On this page you will find where you can get advice to help you with a range of housing enquiries such as renting privately, applying for social housing, or owning your own home. It also advises what to do if you think you or someone you know may become homeless.
There is information on the help and advice you can get from the Council and other agencies including telephone helplines, websites, drop-in surgeries, support services and leaflets.
If you think you may become homeless, it is important you seek advice immediately. With the right advice now, you may be able to avoid losing your home.
- Where to get housing advice in Mid Sussex (pdf, 397kb)
- Get help if you're suffering domestic violence
- The Council's Housing Needs Team provide a free and confidential general housing advice service for anyone in housing need. See times of our drop-in surgeries. You can also email your question to the Council's Housing Needs Team HousingAdvice@midsussex.gov.uk
- Shelter have an office in Crawley and hold surgeries in West Sussex
- Contact your local Shelter Housing Advice Line 0844 4771171 (Mon-Fri 9-5 then an answer machine facility)
- Get help from the MyKey Service if you are at risk of losing your home. MyKey are a homelessness prevention service funded by West Sussex County Council working across the whole of West Sussex. They can offer advice, guidance, information and encouragement - to help you get back on your feet contact MyKey on 01903 867350 or by email to MyKey@southdownhousing.org
- Get housing advice on the web from Shelter or the Citizens Advice Bureau
- Ex-Service Personnel - charities providing advice, support and accommodation (pdf, 53kb)
- Looking to rent privately on the web? To browse available properties take a look at: email4property; Friday-ad; Rightmove; Primelocation; FindaProperty; homes24.co.uk; Zoopla; Adzuna; Propertywide
- Looking to flatshare or to find a flatmate? Try: Gumtree (free); Spareroom (free); Roombuddies (fee applies); LetRentShare (fee applies)
- Government advice on renting privately
- Download useful government booklets on renting privately
- Find out about the government Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme
- Download useful government booklets on renting privately
- Get help with your rent from Housing Benefit and
- Apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to top up your benefit if you cannot afford your rent.
- Find out about Local Housing Allowance (LHA) - the new way of paying housing Benefit to private tenants.
- LHA Direct useful site that tells you the current Local Housing Allowance rates in any part of the country and lets you calculate how many bedrooms you are allowed.
- Track the progress of your Housing Benefit Claim online - using Connect Self Service
- Housing Benefit changes from April 2011 and January 2012 (NHAS leaflet) (pdf, 199kb)
- Housing Benefit changes from April 2013 (NHF leaflet (pdf, 289kb)
- Single people under 35 - Housing Benefit changes from January 2012 restricting benefit to the Shared Accommodation Rate
PROTECTION FOR TENANCY DEPOSITS -
- All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents must be protected by a government-authorised Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. If your landlord has not protected your deposit s/he may be ordered to repay three times the amount to you and will lose the automatic right to regain possession at the end of your tenancy. See the Government leaflet for landlords and the Government leaflet for tenants.
APPLYING FOR SOCIAL HOUSING
- Applying for social housing in Mid Sussex
- See our leaflet How to apply for social housing in Mid Sussex (pdf, 1.26mb)
- Looking to do a mutual exchange? There are a number of websites offering online searches for people looking to swap their council or housing association tenancies with their landlord's permission. There is usually a small fee to register. However, Affinity Sutton tenants get free membership with Homeswapper which is one of these sites. Guidance on Mutual Exchange in Mid Sussex
HOME OWNERSHIP/MORTGAGE PROBLEMS
- "Are you worried about your mortgage? Get advice now" National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS) booklet written in crystal clear English and endorsed by the Government.
- Mortgages and repossessions Government website linking you to mortgage advice
- Mortgage arrears advice from Shelter - independent advice from the leading housing charity
- Which? Mortgage Adviser Service - mortgage advice from the Which? consumer organisation
- Get free representation in court from the Court Desks run by Shelter at Horsham County Court and by Brighton Housing Trust at Brighton County Court. If you don't turn up to court, you can't be defended! 85% of possession claims can be successfully defended if properly represented on the day.
- Apply for low cost homeownership
- What help will you get from the Council if you're homeless? (pdf, 587kb)
- What help is available to people who are sleeping rough? (pdf, 25kb)
- Direct access hostels for single people or couples. (pdf, 595kb)
- Homeless UK website - useful site to search for hostels, day centres, services and advice & support for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- Veterans Aid - the leading charity for homeless ex-service personnel can help with accommodation.
- Report a rough sleeper to us via Streetlink so that we can offer them help and advice.
- National Debtline 0808 808 4000 - Get online help with with debt problems
- the Money Advice Service - an independent money advice service set up by the Government
- Payplan 0800 917 7823 - free debt management plans and free debt advice
- StepChange Debt Charity 0800 138 111 - provide free debt help, advice and support. Help is also available now, anonymously, through their debt help tool StepChange Debt Remedy
- Debt advice from The King's Church in Mid Sussex
- Money advice from AgeUK for over 50s
- New West Sussex County Council Scheme to help you in a crisis (replaces Crisis Loans and Community Care Grants from the Social Fund after 1st April 2013)
- Online Government benefits calculator - work out what benefits you might be entitled to.
- Problems with the condition of your home?
- Home improvement grants & loans
- Housing Advice for people arriving in the UK - useful site on the rights and eligibility for assistance of immigrants to the UK.
- Want to donate unwanted furniture to help people in need? Donate it to Furnihelp.
- Haywards Heath Foodbank - emergency food for those in desperate need
- East Grinstead Foodbank
- Burgess Hill Foodbank
- Want to set up a Food Bank for people in your community who are in crisis? The Trussell Trust will help you do this.
- Find out about energy efficiency in your home - FAQ on affordable warmth.
The Council's Housing Needs Team holds the following weekly housing advice surgeries. Please do check that the surgery is being held before you go.
- Our offices in Haywards Heath
Mon, Tues & Fri 10am-1pm (tel. 01444 477574) (no appointment needed, first come first served)
- East Grinstead Library (by appointment only)
Wed 1.30-3.30pm (tel. 01444 477574 to book an appointment)
- Burgess Hill Town Council offices (by appointment only)
Thurs 1-3pm (tel. 01444 477574 to book appointment)
The Housing Needs Team
Mid Sussex District Council
Tel 01444 477574
Out of hours 0845 602 1035 (emergencies only)
Important Housing Benefit changes from April 2013
Download useful government housing advice booklets for landlords, tenants and long leaseholders
How to apply for housing through the Common Housing Register
Our Homelessness Strategy 2008-13
Refreshed Housing Strategy with new Homelessness Section 2012-14
Tel: 01444 477574