Code of Guidance on Homelessness

Tackling homelessness is central to the Scottish Executive’s strategy for providing routes out of poverty and disadvantage and promoting economic inclusion. We have put in place forward-looking and ambitious policies to prevent and alleviate homelessness,

This guidance has been superseded by the November 2019 version.

Guidance on legislation, policies and practices to prevent and resolve homelessness
May 2005

ISBN 0 7559 0868 6

This document is also available in pdf format (456k)


Ministerial foreword
Chapter 1 Introduction
Scope of guidance
Regulation and inspection
The future
Chapter 2 Prevention of homelessness
Advice and information
Accommodation/advice and assistance
Relationship breakdown
Leaving institutions
Leaving hospital
Leaving prison
Leaving care
Leaving the armed forces
Landlord action and court orders
Rent arrears
Anti-social behaviour Orders and their effect on tenancies
Closure notices
Harassment/illegal eviction
Helping owner occupiers to avoid homelessness
Prevention of recurrence of homelessness
Independent living skills
Location and support networks
Social networks
Rent deposit/guarantee schemes
Health 20
Chapter 3 Ways of working
Partnership working
Involving people affected by homelessness
Providing an individual response
Chapter 4 Handling of applications
Avoidance of first screening of applicants
Staff training
Explanation of procedures
Sequence of inquiries
Progress of applications
Sharing of information
Support for applicants
Cases involving abuse
Links with community care assessments
False or misleading statements
Chapter 5 Inquiries into homelessness
Family membership
Residing with applicant
When is it not reasonable for an applicant to continue to occupy a house?
Who else is homeless under the Act?
Is the applicant threatened with homelessness?
Chapter 6 Inquiries into priority need
Current position - categories of priority need
Future changes
Chapter 7 Inquiries into intentionality
Criteria for determining intentionality
Leaving temporary accommodation
Financial difficulties
Rent arrears
Young people
Tied accommodation
Special cases
Period for which intentionality lasts
Future changes
Chapter 8 Inquiries into local connection
Local authorities' powers concerning local connection
Domestic abuse
Definition of local connection
Special cases
Arrangements in case of a dispute
Future changes
Chapter 9 Accommodation
Local authority accommodation duties
Interim Duty to accommodate
The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2004
Referral to another local authority (section 34)
Temporary Accommodation with advice and assistance (section 31(3))
Discharge of temporary accommodation duty
Permanent accommodation (section 31(2) of the 1987 Act)
The Homeless Person Interim Accommodation (Scotland) Regulations 2002
Threatened with homelessness
Provision of accommodation
Temporary and interim accommodation
Bed and breakfast
Private-sector leasing
Mobile homes
Local authority stock
Permanent accommodation
Determining a reasonable offer
Reasonable preference
Choice-based lettings
Accommodation held by RSLs/voluntary organisations/private landlords
Protocols between LAs and RSLs
Other sources of accommodation
Out-of-area placement
Special circumstances
Maintaining contact with rehoused homeless people
Chapter 10 Advice and assistance
Chapter 11 Notification and review of decisions
Independent advice
Review of decisions
Judicial review
Checklist for decision letter
Chapter 12 Protection of property and action on unoccupied houses
Cessation of duty
Powers of entry
Charges and disposal of property
Action on unoccupied houses
Powers to repossess social rented tenancy
Powers of entry to secure house
Safe custody of property
Chapter 13 Local authorities' duties towards persons subject to immigration control and persons from EEA member states
Definition of immigration control
Eligibility for homelessness assistance for persons subject to immigration control
What is the link between asylum seekers, refugees and persons granted other forms of leave to remain?
Duties of LAs to persons subject to immigration control - general
Duties of LAs to persons subject to immigration control - asylum seekers
Applicants from EEA countries (including the EU)
Appendix 13A - people subject to immigration control who are eligible for homelessness assistance
Appendix 13B - how to identify the main classes of person subject to immigration control
Appendix 13C - how to contact the home office immigration and nationality directorate and the national asylum support service
Appendix 13D - definition of the Common Travel Area, list of member states of the EEA, and countries not in EEA which have ratified the ESC and the ECSMA charters
Appendix 13E - guidance on habitual residence
Annex A Summary of legislative changes
Housing (Scotland) Act 2001
Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003
Annex B Summary of contacts referred to in the Code
Annex C Summary of links to documents and organisations referred to in the Code

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