What you should do first
If you have to move, or you are being made homeless, before contacting us there are other options which you should explore to find your own accommodation.
If you are affected by the Benefit Cap
and cannot afford to rent in London, you may have no choice but to look for accommodation in areas outside London where it is often more affordable.
You need to be realistic about what to expect. In some areas of the country it is easy to find affordable accommodation of all types to rent, but in London and the south east there may be very little available within your price range.
There are many websites which can help you look for somewhere to live, including:
Newspapers and shop notices
Most local newspapers have a section that advertises homes and rooms to rent.
The main local newspaper in Newham is the Newham Recorder
. The Evening Standard
is a well-known London newspaper which advertises properties for rent. Loot
is a weekly publication which has a large section of homes and rooms to rent. Time Out
(weekly) also has adverts for homes and rooms for rent.
You can also look for cards in shop windows and on notice boards which advertise cheap homes and rooms for rent.
Letting agencies rent out and manage rooms, flats and houses for private landlords.
You can find details of estate agents and letting agents that work in Newham in the local newspapers. You can also find their details in the Thomson Local directories and the Yellow Pages.
If you can't find somewhere to live and need more advice
We may be able to:
- advise you on how to get somewhere else to live that is in your budget and suits your needs
- help you to solve any problems with your landlord or the person you live with by mediating between you so that you can stay in your home
- advise you on your rights of occupation
- give you debt and benefits advice
- help you under the Mortgage Rescue Scheme
- offer you somewhere to live in the private sector if no other housing option is available to you.
If we are able to offer you somewhere to live in the private sector, it may be outside London. You do not have to accept the offer but our duty to help you ends after we make the offer.
What should I bring with me?
- proof of your identity and the identities of everyone to be included as part of your household, such as birth certificates, passports, immigration documents
- proof of your income and any savings or investments you have, such as wage slips, bank statements, benefit books, savings books, share certificates
- your current tenancy agreement and any previous tenancy agreements you have for other homes you have previously lived in
- evidence that you are threatened with homelessness, such as a notice seeking possession, claim for possession, possession order or bailiffs' warrant
- confirmation in writing that you are being made homeless if friends or family are asking you to leave
- proof of your previous addresses for the last five years, such as medical cards, bank statements, post marked envelopes
- evidence of any serious illness or disability that you or any member of your household have, such as letters from your GP, hospital consultant, details of any prescribed medication.
What we do with your information
We will need your permission to allow us to make enquiries into your application. These enquiries may include contacting other public and private organisations such as:
- welfare benefits agencies
- social services and social welfare organisations
- health services
- other councils
- your current and previous landlords
- the police.
If you do not allow us to do these checks we may not be able to help you.
We will ask you to sign a declaration on the application form, which states that the information you have provided is correct and you have will not withheld any relevant information, or mislead us in any way.
If the Stratford Local Service Centre is closed when you become homeless you should phone our out-of-office number 020 8552 9587:
- weekdays after 5.30pm
- weekends and bank holidays at any time
If we find somewhere for you to live over the phone when the office is closed, you must visit the Stratford Local Service Centre
the following working day.