Worried about losing your home

Lost or losing your home?

If you are at risk of losing your home we are here to give you advice and information to try and help resolve your housing situation before you become homeless. However we cannot always provide alternative accommodation or guarantee that you will not become homeless. 

Please contact us to discuss the advice we can offer. 

Service Contact details
Homeless tonight or imminently 01295 753751
Housing register enquiries
01295 227004
Housing Options Team - at risk of homelessness homelessreferrals@cherwell-dc.gov.uk
Out of hours homelessness emergencies 01295 221531

You can report anyone you believe is rough sleeping to the local authority via StreetLink.

Minimum notice periods before eviction

If your landlord has issued you with a Section 21 Notice (on a form called Form 6A) to end your tenancy, you must be given at least 2 months' notice before your landlord may apply to court for a Possession Order to remove you from your rented accommodation.

If your landlord has served you with a Section 8 Notice, the notice period required before a landlord can seek a court order will vary depending on the reason(s) for serving the notice.

For further information see the Government website.

Our duties if you are faced with homelessness

We have a legal duty to assist you if you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, we can offer appropriate advice and information to help you resolve your housing situation.  This doesn’t impose a duty to provide alternative accommodation in every case or guarantee you will not become homeless.

The duty we have will depend on your circumstances. You can find more details about this on the Shelter website.

In some circumstances we will have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation if you are actually homeless.

There is currently extremely high demand for social housing in Cherwell. We are working as hard as possible to support all applicants to the Housing Register, but we expect increased waiting times.  Those at risk of homelessness must explore all other available housing options. It is unlikely a nomination to a social tenancy will ever resolve a crisis situation.

You should contact the Housing Team as soon as you are worried, the earlier we can intervene the more likely we are to be able to prevent you becoming homeless.

You will find useful information via the Enhanced Housing Options Module on the Homechoice website, it will be helpful for you to complete this before contacting the Housing Team.

You may have other issues that are impacting your housing situation and need advice and assistance:

  • If you have been issued with a notice by your landlord, this has to be valid in order to gain possession of the property. Consider why the notice has been served.  If you have had problems paying your rent, you should get financial advice and offer a repayment plan.   If your rent arrears are due to the impact of the COVID-19 your landlord must take this into consideration before seeking eviction.  Citizens’ Advice will be able to help you, contact 0330 330 9037.
  • If you have had trouble managing the tenancy, problems with neighbours or been accused of anti-social behaviour you should try to address these problems to stay in your current home.  You can get help from:
  • If you are worried about your housing situation because of domestic abuse , please contact  Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service (ODAS) for confidential advice and help.
  • If you are worried about becoming homeless and you have problems with your mental health or learning disability, there are local services operating within our district that may be able to help you with your mental health, including Oxfordshire Mind.
  • If you are worried about becoming homeless upon leaving the Armed Forces you will qualify for additional support from various charities and organisations supporting veterans.
  • If you are leaving hospital and are concerned about the suitability of your home when you return, or do not have a home to return to, please ensure the hospital discharge teams are aware as early as possible. If you need adaptations to be able to return home, or to make your home safer or more suitable, you will be able to get assistance.
  • If you, or someone you know are due to leave prison or a youth detention centre and are concerned about becoming homeless, please ensure the prison support services are aware so they can begin the process of advising you.
  • If you are a care leaver, please make sure you contact Children’s Services and access Keep on Caring Support.  
  • If you are worried about becoming homeless due to a relationship breakdown,  you should get legal advice regarding your housing rights.

Final Offer of Accommodation

If you do become homeless and qualify for homeless assistance you will only receive one offer of accommodation to discharge our duties.  This offer can be anywhere within the Cherwell district or outside the district if no accommodation is available locally.

A final offer of accommodation must be suitable, which means it must be the appropriate size for your family, have facilities for any mobility or medical issues and be affordable.  Affordable means that you can pay the rent and cover essential household living expenses, such as utility bills, food and clothes.  There must be reasonable access to local facilities such as schools, health care and employment.  We must also be certain neither you nor anyone in your household would be at risk.

A suitable offer is not restricted to social housing and could be an offer in the private sector or supported accommodation.  An offer anywhere in our district is likely to be considered suitable given the good transport links and access to services throughout Cherwell.  If there is an area of Cherwell that would pose a risk to you, we need clear information as to what the risks are and must consider if any of the district would therefore be safe. 

An offer will not be unsuitable just because it is not in your area of preference or because it lacks some facilities you had hoped for, such as a garden or to be allowed pets. If we are unable to make a final offer of accommodation within the Cherwell district we will source accommodation as close to this area as is practical. Offers outside of our district will be have to be made if there is nothing available locally. If a final suitable offer is refused the homeless duties will end and your application to the Housing Register is likely to be disqualified. Refusal of an offer under homeless duties means the local authority will have no ongoing duties to find you accommodation.