Homelessness

Changes due to COVID-19

Housing Options Service Trafford (HOST) is continuing to provide housing advice and assistance via telephone and email during our normal operating hours. If you become homeless outside of these hours, please contact the Emergency Duty Team.

The HOST reception at Sale Waterside is only open to those with appointments. If you need a face to face appointment, please contact us to arrange.

Are you homeless or at risk of losing your home?

We can help you whether you are at risk of homelessness or already homeless. It’s important to seek advice as soon as possible if you’re at risk of losing your home.

If you are threatened with homelessness

You are legally threatened with homelessness if you are likely to become homeless within the next 56 days. This could be because you:

  • Have received a notice from your landlord.
  • Have been asked to leave by friends or family.
  • Have been asked to leave by a landlord you live with.
  • Are at risk of violence or abuse.
  • Are overcrowded or living in poor housing conditions.

If you are at risk of losing your home and eligible for assistance, we can work with you to prevent your homelessness.

We will give you advice and, if needed, will negotiate on your behalf to help you keep your home. If this is not possible, we will work with you to help you find alternative accommodation before you become homeless.

If you are currently homeless

If you are homeless, you should contact us immediately.

You are legally homeless if:

  • You have no property in the UK or elsewhere that you can legally occupy.
  • You are unable to remain in your current home due to risk of violence, abuse, harassment, or serious threats of violence.
  • You are unable to remain in your current home because of extreme overcrowding, very poor conditions/state of repair, serious financial hardship, or other special reason.
  • You have a movable home such as a boat or caravan and there is nowhere it can be lawfully placed.

When you contact us, we will carry out a homelessness assessment to help us understand your situation. We will then draw up a Personal Housing Plan which will explain the next steps we have both agreed to take to help you find a home.

Usually, we will provide you with temporary accommodation while we look into your options.

We will provide letters to confirm any decisions we make on your homeless application.

You have the right to ask for a review of some of the decisions if you do not agree with them, but must do so within 21 days of receiving the decision.

For more information on the review procedure please contact your Housing Options Officer.

Please also see our Legal Homelessness Duties page.

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Evictions and repossessions

If your landlord has threatened to evict you from your home you must seek assistance immediately.

In most cases, your landlord must follow a specific legal procedure to end your tenancy. However, your rights will depend on the type of tenancy agreement you have. You can use Shelter’s online tool to find out what type of tenancy you have.

Before you can be evited, most landlords must:

  • Serve a valid written notice.
  • Get a possession order from the court once the notice has expired.
  • Get a warrant for possession from the court once the date on the possession order has arrived.

Do not ignore any notice from your landlord or letters from court.

If you receive any letters about eviction, seek help immediately. The earlier in the process you seek help, the more options you will have available to you.

You can find more information on the eviction procedure by visiting the Government or Shelter websites.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has provided updated advice for landlords and tenants in the private rented sector on the Covid-19 eviction bans.

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Rough sleeping

If you or somebody you know is rough sleeping, please contact us urgently. We can provide advice, help, and support to anybody rough sleeping. Our service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can report rough sleeping to StreetLink or by contacting us:

We aim to respond to reports of rough sleepers within 24 hours.

Anybody who is rough sleeping in Trafford will be offered accommodation under the Greater Manchester A Bed Every Night (ABEN) scheme. We will continue to work with anyone accommodated under ABEN following the initial placement to help them secure settled accommodation.

Further help is available for rough sleepers from Street Support Network Trafford.

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Domestic abuse

We can advise on your housing options if you are experiencing domestic abuse. Advice and support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We will ensure any information you disclose is dealt with sensitively and kept confidential. If you would feel more comfortable speaking to an advisor of a specific gender, just let us know.

We will work with you to help you find a safe home and, if needed, we can arrange safe temporary accommodation while we look into your options.

Temporary accommodation can be offered outside of the Trafford area if this would be safer for you and the cost of any rent, if you are not working or on a low income, will usually be covered by Housing Benefit.

Your whereabouts will be kept secret and we will make sure we only contact you if it is safe to do so.

What classes as domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can take many forms including:

  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Violent or threatening behaviour
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour
  • Economic/financial abuse
  • Psychological or emotional abuse

It can affect anyone, regardless of gender, and can occur between partners, ex-partners, or family members whether or not you live in the same household.

Domestic abuse can be experienced by individuals in LGBTQ+ relationships as well as in heterosexual relationships, and is not limited to monogamous relationships.

Help is available whether you wish to remain in your current home, take action to have an abusive partner/ex-partner/family member removed, or move somewhere new.

Additional help with domestic abuse

While we can help with housing, there are other services which offer additional support to anyone experiencing domestic abuse:

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Relationship breakdown

If you live with your partner and have decided you no longer wish to remain in a relationship, you should think carefully about your housing options. If it is safe to do so, you should remain living in your current home until you have found another place to live.

If you are at risk of or experiencing domestic abuse, please contact us immediately to discuss your options.

If you own the property

If you and your partner own the property and you have no dependent children, you should stay in the property until you have made a legal agreement regarding the ownership of the property e.g. your share of the equity, remaining mortgage etc. You should also make sure that you have suitable alternative accommodation before you leave the property.

You should seek legal if you are considering selling the property and should only complete a sale if you have found somewhere else to live.

