Merton Council is committed to preventing homelessness and providing alternative housing options wherever possible to avoid the need for people to make a homeless application and face the prospect of temporary accommodation or having to sleep rough. The Council prevents homelessness in the following ways-

Helping people to stay in their current accommodation

  • Advising tenants of their rights of occupation, or negotiating with landlords on their behalf. Where customers are having trouble affording their rent we provide advice and help claiming benefits.
  • Providing advice on court proceedings for Private, Council, and Housing Association tenants.
  • Intervening in cases where a Landlord is harassing tenants or threatening to evict them illegally.
  • Providing advice and assistance to people who have difficulties paying their mortgages.
  • Providing legal advice on relationship breakdown
  • In cases where young people have been asked to leave by their parent or guardian, we offer mediation to help them resolve any difficulties.  

Helping people find alternative accommodation

  • Merton Council has referral rights to a number of local hostels some of which provide supported housing.
  • Merton Council runs a service called Housing Solutions that provides private sector tenancies to customers who the council would likely have a legal duty to house.
  • Some people that are threatened with homelessness are given additional priority on the council’s housing register so homelessness is prevented by an offer of a Housing Association home where possible.  The rules that concern who gains additional priority are complicated and are set out in the Council’s Register and Nominations policy; it will depend on whether your household falls into a specified priority group. If you are threatened with homelessness and you fall into a priority group your case will be referred to an options adviser who will visit you and check all your circumstances before giving you additional priority. Unfortunately there is a chronic shortage of Housing Association properties. This, coupled with the large number of applications received for housing, means that demand far outstrips the supply of properties that is available, particularly for large family sized properties, so there is no guarantee that the Council will be able to re-house you before you are actually homeless

What should I do if I think I am going to be homeless?

The most important thing to do is to contact us as soon as possible for advice on your housing options. If you wait for a long time before contacting us there is an increased chance that you will become homeless. Remember, not everybody is entitled to accommodation under homeless legislation.

See also

Contact us

Housing Options
Community and Housing Department
3rd Floor
Civic Centre

Telephone: 020 8545 3636

Out of hours: 020 8770 5000 (provided by Sutton Council)