live in rented accommodation, you should also inform your Landlord, your Neighbourhood Housing Officer or Housing Association. They can offer additional support which might include fitting locks, vandal-proof letterboxes, fences and lighting, and installing alarms which might even be linked to your local police station. If your perpetrator lives in the same building as you, they can also be approached and warned about possible tenancy agreement breaches, and the possibility of eviction.

Flintshire County Council will do all it can to help you remain in your home and you should not feel under any pressure to move. Nobody should ever feel compelled to be driven out of their home and neighbourhood against their wishes because of a harassment issue. If, however, you feel that rehousing is your only option, please speak to your Neighbourhood Housing Officer, Housing Association or Landlord/Agent,

The Protection from Eviction Act 1977

If you are a tenant and privately rent your property, the law makes it an offence to:

  • Do acts likely to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant or anyone living with him or her; or
  • Persistently withdraw or withhold services for which the tenant has a reasonable need to live in the premises as a home.

It is an offence to do any of the things described above intending, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, that they would cause the tenant to leave their home, or stop using part of it, or stop doing the things a tenant should normally expect to be able to do. It is also an offence to take someone’s home away from him or her unlawfully.

The precise offences are set out in the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, which has been made stronger by the Housing Act 1988.

A person who is convicted by magistrates of an offence under the Protection from Eviction Act may have to pay a maximum fine of £5,000, or be sent to prison for six months, or both. If the case goes to the Crown Court, the punishment can be prison for up to two years, or a fine, or both. 

Department Duties

Housing (Wales) Act 2014

The Welsh Government vision for the new legislation is:

  • Help for everyone at risk of homelessness
  • Early intervention to prevent crises
  • Less emphasis on priority need
  • Making best use of all resources, including private sector
  • Working with people to help them find the best housing solution
  • Partnership working across organisations and services to achieve sustainable solutions

Section 62 Assessment

The Local Authority now has a duty to assess a person’s case if:

  • The person has applied to the local authority for accommodation or help in retaining accommodation
  • It appears to the authority that the person may be homeless or threatened with homelessness

The assessment must include:

  • The circumstances that have caused the applicant to be homeless or threatened with homelessness
  • The housing needs of the applicant and any person with whom the applicant lives or might reasonably be expected to live
  • The support needed for the applicant and any person with whom the applicant lives or might reasonably be expected to live to retain accommodation which is or may become available 
  • Whether or not the authority has any duty to the applicant
  • Seek to identify the outcome the applicant wishes to achieve from the authority’s help
  • Assess whether the exercise of any function could contribute to the achievement of that outcome

If, following the assessment, the applicant is found to be threatened with homelessness within 56 days, the authority will have a duty under Section 66 to help to prevent homelessness.  (Homeless Prevention)

If the applicant is found to be homeless, the authority will have a duty under Section 73 to help to secure accommodation. (Homeless Relief)

The applicant should be notified, in writing, of the outcome of the Section 62 assessment, if they do not agree with the duty accepted, or if no duty is accepted, the applicant has the right to appeal this decision.

Priority Need / Section 68 Interim Accommodation

There is less emphasis on priority need as the same service for preventing and relieving homeless is provided to all applicants under Section 66 and Section 73.  However priority need is still taken into account for the provision of temporary accommodation, under Section 68, if an applicant is homeless and being assisted under Section 73.

Priority Need Categories are:

  • Pregnant Woman
  • Person with dependant children
  • Vulnerable for a special reason
  • Emergency: fire or flood
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Age 16 / 17
  • Age 18-21 at risk of sexual or financial exploitation
  • Age 18-21, previously a Looked After Child
  • Homeless on release from the Armed Forces
  • Vulnerable as a result of custody or remand
  • Person who is street homeless

If an applicant is found to be non-priority status, and is not being provided with interim accommodation, they should be issued with a notification of this decision, with information detailing their right to request a review.

Section 66

There is no time limit on a Section 66 duty, the authority should take all reasonable steps to prevent homelessness, if this is successful the applicant will be notified that the duty has ended, and why.

If prevention work is unsuccessful and the applicant becomes homeless, the authority would then accept a Section 73 duty to help to secure accommodation, and provide emergency accommodation under S68 if the applicant has an apparent priority need

Section 73

The authority has 56 days to help to secure accommodation for an applicant being assisted under Section 73.  If they are successful the duty can be ended before the 56 days, if unsuccessful, the authority will then look at – priority need / intentionality.  If the applicant is priority need, and is not deemed to be intentionally homeless, the applicant would then be notified they will be assisted under Section 75, which is a duty to secure accommodation.  The duty can end after 56 days for non-priority applicants.

If an applicant is found to be intentionally homeless, the S73 Duty can end after 56 days, but they do have a right to appeal.

Section 75 

This is the final duty to secure accommodation if the applicant is found to be homeless, in priority need and unintentionally homeless.  Applicants who have lost/refused interim accommodation under S68, and are not accommodated at this point, should be offered further interim accommodation under the Section 75 Duty.

Section 80

Where the local authority has established homelessness, but has also established that the applicant does not have a local connection to the Flintshire area, a referral may be carried out under Section 80 to the authority where the applicant has been made homeless from / has a local connection to.

If you are homeless out of normal office hours and you need assistance, you can ring our Out of Hours number on:

01267 224911

This number is not for general housing advice but for people who need emergency assistance out of office hours