Your rights and responsibilities

Your rights and responsibilities at a glance

This is only a summary – check out the rest of the information in this guide and get advice from a Shelter housing advice service or citizens advice bureau, or visit if you are unsure about your rights and responsibilities.


  • If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, you have a right to help from the council. The help you will get varies depending on your situation – it may be giving you a place to live, help to find accommodation, or may be just advice.
  • If you rent where you live, in most cases you have a right to stay there until you’re ordered to leave by the court. You may not have this right if you live with your landlord, or if you live in short-term accommodation, but in these cases your landlord should normally give you reasonable notice if they wants you to leave.
  • If you are on a low income, you may get help with your rent from the local council (this is known as housing benefit). The amount you will get depends on your income and circumstances.
  • If you are under 18 or a care leaver, you will usually have a right to help from social services. In most cases they have to help you with your housing as well as to support you with things like education or training.
  • If you are renting, you have a right to a decent home and to live there peacefully. For example, your landlord must make sure your home is in a good state of repair, and cannot enter the property without letting you know first.


  • If you go to the council, social services, or another organisation for help, you must tell them honestly about your circumstances. Organisations will have to keep any information you give them confidential (other than in some exceptional circumstances).
  • You must make sure your rent (or mortgage) and other bills are paid. Don’t bury your head in the sand if you think that you might not be able to keep up with your payments.
  • You must treat the other people you live with and your neighbours considerately. For example, don’t play music too loudly.
  • If you are renting, you should tell your landlord about any problems. For example, you must tell them if you think a gas appliance is dangerous.
Your rights and responsibilities September 12, 2018


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