If you are not a British citizen, you will need to get advice on what housing rights you have. This can be complicated to resolve but they will need to look into where you are from, how long you have been living in the UK, what type of visa you entered with and what your current status is.

If you are British you have the right to return to Britain at any time. However, it does not necessarily give you the right to access social housing and services. If you have been living abroad you will need to check on your rights, right to reside and determine if you have a ‘local connection’ to the borough you wish to return to. You may need to pass the “habitual residency test” to prove this. They will look at the reasons around why you left, what the purpose was for your leaving and whether it was your intention to leave the country to emigrate.

The habitual residency test will be used to establish where you are deemed to be residing. If you should fail this test then you will not be eligible to apply for social housing and you will need to look for a temporary housing solution while you build up time back in the UK. Once you re-establish your residency rights you will be able to reapply for social housing.