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Housing Advice for Offenders

If you have a tenancy of your own and know that you could be facing a prison sentence, you may be able to keep your tenancy. There are some things you'll need to consider, however.

If you have a local authority tenancy:

  • You may be able to sign over to someone else who has lived with you for at least 12 months or sub-let your tenancy.
  • If you're in receipt of Universal Credit, this may still be paid to your landlord if you're held on remand for up to six months.
  • Think about the security of the property:
    • Does someone else have a key?
    • Do you have any pets that will need to be cared for?
    • Have you made plans to redirect your mail?

If you receive a sentence longer than 13 weeks, you'll be asked to end the tenancy.

If you have a private let:

  • Think about how long you have left on your current lease.
  • Tell your landlord you may be facing a sentence. They may be prepared to allow your tenancy to continue if they'll still receive Local Housing Allowance.

Universal Credit

You may be able to continue getting Universal Credit or make a claim for the first time if you go to prison or are on remand.

You won’t be entitled to claim if:

  • You’re likely to be on remand for more than 26 weeks.
  • You’re likely to be in prison for more than 13 weeks (including any time on remand).
  • You’re not intending to return home on release.
  • You’re claiming as a couple and you’ve split up.
  • The property is going to be rented out.

You can find out more about benefits and prison on GOV.UK