If you live in a rented property

If you and your partner live in a rented property with a joint tenancy and you have no dependent children you should make sure that the rent payments are up to date, the joint tenancy is replaced with a sole tenancy (in the name of whoever is remaining), and the landlord is told of the day that you leave the property. You must ensure you have suitable alternative accommodation to go to before leaving the property.

You can find more information on your options as a joint tenant if your relationship breaks down by visiting Shelter’s website.

If you have dependent children

If you and your partner do have dependent children it is usually in the interest of the children that they stay in the family home with the person who is responsible for their primary care. You should seek legal advice if you are the primary carer but the property is owned or rented in your partner’s sole name.

You can contact us for advice or seek independent advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or Shelter.

If you are at risk of or experiencing domestic abuse, please contact us immediately to discuss your options.

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Being asked to leave by family or friends

If you live with a friend or relative and you are at experiencing any form of abuse, please contact us immediately.

If you are living with a relative or friend that you do not pay rent to, or sharing a property with your landlord, you are likely to be an excluded occupier. This means you have limited rights to remain in the property if you are asked to leave.

You should first negotiate to see if you can stay in the property while you look for alternative accommodation. If this isn’t an option, try to stay with a different relative or friend on a temporary basis while you either negotiate to return home or look for accommodation of your own.

If you have been asked to leave by family, friends, or a resident landlord within the next 2 months, you should contact us for assistance.

If you have been asked to leave immediately and have nowhere else to stay, contact us urgently.

If you are under 16

If you are under 16, your parents have a legal responsibility to look after you and make sure you have somewhere safe to stay. If you are under 16 and have been asked to leave, or it is not safe for you to remain in your current home, please contact Trafford Children’s First Response immediately on 0161 912 5125 during office hours (Mon - Fri 8:30 - 4:30) or 0161 912 2020 out of hours (Emergency Duty Team).

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Difficulty paying your rent or mortgage

If you are struggling to afford your rent or mortgage it’s important to get advice as soon as possible. If you do not take action you may risk losing your home.

Tenants

As a tenant of either a private or social landlord, you have a legal obligation to pay your rent fully and on time.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, discuss the situation with your landlord immediately and try to set up a repayment plan.

Trafford Welfare Advice and Citizens Advice Bureau can help you make the most of your income. They may be able to work out your money so that you can prioritise your rent payments.

If this fails, you should take further action quickly:

  • Seek legal advice e.g. from Shelter or Civil Legal Advice
  • Contact the DWP to check you are getting the right benefit entitlement
  • Ask for your Universal Credit or Housing Benefit to be paid directly to your landlord
  • Apply for discretionary housing payments
  • Search for cheaper accommodation (rent arrears may affect your ability to access social housing)

It’s important that you always keep your landlord updated on your financial situation and ensure they are informed of the action you are taking to rectify the situation.

Homeowners

If you are a homeowner and are unable to pay your mortgage, contact your mortgage provider immediately to discuss the situation. They should be able to give advice and offer potential solutions such as payment holidays, capitalising your arrears, or agree a repayment plan. You should also contact a debt adviser as soon as possible.

You can seek debt advice from any of the following:

If you do not speak to your lender about missed payments, they may begin proceedings to repossess your property.

It’s important that you always keep your mortgage lender updated on your financial situation and ensure they are informed of the action you are taking to rectify your situation.

You can find more information here:

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Finding accommodation

Private renting

Private rented housing is generally the quickest option for those seeking accommodation within Trafford. You can find available private rented properties by searching online or by visiting local letting agents.

The following websites may be useful:

It’s important to make sure that you can afford the rent along with the cost of bills and your other outgoings. You should calculate a budget, or use online rent affordability calculators, to find out what level of rent you can afford before beginning your search for a property.

Most private landlords will ask you to pay a deposit and the first month’s rent in advance. If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, we may be able to assist with these upfront costs via the Trafford Bond Scheme.

Make sure you do not sign any tenancy agreement unless you are happy with the property and are confident you can afford to pay the rent for the full duration of the tenancy.

Social housing

Trafford Council do not hold any housing stock. The social housing in the borough is instead provided by Trafford Housing Trust (THT) and other registered providers.

Trafford Council work in partnership with the Registered Providers to provide Trafford HomeChoice where you can register for, and bid on, Trafford’s social housing.

You can read Trafford’s Allocations Policy for information on who is eligible to join the HomeChocie waiting list and how priority is awarded.

You may also want to register with the Registered Providers directly as some of them may hold their own waiting lists:

There is often a lengthy wait for social housing, so if you need accommodation quickly you should look for a private rented property in the interim while you continue to bid on social properties.

Low cost home ownership

If you’re working but can’t afford to buy a property or don’t have a deposit saved, there are options available to help you own your own home.

The Government’s Mortgage Guarantee Scheme offers 95% mortgages, meaning you would only need a 5% deposit. The scheme opened on Monday 19 April 2021 and will run until December 2022.

If you are a first-time buyer in England, you can apply for a Help to Buy: Equity Loan. This is a loan from the Government that you put towards the cost of buying a newly built home.

You can find more information on other options, including Shared Ownership, by visiting Help to Buy.

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Homelessness and autism

As part of the Greater Manchester Autism Strategy, a series of easy-read guides for those with autism have been produced in relation to housing and homelessness.

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Contact HOST