Housing problems

There may be a range of reasons why you're experiencing problems in your current accommodation.

Disability or health problems which may be made worse by the property

If you are struggling to cope with a health problem in your home, there are a number of options. These include whether you can have you home adapted, or whether it is more appropriate for you to move to more suitable accommodation.


If you think that you may be overcrowded, please contact us.

We may be able to offer you advice and support to find alternative accommodation.

Legal definition of overcrowding

The legal definition of overcrowding is very strict.

Your home may be overcrowded if:

  • it is much too small for your household
  • there are not enough rooms or space for the number of people who live there
  • 2 people of the opposite sex have to share a room, it is overcrowded, unless:
  • the 2 people are married or co-habiting as though they are married
  •  1 person is a child under ten years old

Rooms for same sex

The number of people of the same sex (unless they are a same sex couple) who can sleep in 1 room is restricted by the size of room.

Rooms that are counted include living rooms, bedrooms and large kitchens. For the space and floor area calculations:

  • children under 1 year old are ignored
  • children between 1 and 10 years old count as half
  • rooms under 50 square feet are not included

The size of the room determines the number of people who can potentially sleep in it.

Family problems

Being asked to leave by parents, family or friends is the top reason why people present to us as homeless or threatened with homelessness, particularly if you are under 25 years old.

Where it is appropriate, try and see if one of the mediation services can help you.  If you need any support with resolving these issues, please contact us.

16 and 17 year old young people's accommodation options

Ideally young people should be able to live with their families until they can make a planned move, like going to college or university or sharing a house with friends or even getting their own place, once they can afford it.

For some people aged 16 and 17 it’s not appropriate to stay at home because:

  • their parents ask them to leave
  • even if someone’s parents are not saying they must leave, it is not possible to stay because there are other problems.

If this is you, we may be able to help you.  Please contact us.

What we do if you ask for help

When you come to see us, you will be seen by a Housing Solutions Officer (HSO). If appropriate, you will then see them with a Social Worker.


This is called a 'joint assessment' and it is a legal requirement which we use to make sure that your assessed needs are properly met. The Housing Solutions Officer and the Social Worker may contact your parents or other members of your family.

Help to return home

If it is possible, workers will help you return home and get you the additional support you need to deal with your problems. You could also be offered further support like follow-up visits, mediation or counselling, all of which can help.

If it is not possible for you to return home, you will be offered a temporary place to stay for up to 6 weeks where you will work with the Housing Solutions Officer, the Social Worker and the staff at the assessment placement to decide your next planned move.

Supported accommodation

The assessment placements offer supported accommodation to young people. They have staff there 24/7 to support you and make sure you are safe.

Support we can give you

Initially workers can help you get your things from your home. Give you help with food and things you need in the short-term.

This may include help you to claim benefits or to get support from Social Services, depending on what’s best for you and what you want.

You’ll also have time to think about what you want to do in the future. For example workers will help you go home, or move-on to longer-term supported accommodation.

This could be for up to 2 years and there are 6 other services in the city, besides those with the Assessment beds.

Council housing

We cannot legally offer tenancies to people aged 16 or 17, though you can sign on the housing register and apply for housing once you are 18.

If you are in supported accommodation you can apply for hostel leavers priority and get a tenancy but only when you are assessed as being ready for one.

Relationship breakdown

The end of a relationship is often a difficult time.  Worries about losing your home only add to the stress.  

Many people have rights to remain in their home at the end of a relationship and the law can help uphold these rights.  

Right to remain in your home after a relationship breakdown

What rights you have will depend on the nature of your relationship and whether a property or tenancy is held jointly.  

Married or a civil partners

You will have a right to live in any property where you and your partner have lived or intended to live.

This is the case regardless of whether:

  • the property is owned jointly or by one party only.
  • the tenancy is in joint names or in one parties name only.

You will also have a right to live in any property owned or rented in your name only or jointly with your partner, regardless of whether you have lived there or ever intended to live there.

Living together

You will have a right to live in any property owned or rented in your name only or joint with your partner, regardless of whether you have lived there or ever intended to live there.

If you live in a property that is owned or rented in your partners name only you will not have an automatic right to live in the property.

Renting your home

If the case of rented property you may be able to:

  • establish a right to live in the property, or
  • have the tenancy transferred into your name.

This is more likely if you have been in a longer-term relationship and there are children of that relationship that will be living with you.

Own your home

If the case of property that your partner owns you may be able to:

  • establish a right to live in the property, or
  • have to property transferred into your name.

This is more likely if the relationship was long-term and there are children that will be living with you.

You may also be able to establish ownership of all or part of the property (E.g. because made payments towards the mortgage or contributed toward the deposit).

If you:

  • are unsure about whether you have a right to live in the property
  • believe you may have a right to live in the property but you are being prevented from doing so
  • what help to try and establish a right to live in the property
  • want help to try an establish that you own all or part of the property

Domestic abuse

If you need our help we can assess you for emergency accommodation as a homeless person. 

We can also assess you for priority for a council house.  We recognised that no two circumstances will be the same and will seek to help you find the best option for you.  Our primary concern will always be your safety.

In an emergency call 999.

Help to keep you safe


This service provides free help to remain safe in your home.  The service provides additional security to create a safe room within your home.

The service also works with the emergency services to ensure they respond appropriately should an incident occur.

For further information about Sanctuary, contact us. 

Legal protection 

You may be able to obtain a court order to stop the person from;

  • coming into or near your home
  • threatening or using violence against you
  • harassing, pestering or intimidating you
  • if the person lives with you a court order can exclude them from the home

In most cases the police will be able to arrest the person if they breach the order.

If you want to seek legal advice, you should contact a solicitor specializing in family law. 


Refuges provide a temporary place of safety for women and children fleeing violence. They are available locally and nationally. Nationally there are also a few refuge places for men.

For further information about refuges, including the availability of places both locally and nationally, contact the Sheffield Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 808 2241.  Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm (not bank holidays) or email the helpline at help@sheffielddact.org.uk to ask for advice and information.

Health problems 

The Health and Housing service is for anyone who has health problems which makes living in their current home difficult.

We can help people:

  • who have severe mobility problems and can’t reach basic amenities in your home
  • who need to live nearer your carer for essential support for daily living
  • who have long term physical or mental health problems and your housing situation is having a detrimental effect on your ability to live independently

We can:

  • advise you on your Housing Options including staying in your home and adaptations
  • help you explore your housing options if you have to leave your home
  • assess your housing need and, if appropriate, assist you to move urgently through Priority re-housing

Contact us by phone 0114 273 5522 during office hours or email healthandhousingneeds@sheffield.gov.uk

Contact Supported Housing Services

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