FAQs

  • You must contact Knowsley Housing Options who will be able to advise you of your best course of action. The number is 0800 694 0280. We may be able to help prevent you becoming homeless, or help you to find new accommodation. We will offer you an interview if required. In addition we produce a number of advice leaflets which may help your situation. Alternatively you can contact Shelter on their free phone advice line 0808 8004444.

  • If you become homeless outside of normal working hours and cannot make your own temporary arrangements for that evening or weekend please contact Knowsley Housing Options on 0800 694 0280. If you can sort out your own temporary arrangements you still should contact us the next working day.

  • Knowsley Housing Options provides a free service to assist you with any housing problems, whether you own your own home, you are a tenant or lodger. Contact us on 0800 694 0280. In most cases you will be advised directly but in some instances you may be referred to other services for specialist advice.

  • Our free, confidential and impartial advice covers a range of issues:

    • Help with finding accommodation
    • Help with housing and welfare benefits
    • Help to understand your legal rights

    We can also advise on:

    • Having a problem with your landlord
    • Rent and mortgage arrears
    • What to do if you are threatened with eviction or repossession
    • What to do if your present accommodation is unsuitable due to medical needs, overcrowding, disrepair or if you are under occupying your present home

    In addition we publish a number of advice leaflets, related to some of the above topics which are on this website. Phone us on 0800 694 0280 for details.

  • Mediation may help in this situation. Contact Knowsley Housing Options on 0800 694 0280, particularly if you are under 18. We may be able to get in touch with your parents to arrange a meeting where you can discuss your difficulties and come to a mutually satisfactory solution to enable you to stay or return home.

  • Leaving home can give you more freedom, independence and space, but it is not guaranteed to be a positive experience. It is not always easy to find a suitable place and living on your own can be expensive. Preparing properly makes the process easier and can help to avoid being homeless. Find out about your rights, talk to your family and friends, work out your finances and find a place to live before you leave. Call us on 0800 694 0280, or alternatively access Shelter’s website, or ring them on free phone 0808 8004444 to talk in confidence and receive housing advice. If you are under 16 you should contact Childline on 08001111.

  • It is really important that you make contact with Knowsley Housing Options on 0800 694 0280 as we have a debt advisor. Alternatively the Citizens Advice Bureau offer their own Money Advisory Service and they can be contacted on 0845 122 1300.

  • Couples experiencing the breakdown of a relationship can approach organisations such as Relate 0845 498 1830 to help with relationship difficulties. Mediation can produce an amicable arrangement about the family home. Alternatively contact us on 0800 694 0280.

  • You will probably have to leave unless the person agrees to let you stay longer. It is usually worth asking if you could stay a little longer whilst you try to find somewhere else to live.

  • You do not have to leave just because you have been told to. A legal process must be followed which varies depending on the type of tenancy. A verbal notice is not usually valid. If your landlord is harassing you by making threats, cutting off services or changing the locks contact us on 0800 694 0280 immediately. If you have no-where to move to on the date your notice expires, you can stay in the property until your landlord gets a possession order from the court. There is often a court hearing to help the judge decide whether or not the tenant should be evicted. This process has no fixed time but could run into weeks. The Citizen’s Advice Bureau on 0845 122 1300 will be able to offer you legal advice.
  • Walking away or just posting the keys through the letterbox is called ‘abandonment’ and will not end your agreement. Your agreement with the landlord will continue even though you have left and the landlord can continue to charge you rent, so you are likely to build up rent arrears until possession is granted, this may also make it harder for you to find a new home as most Housing Associations and private landlords ask new tenants for references from previous landlords and are not keen to rent to anyone who has abandoned a tenancy.

    Similarly, it is important to make sure that you have somewhere to go when you leave. If you need to make a homeless application in the future, the council may decide that you are intentionally homeless because you left a home that you could have stayed in.

  • If your landlord is granted ‘possession’ by the Court due to rent or mortgage arrears and you have not made an arrangement to repay your arrears which you are maintaining, they can after this return to ask the Court for a warrant for your eviction. A Court bailiff will serve a notice upon you giving at least 7 days notice of the date and time when they intend to return to evict you. You can apply to suspend this warrant by using form N244 if you can make an offer of repayment, need time to find somewhere to live or if you are awaiting payment of an income which may assist with repayment. This form can be downloaded and printed from www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk or can be obtained from the County Court itself. There is a fee for this: however, if you are on a low income you can apply for help to pay the fee using form EX160, obtainable from the same sources. You should at this also stage seek Debt and/or Housing Advice.
  • The council has a duty towards people who are or soon will be homeless. Everyone is entitled to help and advice. How much help we can give you will depend on your circumstances? A full housing duty is owed to homeless people who are:

    • eligible
    • homeless or threatened with homelessness within 28 days
    • in priority need
    • homeless through no fault of your own
    • have a local connection with the Knowsley local authority area.

    Most people are eligible for assistance but you probably will not be if you are:

    • an asylum seeker
    • from abroad and have limits to your right to remain in the UK
    • not entitled to claim ‘public funds’, such as benefits
    • not normally resident in the UK or are living here illegally
    • you are responsible for dependent children
    • you, or someone you live with, is pregnant
    • you are homeless because of a fire, flood or other disaster
    • you are vulnerable because of old age, disability , learning difficulties, being in prison or the armed forces or have mental health issues
    • you are aged 16 or 17
    • you are vulnerable due to having been looked after by Social Services
    • you can no longer live in your accommodation because of violence or threats of violence
    • you are vulnerable for other special reasons.
  • When you are booking your interview we will advise you on what to bring. This could be:

    • proof of identity, for example your passport or birth certificate,
    • income, for example your benefits letter/ bank statement or most recent payslips,
    • proof of child benefit,
    • proof of pregnancy,
    • your tenancy/license or ownership of your home,
    • any notices you may have been served asking you to leave your home.
  • We need to ask you a number of questions, which helps us to assess your application and work out how we can help you. The officer you are meeting with will complete a form on your behalf and ask you to check it over before signing it. You will be asked about your previous address (es), why you cannot live there anymore, how you became homeless, your family circumstances, whether you have any medical conditions etc. You may also be asked to provide financial information if, for example, you have lost housing as a result of mortgage or rent arrears.
  • Yes, any information you provide will remain confidential within the Council. It will only be used to assess your homelessness and housing application within the terms of the Housing Act.
  • Yes, you can bring a relative, friend, advisor or other representative. The interview is primarily for the client seeking assistance, and it will be them that we expect will engage with us in the interview, and the person accompanying is there as support.
  • The officer dealing with your application will investigate the reasons why you are homeless. These investigations will help us decide what duty if any we have to you and your family regarding temporary accommodation. If you are found to be homeless due to a deliberate act or something you have not done you may be found intentionally homeless. This will mean that we will not accept a full housing duty to you. If you were offered temporary accommodation this will continue for a limited period (usually 28 days) to give you time to find another place to stay. Examples of people being found intentionally homeless may include: having lost accommodation by not paying the rent or mortgage when you had enough money and the ability to pay, having lost accommodation due to unreasonable behaviour. If you are found to be intentionally homeless we will write to you giving our reasons for this decision.
  • Yes the letter will also inform you that if you want to ask the council to review its decision, you have to ask it to do so within 21 days. If you think the council’s decision was wrong, get advice.
  • This means that Knowsley MBC thinks you have: chosen to leave a home that you could have stayed in or it was your fault that you lost your home or you unreasonably failed to take up accommodation that was available to you. This would apply if:

    • you chose to sell your home when there was no risk of losing it.
    • you lost your home because of wilful and persistent refusal to pay rent or mortgage payment.
    • you have neglected your affairs having disregarded advice from a qualified person.
    • you voluntary gave up adequate accommodation in this country or abroad without first having found secure accommodation to move into when it would have been reasonable for you to stay there.
    • you have been evicted for anti-social behaviour.
  • This will depend on your personal circumstances, particularly if you have no family or friends in the area that you can stay with. If you are eligible for assistance, homeless and in priority need we will provide you with temporary accommodation if you need it while we investigate your application. Every effort is made to provide temporary accommodation in the Borough, however if no accommodation is available you might be placed in the wider Merseyside area. In cases of domestic abuse it is possible you could be placed further afield. If we accept that you are eligible for assistance, in priority need, and the homelessness is through no fault of your own, and have a local connection, you will be given a full homeless duty to rehouse in suitable accommodation. The suitable accommodation may be in the social or private sector. The time it takes to be permanently re-housed will depend on the size of property required, the areas you are able to live, the demand for accommodation in that area and your support needs.
  • This question is difficult to answer, if depends of a variety of issues, size of property, any previous housing issues and areas you are able to live, the demand for accommodation in that area and your support needs . However, Housing Options will work with you to ensure that your stay in temporary accommodation is kept to the minimum.
  • Housing associations, also known as registered social landlords, are not for profit organisations that receive public funding to provide affordable housing. Knowsley Housing Options can provide details of all housing associations operating within the borough
  • Unfortunately pets are not allowed into temporary accommodation, please speak to Knowsley Housing Options as we can give you advice and put you in touch with PAWS, an organisation that may be able to help.
  • If your children’s school is more than three miles away from the temporary accommodation you may be able to apply for a free bus pass.
  • Ideally we will try and place you in an area that is close to where you wish to go, however due to the limited amount of housing this is not always possible, therefore all areas will be considered within Knowsley except where evidence can be provided to discount an area (for example people suffering domestic violence)
  • You could be offered a flat, maisonette or house. We can only look at amount of bedrooms clients need not types of properties, (unless on medical grounds, or people with young children.)
  • If you are offered a tenancy that you do not think is suitable, get advice before you turn it down. If you refuse an offer that the council thinks is suitable for you, it may not have to give you any more help. The offer will be withdrawn and you will have to leave your temporary accommodation. In some cases, it may be better to accept an unsuitable offer because:

    • you can ask the council to review its decision about whether the accommodation is suitable after you move in.
    • you will have somewhere to stay while the council reviews its decision
    • you will have somewhere to stay if your review is unsuccessful
    • you may be able to request a transfer or exchange your home with another housing association tenant.
    • Get advice before you make a decision to turn down any offer.
  • Knowsley MBC no longer has any stock of its own. All housing stock previously owned by Knowsley Council was transferred to a new local housing organisation called, Knowsley Housing Trust .
  • Local Housing Allowance rates can be found on Knowsley MBC website and this will help you decide if the property you have found is affordable. Most private landlords require rent in advance and a bond. Knowsley Housing Options can, in certain circumstances provide help with the bond, via the Bond Scheme. (Client’s would need to find rent in advance themselves) For more details on whether you are eligible for help, please contact the Knowsley Housing Options on 0800 694 0280.
    • If you are at risk of losing your home, you must get help immediately. Early action can prevent you becoming homeless.
    • If you are a tenant, your landlord will normally have to apply to the County Court for a possession order before you can be legally evicted.
    • You must get advice before deciding to leave or sell accommodation you have rights to occupy.
    • We aim to deal with all applications in a sympathetic and polite way. We will always be fair and your case will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.
    • In return we ask that our staff are treated in a polite and reasonable manner.