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Preventing homelessness


All councils have a duty to prevent homelessness where possible. The Preventing Homelessness page shows ways in which we may be able to help.

In 2013 we published the second Somerset Homelessness Strategy. This gives details of our plans to improve services to homeless and potentially homeless households across the county.  Icon for pdf Somerset Homeless Strategy 2013-16 [506.33KB]

Our Housing Advice Team can offer a wide range of advice and assistance to help you if you are in housing difficulties including help if you:

  • are asked to leave by family or friends
  • are given notice to leave by your landlord
  • have rent arrears in your council or housing association tenancy
  • have mortgage difficulties
  • need support to enable you to stay in your home

Initially, you may be offered help at our Helpdesk in Bridgwater House where we will be able to discuss some housing options with you. You will have the option to have a private appointment with a Housing Advisor.  


Asked to leave the family home?

If you are asked to leave by family or friends, we may be able to negotiate on your behalf, for an extension of the time you are allowed to stay and within that time, help you find alternative accommodation. We can also refer you for mediation services where someone will talk to both you and your parents and try and find compromises and reduce any problems between you.


Notice to leave from your landlord?

Housing Advisors will initially check to make sure that the notice given by your landlord is legally valid. They will also talk to your landlord to establish why notice has been served. It may be possible to solve any difficulties between you by referring to a mediation service. If there have been any delays in payment of rent due to late payments of Housing Benefit, we will talk to the Housing Benefits team to see if problems can be resolved.


Rent arrears?

It is important that rent is treated as a priority even if you have other debts. We will talk to your landlord on your behalf, whether you are a private, council or housing association tenant, to see if problems can be resolved. We can, for example, refer you to specialist advisers such as Citizens Advice Bureau, who can negotiate your debts with lenders and help to ensure that you are receiving all of the Benefits you are entitled to in order to maximise your income.


Mortgage difficulties?

As with rent, mortgage payments should be seen as a priority above other debts. If you are having difficulty in meeting your mortgage payments, you should seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau as there may be easy things you can do to reduce payments or increase your income.

If you are receiving Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance you may be able to claim help with your mortgage payments from the Benefits Agency. Again, the Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to advise you.

If you are having difficulty affording repairs or are thinking of carrying out home improvements, you should get advice before taking out another loan which you may not be able to afford. Go to the Wessex website for further information: Wessex Home Improvement Loans

You could consider taking in a lodger to earn some extra income or even give you company. There are generous tax allowances if you do. The Housing Advice Team, here at the Council will be able to give you further advice on this.


Remember - you do not have to be homeless before you can apply for housing by registering with Homefinder Somerset


If you have already lost your home or are about to, we may be able to help you find and move into private rented accommodation. Help moving into Private Rented Accommodation

Somerset Homelet is a free local website for tenants and landlords to search for and advertise private rented accommodation. The website covers Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane, West Somerset and North Somerset. To search for private rented properties in these areas please follow this link. For more detailed information on landlord and tenant services please follow our link to the Somerset West Landlord and Tenant Services. SWeLT

Somerset Homeless Strategy 2013-16 [506.33KB]