The pandemic has left more LGBTQ+ people in vulnerable housing situations than ever. It's important to know your rights, and where you can seek help.

Can I be evicted?

Landlords have been urged to obey the new laws implemented by the Coronavirus Act 2020. The act provides new rules about how and when tenants can be evicted from their homes. If you are served with eviction, you are still responsible for paying rent during this period, which means that the sum you owe grows with every month you do not pay your landlord.

From August 2020, landlords have been prohibited, except in extreme cases, from giving tenants less than six months notice for eviction. According to the government, these extreme cases include “those in relation to anti-social behaviour (including rioting), domestic abuse, false statement and where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of over six months’ rent.”

These longer notice periods continue to apply during the national lockdown we are experiencing in early 2021. Bailiffs should not enact eviction notices except in the above “extreme” circumstances.

This doesn’t mean that some landlords won’t try to remove tenants regardless, but it does provide renters with some protection under the law.

What if I can’t pay my rent?

The government has suggested that it has provided “a strong package of financial support available to tenants”. Unfortunately, much of this support is targeted at businesses and property companies, and not at tenants themselves. This means you are unlikely to receive direct monetary support from the government, save that provided by universal credit and housing benefit which is sometimes insufficient to cover rent and the other costs associated with living. This may result in tenants falling into arrears.

The government provides the following statement on rent arrears:

“In many if not most cases, the COVID-19 outbreak will not affect tenants’ ability to pay rent. If your ability to pay will be affected, it’s important to have an early conversation with your landlord. Rent levels agreed in your tenancy agreement remain legally due and you should discuss with your landlord if you are in difficulty.”

With thousands of people finding themselves jobless during the pandemic, many are finding themselves falling into arrears in order to retain their home.

Some councils do provide discretionary payments to those in emergencies. To find your local council, and discover your entitlement, use this tool.

Some LGBTQ+ charities also have crisis funds to assist queer people who need financial assistance. Check with your local charitable organisation to see how they can help.

If you’re looking for more advice on what to do in this situation, take a look at the Citizens Advice Bureau page here. Some people may be entitled to payments in order to help them through difficult financial circumstances that extend beyond housing benefit and universal credit.

What benefits am I entitled to?

The answer to this question depends on your personal circumstances. Some benefits are means tested against your income. Others are statutory, and others only apply to people in specific circumstances. There are several online calculators out there which can help you calculate which benefits you should be entitled to before you apply.

Try the following sites:

Where can I go if I’m rendered homeless?

For many LGBTQ+ people, traditional homelessness shelters may not feel like safe environments. 

According to the website of Shelter charity’s website:

“Emergency and temporary accommodation provided by local authorities for homeless LGBT people is often inappropriate. They may be isolated and suffer abuse and violence from other residents. The Code of Guidance specifies that in their discharge of duties, local authorities must ensure that accommodation is suitable for applicants.”

Your local authority is responsible for ensuring you are provided with housing should you be evicted or find yourself homeless. It is vital that LGBTQ+ people are provided with safe, respectful, and appropriate accommodation where the are not at risk of violence, discrimination, or abuse.

There are specific charities that help cater for queer people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 


AKT supports LGBTQ+ young people aged 16-25 in the uk who are facing or experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment. The charity provides safe homes, education, employment, an open, LGBTQ+ friendly environment.

Want to know more about what AKT does? Watch our video.

Stonewall Housing

Stonewall Housing is a charity dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ people to find safe housing, and advocating on their behalf in contentious or hostile disagreements. It provides supported housing for young people, as well as a free housing advice helpline to people of all ages. If you’re experiencing problems with your living situation, they can help, and maybe direct you to other support services which can help resolve your issue.

You can call Stonewall Housing's advice line on 020 7359 5767 for confidential advice.

The advice line is open every weekday between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm

The Outside Project

The Outside Project has launched the UK’s first LGBTIQ+ Crisis/Homeless Shelter & Community Centre. The shelter has a community centre at its heart to reach those more at risk of rough sleeping & bring together our community so that marginalised groups do not feel left ‘outside’. During the pandemic its community centre is being run virtually, but it is still offering a safe space to stay for homeless people and street sleepers.

Want to know more, watch our interview with TOP Director Maari Nastari: