Housing Advice Frequently Asked Questions
I am homeless and have nowhere to live can the council help me?
Contact the Homeless and Housing Advice Service as soon as possible, Officers will discuss all options available to you.
- Telephone: 01702 318157 or 318158
- Email: using this form
- Address: Council Offices, South Street, Rochford, Essex SS4 1BW
- The office opening hours are; Monday to Thursday 8:30am - 5:30pm and Friday: 8:30am - 5:00pm
I cannot afford my mortgage
If you need help, a Homelessness and Housing Advice Officer will discuss your situation and advise you on all options available to address your financial problems. The Officers may also negotiate with your mortgage lender to help you overcome any income fluctuations you might have experienced.
I cannot afford to pay my rent
Contact your Landlord as soon as possible, they may be able to agree a new payment plan whilst you are experiencing short term financial difficulties.
Homelessness and Housing Advice Officers can provide advice which may help you overcome you problems.
If you are on a low income, you may qualify for Housing Benefit to help towards the cost of your rent. For further information, please telephone the Council Tax Benefit Department on 01702 318197 or 01702 318198 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am and 12 noon on Saturdays.
What should I do if my Landlord asks me to leave?
If you are living in private rented accommodation your Landlord must provide you with written notice terminating your tenancy. Your Tenancy Agreement should tell you how long the notice period is. Alternatively, please click on Shelter for further information.
If a Landlord or owner wants to evict an occupier, they must serve a written form of notice.
As soon as you receive your written notice you should start looking for alternative accommodation. If you need advice or assistance, please contact the Homelessness and Housing Advice Team.
You will not become homeless on the day your notice expires. If you are still living in the property and the notice period has expired, your Landlord will have to apply to the Courts for a Court Order telling you to leave.
If you are still living in the property once the Court Order has expired, your Landlord can request a Bailiff to evict you. If this happens, you will receive a letter (Warrant) from the Court telling you to leave the property by a set date and time. After this date/time you will no longer have any right to stay in the property and must leave.
Please note that Bailiffs can physically remove you and your belongings from the property once the Warrant is executed. However, they must not use unreasonable force.
Can my Landlord end the tenancy by refusing to accept the rent?
If your Landlord refuses to accept the rent, this does not bring the tenancy to an end. However you should:
- Save any rent that would be paid and put it in a safe place (e.g. Bank/Building Society account)
- Continue to offer payment of rent
- Seek advice from the Homeless and Housing Advice Team, Citizens Advice Bureau or a Solicitor.
I think I am being harassed by my Landlord
Harassment can include anything done to you by a Landlord, their agent or anyone acting on their behalf which interferes and unsettles your home life. Examples of harassment include:
- Changing the locks
- Constant telephone calls and/or text messages
- Disconnecting or interfering with services to your property (gas, water or electricity supply)
- Entering your home without your permission
- Removing your belongings
- Threatening you if you refuse to leave
- Threats, abuse or actual violence
- If you believe you are experiencing harassment from your Landlord and need help/advice please contact the Homelessness and Housing Advice Team, the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Police.
I think I have been illegally evicted
Illegal/unlawful eviction is when a Landlord, their agent or anyone acting on their behalf unlawfully deprives you of part/all of your home. It also includes anyone who forces/tries to force you to leave your home without following the correct procedure. Examples of illegal eviction include:
- Changing the locks to the property
- Moving into part or all of the home
- Physically removing you from the home
- Restricting you from using parts of the property
If your Landlord wants to legally evict you, they will need to follow a legal procedure (the procedure depends on the tenancy you have). Please see 'what should I do if my Landlord asks me to leave' for further information. Alternatively, please contact the Homelessness and Housing Advice Team on 01702 318157 or 318158