Adivce on your housing rights
Start by contacting Shelter. You can call Shelter's free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444. The line is open from 8am – 8pm on weekdays and 9am – 5pm on weekends, 365 days a year. Calls are free from UK landlines and all major UK mobile operators. There’s also a webchat service on their website.
Shelter also has advice centres across England where you can go to get personal, face-to-face advice from a housing specialist.
To find a lawyer that specialises in housing law try the GOV.UK website or HLPA website. To find out if you are eligible for legal aid use the GOV.UK checker.
Civil Legal Advice is a service that provides some free legal advice over the phone, funded by the government. You need to be on a low income with either a small amount or no savings to be entitled to this help.
Citizens Advice is the national body for Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB). Scroll down their homepage to search for a CAB near you.
You can also get help from law centreswho employ solicitors and other workers who specialise in helping people with housing, employment, immigration, education, community care, and benefit problems. You can search for your nearest law centre by postcode.
LawWorks is a charity that connects people in need of legal advice and assistance with lawyers willing to meet those needs for free. It supports 170 legal advice clinics across England and Wales. Most of these law clinics take place in the evening and provide free initial advice to people about social welfare issues, employment law, housing matters and consumer disputes. You can find a clinic near you using your postcode.
Community organisations – some local community organisations offer housing advice, and sometimes in languages other than English. If there’s a community organisation near where you live, it’s worth asking them if they can help. If you don’t know whether there is one, ask your local council if they know of any.
If you have debt problems the National Debtline offers you free advice over the phone. Helpline: 0808 808 4000 – open Monday – Friday 9am-8pm, and Saturday 9.30am-1pm. They also offer a webchat service, available within the same opening hours.
StepChange also has a helpline: 0800 138 1111 - open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm, and Saturday 8am-4pm. Step Change also offers an online debt service - available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Domestic abuse support
Always dial 999 in an emergency.
For support or to discuss your options you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or in Wales, Live Fear Free on 0808 80 10 800.
Both help lines are for anyone who is experiencing, or has experienced domestic abuse, or for anyone who is worried about domestic abuse happening to a friend, family member or colleague. It is free, confidential and the number will not show up on a BT telephone bill.
Refuge run refuges and have lots of information on their website about how to start thinking about getting help.
National Centre for Domestic Violence provides a free, fast emergency injunction service to survivors of domestic violence regardless of their financial circumstances, race, gender or sexual orientation. Call: 0800 970 2070. Or, you can text: NCDV to 60777 and they will call you back.
Galop runs a national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse. You can contact them on 0800 999 5428.
You can find more information and support from:
Welsh Women's aid
Surviving Economic Abuse
If you are a man and experiencing domestic violence or abuse you can contact the Men's advice line on 0808 801 0327. Open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm. If your first language isn't English, they can arrange access to a telephone interpreter. You can also email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their website for their Web chat service.
If you are worried about your own behaviour towards your current or ex-partner, or are you concerned for someone you know who is being abusive, help is available to stop this at Respect Phoneline with non-judgemental advice and access to behaviour change programmes. Call 0808 8024040, Monday–Thursday 10am-8pm and Friday 10am-5pm.