Temporary accommodation

If you are homeless the council may provide you with temporary accommodation. Temporary accommodation in East Herts is usually provided in a hostel, but if this is not available you may be placed in Bed and Breakfast. We will move you out of Bed and Breakfast as quickly as possible. If you have children you will not be expected to stay in Bed and Breakfast for more than six weeks

On occasion, we may arrange for you to remain in your current accommodation. This may be appropriate where we accept that it is not suitable to remain there in the long term, but consider it suitable on a short-term temporary basis while we find you alternative accommodation.

Who gets temporary accommodation?

Whether a household is offered temporary accommodation and how long they can stay there will depend on their homelessness status. There are three main classes of homeless applicants that must be provided with temporary accommodation.

  1. If there is reason to believe that the applicant may be eligible and may be homeless and may be in priority need the council will have a duty to provide interim accommodation until a decision on what duty is owed to the applicant is reached;

  2. If the council has made a decision that the household is eligible, intentionally homeless and in priority need the council will have a duty to provide accommodation for a reasonable period to allow time for the applicant to find alternative accommodation;

  3. If the council has made a decision that the household is eligible, homeless, in priority need and not intentionally homeless the applicant will be owed the main homelessness duty. In these circumstances, accommodation will be provided until the household is offered suitable permanent accommodation or the duty comes to an end for another reason.

The council can provide temporary accommodation in other circumstances if the applicant requests it. For instance, a household that has requested a review of the council's decision on their homelessness application can ask for accommodation to be provided while the review is carried out. In these circumstances, we will consider the request, but do not have a duty to provided accommodation.

Suitability of temporary accommodation

The council will take account of factors such as the composition of the household, the ages of any dependent children, any relevant health issues and some social issues when allocating temporary accommodation.

You are strongly advised not to refuse an offer or leave your temporary accommodation even if you consider it unsuitable. To do so can bring our duty to provide temporary accommodation to an end and you will have to find your own accommodation.

If you think that your temporary accommodation is not suitable, you should speak to the council's temporary accommodation officer in the first instance. You may ask for a review of the suitability of your temporary accommodation while you remain in it.

If you are being accommodated while the council makes inquiries, you do not have a right to a review of the suitability of your accommodation. You may seek a remedy through judicial review; in which case you are advised not to refuse an offer or leave your temporary accommodation and to seek legal advice.

If you want the council to review the suitability of your temporary accommodation, you must tell us as soon as possible, giving us any information which may support your case. For further information see our Requesting a Review page

Paying for your temporary accommodation

Residents living in temporary accommodation are responsible for paying a weekly charge. If you are on a low income you will need to claim Housing Benefit. It is likely that the charges for the accommodation will include costs, such as utilities, that are not covered by housing benefit. You must pay these charges as failure to do so may result in you being evicted.

If you are finding it difficult to meet the cost of your accommodation you should speak to the hostel manager or the council's temporary accommodation officer as soon as possible.

Please see the Housing Benefit page for more information.

Storage of personal belongings

As temporary accommodation is usually furnished, you will need to make arrangements store any furniture and/or other larger personal items. If you are unable to protect or deal with your property and have not or cannot make arrangements to do so, the council will make arrangements for your property to be stored by a private company.

The council's involvement will usually end at the same time as the duty under which you are being accommodated comes to an end; you will be notified of this in writing. You should make arrangements for you possessions to be taken out of storage. Any goods not claimed within 28 days of you receiving notification that the council no longer has a responsibility to protect your possessions, will be destroyed.

You will be charged for any transportation and/or storage costs incurred by the council. In cases where this would cause hardship, we will make arrangements for the costs to be paid in instalments at a rate affordable to the household.


Pets are not allowed in temporary accommodation. If you have pets you should make arrangements for them to be looked after by a friend, relative or a charity. You will be responsible for any costs incurred.