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Housing services

Your homeless application

Information on what happens when you make a homeless application.

How long does a homeless application take?

We will give you a decision within 28 days. The only time we may not be able to meet that timescale is when we are waiting on additional information from a relevant organisation.

What is taken into account?

In order to be offered a permanent property by the Council or a Housing Association as the result of a homeless application, homeless households require to be assessed in line with the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 Part 2 as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, Homelessness (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Code of Guidance on Homelessness published by the Scottish Government. Under the guidance we must consider the following:

  • Whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness;
  • Whether you are intentionally homeless;
  • Whether you have a local connection with East Renfrewshire Council

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, we will ask for information about the reasons for your situation. We may ask you to provide some details to confirm your circumstances. For example, if you have been evicted due to a financial difficulty, we will look into the reasons why the financial difficulty occurred. This might involve you providing us with details of your income and expenditure, leading to the loss of your accommodation. The details you provide, together with the information you give us, and any other investigations we carry out into the reasons for your homelessness, will form the basis of your homeless application.

You can be considered as being homeless or threatened with homelessness if:

  • You do not have anywhere to stay
  • You have to leave your accommodation within the next 56 days
  • Your house is not safe to live in
  • You are fleeing domestic violence
  • Your landlord has stopped you accessing your house
  • Your house is overcrowded and a danger to your health
  • You are at risk of abuse or threats of abuse
  • You are living in a hostel or bed and breakfast
  • It is not reasonable for you to continue living in the accommodation you currently occupy

What does 'intentionally homeless' mean?

We will look at the reasons for your homelessness to decide if you are responsible for your homelessness. You may be considered as intentionally homeless, if you have deliberately done, or failed to do, something that has resulted in you becoming homeless or threatened with homelessness when it was reasonable for you to continue to occupy your accommodation.

If we decide that you have become homeless through your own actions or inactions you may be considered to be 'intentionally homeless'. In this case, the council would not accept a responsibility to provide you with permanent accommodation, although we would still provide you with temporary accommodation, and advice and assistance to find somewhere to stay.

If you have nowhere to stay, we can provide you with temporary accommodation for a period of time to allow you the opportunity to find other accommodation.

What is a local connection?

You have a local connection to East Renfrewshire if you:

  • Have lived in the area for the past six months
  • Have lived in East Renfrewshire for six months of the last twelve months or three of the last five years
  • Are in employment or attend further education in the area
  • Have close family living in the area
  • Require specialist medical treatment in the area
  • Are fleeing domestic abuse from another area

If you have applied as homeless and are requesting to live in East Renfrewshire for another reason, we will take this into account. However this does not guarantee that we will accept that you have a local connection.

If you do not have a local connection to East Renfrewshire we will refer you to a council where you have a local connection. If you have a local connection to more than one council we will discuss with you which area you want to stay and make a referral on your behalf.

How will I find out about your decision regarding my homeless application?

If you have somewhere to live, or have temporary accommodation, we will post our decision to you. If you don't have a postal address then you will need to arrange to come into one of our housing offices to collect your letter. The Council has a legal duty to explain the outcome of our investigations in writing. The letter will also detail our responsibilities to you in relation to your homeless situation. If you wish, your Housing Advisor will also go over your decision letter with you.

Does the Council have to get me a house if I am homeless?

It depends on your circumstances; if under the terms of the legislation we decide that you are homeless but you are intentionally homeless we do not have a duty to offer you permanent accommodation. We will still offer you advice and information on your housing options. If we placed you in temporary accommodation while your application was considered we will give you reasonable notice to leave and advice and assistance to find somewhere else to stay.

If we decide that you are not homeless, we will provide you with advice and assistance appropriate to your circumstances.  If you are staying in temporary accommodation that we have provided, we will arrange a suitable leaving date with you.

How many offers of housing will I receive?

If you are found to be unintentionally homeless, we will make you one offer of permanent housing. If you are given an offer of permanent housing, which we consider to meet your needs as far as is possible, we will close your homeless application on the basis that we have discharged our obligation to you as a homeless person. You will still be able to apply for housing in the normal way. We can also give you advice and information on other housing options, including housing associations and private landlords who you may contact direct.

What if I disagree with the Council's decision or offer of accommodation?

if you do not agree with the council's decision or offer of accommodation, you have the right to appeal. You must appeal within 21 days of receiving the decision letter or the offer of either permanent or temporary accommodation. If you need any assistance with your appeal, you can speak to your Housing Advisor, who will direct you to organisations who can help.  Contact information for East Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau is on this page.

Organisations offering Independent Advice

East Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau
216 Main Street, Glasgow G78 1SN
0141 881 2032
Opening Times
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 9.30 - 15.30
Wed: 9.30 - 15.30 and 15.30 - 18.00 (by appt.)

Shelter Scotland Helpline,
0808 800 4444
(9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday)
The Shelter advice line is free to call from landlines and all six of the main UK mobile networks: Virgin, Orange, 3, T-Mobile, Vodafone and O2, but charges may apply from any other network


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