Worried about losing your home

Lost or losing your home?

Housing Services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Whilst some housing services may be affected by the pandemic, most office-based staff are able to work remotely in order to keep key services running.

We will continue to try and provide you with the best possible service during this time and should you need us, our contact details are as follows:

Housing register enquiries:
Email: housingregister@cherwell-dc.gov.uk or Tel: 01295 227004

The Housing Options Team can help if you are at risk of homelessness. Please contact us on:
Email: homelessreferrals@cherwell-dc.gov.uk

If you are homeless tonight or imminently telephone us on: 01295 753751

Out of hours homelessness emergencies Tel: 01295 221531

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

Recent changes to legislation due to COVID-19

The Government has changed the law so most renters have a longer notice period

Key changes are:

From 1 June 2021:

•    Notice periods previously requiring 6 months will reduce to 4 months
•    Evictions/bailiff warrants will commence for non-priority cases, due to the 14 day bailiff notification period evictions will take place from 14 June 2021
•    S8 (with arrears over 4 months) can be given 4 week notice period, anything below 4 months arrears will be required to serve a 4 month notice minimum

From 1 August 2021:

•    S8 notice period for rent arrears over 2 months but under 4 months will reduce to 2 months

From 1 October 2021:

•    Notice periods are likely to return to pre-pandemic levels all going well

If the notice your landlord has issued you with has already expired and your landlord has lodged an application with the court for a Possession Order, there will still be a delay. There is a backlog of cases and so it is likely to take time before your landlord’s application for a Possession Order is considered.

In addition, if the notice your landlord has issued you with is a Section 21 notice (on a form called Form 6A), this notice will have expired if your landlord has not applied to court within 6 months of the notice being issued. The court should have informed you if your landlord has applied to court. If the notice issued to you has expired, a new notice will need to be issued and new notices served since 29 August 2020 must give at least 6 months’ notice before a landlord may apply to court, exceptions apply.

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, which includes working with you to prevent homelessness from occurring, where this is possible.

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.

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

  • If you are worried about becoming homeless and you have problems with your mental health or learning disability, please share as much information as you can with your Housing Options Officer when you contact us, as this will help us to help you. 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 please contact our Housing Options Team as soon as possible so we can begin the process of advising you.
  • 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 contact our Housing Options Team as soon as possible. If you need adaptations to be able to return home, or to make your home safer or more suitable, we may also be able to help.
  • If you, or someone you know are due to leave prison or a youth detention centre and are concerned about becoming homeless, please contact our Housing Options Team as soon as possible so we can begin the process of advising you.
  • If you are a care leaver, please make sure your Housing Options Officer is aware of this, so we can do our best to help you.
  • If you are worried about becoming homeless due to a relationship breakdown, please contact the Housing Options Team as soon as possible.