HELP WITH HOUSING
There are several options if you are experiencing homelessness. Whilst the ultimate goal is usually to find suitable long-term housing, sometimes temporary accommodation can be the only or best option. If you're facing homelessness, looking into lodgings, thinking about renting, or in accommodation and need advice, take a look below to find out where to get information & help.
We support many people who need temporary accommodation, such as in a hostel. In most areas, there is some sort of hostel provision, providing accommodation and support for people before they move on to their own property. You will need to contact your local authority housing department will have details of hostels and other residential services.
Generally, hostel accommodation provides:
See Links & Resources for local Housing Advice contact details.
There are two main renting options: social housing or private renting. Social Housing has always been more secure, and usually at an affordable rent; however, it is allocated on a needs basis, so if your household does not have any specific needs or vulnerabilities it can be difficult to access. It is also becoming an increasingly scarce resource.
If you think you may qualify for social housing, your first port of call will be to fill out an application with Devon Home Choice.
If you do not qualify, or would simply prefer Private Rented Accommodation for its flexibility and increased choice, there are a number of options available depending on your resources and situation.
When looking for accommodation there are many things to consider, particularly if this is your first time renting in the private sector. Do take the time to go into a new tenancy with as much information as possible, ensuring the property meets your needs, is affordable, and the landlord ideally registered with a Landlord’s Association and/or the agent with ARLA or a similar regulatory body. All letting agents must also be a member of an approved redress scheme.
For much more information about renting, download our information sheet below.
One alternative to a tenancy is a lodgings arrangement. The landlord is resident in the same building, and you generally occupy a bedroom, with access to other facilities shared with the landlord and/or other lodgers. It can be an affordable way to rent, and bills etc are often included in the rent. It is generally more of a shorter-term option: to bring the agreement to an end, the landlord is only required to give you 'reasonable notice', which in practice often means a week.
Are you already in a tenancy, but have a problem or issue, or are facing eviction?
As a tenant, you have both rights and responsibilities - it may be you are struggling to meet your responsibilities (for example, paying the rent or bills), or that you are not being given your rights (for example, unresolved disrepair or an illegal eviction).
See our Tenancy Advice section for more information and resources if the problem is with the tenancy itself. If the tenancy is under threat because you are struggling financially, see our sections on Rent, Benefits & Money and Energy Costs. If you are experiencing problems with the property itself and want to know whose responsibility it is to fix, or need help with a landlord who is failing to address them, see our Property Standards information.