If you are homeless or worried about becoming homeless you should contact us as soon as possible so we can offer advice and assistance.

If you are homeless or think you will be soon, you can contact us by:

If your situation is an emergency, you should call us and we will respond within 4 hours. We will respond to emails within 2 working days.

What you'll need to tell us 

We will ask you questions to fully assess your circumstances. You’ll need to have the following information to hand for everyone in your household:

  • names and dates of birth
  • 5 year address history
  • information on any medical conditions or other support needs
  • details of your income and any benefits you receive

We may ask you to provide some or all of the following documents:

  • proof of ID such as passport or birth certificate
  • birth certificates for any children
  • tenancy agreement
  • any notice served by your landlord
  • proof of pregnancy or any medical conditions
  • bank statements, wage slips and benefit letters
  • any other documents relevant to your case

Personalised Housing Plan 

If we agree that you’re homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days, we will draw up a Personalised Housing Plan with you. This will list the actions for both you and your Housing Adviser to take to either:

  • stop you from becoming homeless
  • help you find new accommodation if you’re already homeless

Your Personalised Housing Plan will include actions that you and your Housing Adviser will agree to take.

You may agree to:

  • contact your landlord to try to resolve particular issues
  • fill in forms, such as an income and expenditure form, which will show us how much money you spend or have coming in
  • keep a record of any actions you’ve taken
  • be referred to other organisations for advice and support
  • contact any family or friends to ask them to let you stay temporarily
  • look for work or privately rented accommodation

Your Housing Advisor may agree to:

  • give you advice about your rights as a tenant
  • talk to your family or friends if they’ve told you to leave
  • help you make a claim for benefits or discretionary housing payments
  • help you find private rented accommodation
  • refer you to other organisations for specialist advice and support, such as the NHS, welfare benefits or debt advice
  • help you to defend your landlord’s claim for possession of the property, if the notice they have served is invalid

Getting a Council property

You probably won’t be offered Council property, even if you are homeless. There are very few available properties.

If you’re not from Sutton

If you don't have a local connection to Sutton and are already homeless, you may be referred to a local authority where you do have a connection. This doesnt apply if there is a risk of violence or domestic abuse to you in your local connection borough.

A local connection means one of more of the following:

  • 3 out of the last 5 years residence in Sutton
  • 6 out of the last 12 months residence in Sutton
  • being employed in Sutton
  • a very close family member has more than 5 years residence in Sutton

Other special reasons may be considered

Telling us about a change in circumstances

It is your responsibility to cooperate with us and do things to help yourself while we are trying to sort out your housing problem.

You must tell us if any of your circumstances change.

We may decide that we have no duty to help you if we believe that you are:

  • refusing to work with us
  • not carrying out the tasks in your Personalised Housing Plan

After your assessment

After your assessment, we expect you to take the actions in your Personalised Housing Plan. Your Caseworker will also take the actions they have agreed to. You can contact your Caseworker if you have any questions.

Temporary accommodation

We might provide you with temporary accommodation while we look at your homeless application. This will depend on your personal circumstances.

Read Encompass’ Temporary Accommodation FAQs (PDF)

Most people won’t be offered temporary accommodation. We can provide information on hostels and other short-term, emergency accommodation options.

Read Encompass’ Emergency Accommodation FAQs (PDF)

Main housing duty

If the actions in your Personalised Housing Plan haven’t been successful after 56 days, we’ll make a decision on whether we owe you the ‘main housing duty’.

The main housing duty is:

  • only owed to people in certain situations
  • only considered if you are still homeless after you and your Caseworker have completed the actions in your Personalised Housing Plan

Who qualifies for the main housing duty

To qualify for the main housing duty, all the following five conditions must apply to you.

  • you’re eligible for help
  • you’re legally homeless
  • you’re in priority need
  • you have become homeless through no fault of your own
  • you have a local connection to Sutton

Visit the Shelter website for more information on main housing duty.

If you’re eligible, we have a duty to provide you with temporary accommodation until you are either:

  • offered a privately rented property or are able to find one yourself
  • offered a Council or housing association property

The waiting time for Council or housing association accommodation is over 5 years. Most people won’t be offered social housing and will need to find privately rented accommodation.

If you are 16 or 17 years old

You can call 020 8770 5000 to speak to Social Services

If you are 18+ years old 

Contact Encompass:

Accommodation for single homeless veterans

If you’re a veteran and you’re facing housing issues, you can contact the following organisations for help:

Amicus Trust Limited

Haig Housing