As the government guidance surrounding evictions changed after May 31st many tenants are now worried about how this might affect them in the following months, especially if their income has changed or eviction notices were suspended during lockdown. There is lots of help out there to support you and your family.
Worried about homelessness?
If you are at risk of homelessness, you can apply for assistance through Lewisham’s online referral system– the Housing Assistance Referral Portal.
They will refer you to one of their Housing Solutions Officers who will assess your application by phone., work out what your needs are and give you advice on the next steps to take.
If you need urgent housing advice and are currently homeless, please contact their call centre on 0208 314 7007.
You may have received written or verbal notice from your landlord/ friend/ family member. If this has not already expired on the day that you call us, you will be directed to complete a self-referral form on the portal.
How to get advice
Answer a few short questions to get advice about your housing situation.
Worried about Eviction?
If you live with your landlord
If you live with your landlord and share facilities with them, you are classed as a lodger, not a tenant. If your landlord wants you to move out, they do not need to evict you. They only have to give you reasonable notice to leave their property. Reasonable notice usually means the length of the rental payment period.
Lodger agreements were not part of the pause. As lodgers were not required to be taken to court for an eviction, they were exempt from this ban.
As a lodger, you may be vulnerable to being illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord. If you think that this may be happening to you, please contact us on email@example.com or call 0208 314 9285.
If you don’t live with your landlord
The process your landlord has to follow depends on the stage it was at before evictions were put on hold. If your landlord had started a court case to evict you before lockdown but could not carry on as cases were suspended before the Court made any order there is help available on the Lewisham Website.
If your landlord had not started the court case before lockdown
Your landlord must serve you with a valid notice.
There are different kinds of notices for different types of tenancy:
- If you have a tenancy agreement that says you can live in your home for a fixed amount of time, or that you will be paying your rent on a monthly basis, then your landlord can serve a section 21 notice. This means that your landlord does not have to prove that you have broken your tenancy agreement to evict you.
- If you have broken the terms of your tenancy (for example, if you are in rent arrears), you will get a section 8 notice.
If you have received a valid notice, you will not have to leave your home immediately.
You should get advice and check if the notice is valid. There are new rules for this:
- The notice is not valid if it is not in the correct legal format
- It doesn’t give you an adequate amount of time. The amount of time the notice has to give you depends upon when and why it was given to you.
If your landlord is harassing you
How Lewisham Council can help
Contact them so they can advise and support you as soon as possible. They may be able to negotiate with your landlord and help you stay in your home. If that isn’t possible, they will work with you to find somewhere else to live. They prosecute illegal evictors.
Other organisations that can help you
The 999 Club is near the Lewisham and Southwark college building a 2-minute walk from Deptford Bridge DLR station. If you are rough sleeping or at risk of homelessness and would like support there are a variety of ways you can contact them: at the office on 0208 694 5797 from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday, on 0772 725 4603 0r 0772 725 8759 between 9:30 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are a Single Homeless Project, a London-wide charity working to prevent homelessness and help vulnerable and socially excluded people to transform their lives. Contact them here