While some residential moves are planned; others may be sudden due to an immediate change in circumstances. Through this article, we aim to learn whether or not local council authorities can help their residents with the storage of their possessions. We will also explore how one can prepare and pack their possessions before they are removed from their property for storage. Additionally, we will also discuss the situations under which the council will not provide support for storage services.

Can The Council Help With Storage?

Yes, the council can help with the storage of your possessions whether you face any of the following situations:

  • in temporary accommodation
  • your homelessness is being investigated
  • you are waiting for accommodation to be offered due to homelessness

In either case, you will be required to bear the expense of storage. You can discuss a payment arrangement with the council if you are unable to pay in full.

The reason why some individuals require support from the council to store their possessions could be due to their current accommodation (temporary or council housing) being furnished; leaving no room for their personal items to be placed.

Another reason could be that someone is moving from a larger housing space to a smaller one and they will not be able to place all of their belongings.

It is the duty of the council office to make sure that residents who are unable to take care of their possessions are provided with due protection of their possessions from damage or loss.to fulfil this duty, council authorities have permission to arrange the removal of your belongings, manage their storage and even enter a property to recover the required items.

For instance, the Lewisham Council will help you with storage at a nominal fee of £2 per week if you meet the below eligibility criteria:

  • there are possessions that you can’t bring into your temporary accommodation
  • you don’t have anywhere else to store your possessions
  • you cant manage the removal and storage of your possessions on your own

How Does The Council Select A Storage Company For Tenant’s Possessions?

Council authorities hire the services of storage companies to place the possessions of eligible residents in their district. For this purpose, they will choose a company that offers the following:

  • affordable pricing
  • secure space
  • the facility of collection and delivery of items
  • adequate space at the storage facility
  • reviews of the company’s services
  • the reputation of the storage company

However, storage companies advise that tenants should make sure that they do not leave any such possessions for storage that they might require in the future as they will not be able to retrieve them until the storage contract comes to an end. 

Additionally, storage companies will not be able to accommodate the following types of items:

  • items of a perishable nature such as food
  • flammable items such as paint or gas bottles
  • anything that appears to be infested with pests
  • valuable items such as jewellery 
  • items meant for commercial or industrial items use

Do I Have To Pack My Possessions If The Council Helps With Storage?

Yes, you or a family member will have to pack your possession yourself before the council can arrange their removal and storage. 

You should be mindful of the following guidelines for packing items intended for storage:

  • Fragile items should be kept in sturdy boxes to avoid damage.
  • Soft items can be placed in strong black bin liners if you do not have enough boxes.
  • Bags and boxes should not exceed the weight limit of 25kg each. Items that are heavier will not be placed in the van during the removal process.
  • Bags and boxes should be labelled with the name of the item(s) they carry.
  • Each box and bag should be sealed by the owners and labelled with their last name. 
  • Fridges and freezers should be defrosted, cookers should be disconnected from the gas or electricity supply to cookers and washing machines should be disconnected from the water supply.
  • Self-assembled furniture should be dismantled.
  • glass table tops, mirrors and glass doors should be protected while packing.
  • Fitted carpets should be rolled up.

When Does The Council Stop Helping With Storage?

The council stops helping people with storage facilities under the following situations:

  • your property is no longer at risk of damage or loss
  • the individual does not qualify for help with accommodation anymore
  • the council has fulfilled all its due responsibilities towards the individual.

Council authorities will not abruptly abandon the possession of items in storage and will render due notice to the owners. 

Conclusion:

The discussion in this blog post has highlighted how council authorities can not only help you with storage, they are required to do so as part of their community service. However, you must pack and label your possessions in an appropriate way in advance of the date given to you for removal of the items from your house and their transfer to a storage facility.

FAQs: Can The Council Help With Storage?

Can temporary accommodation become permanent?

While a temporary shelter cannot be considered for permanent residence, the council can arrange a council house for you in the long term if you remain eligible for council support for housing.

What is self-contained temporary accommodation?

Self-contained temporary accommodation is a housing facility in which you do not have to share the bathroom or kitchen with anyone else but your own family.

What happens after relief duty?

After relief duty, the council transfers the homeless individuals to a shelter. This will serve as their accommodation for at least the next 6 months.   

How long can the council keep you in a B&B?

As per the Housing Act, council authorities cannot keep families with children in temporary accommodation as a B&B for more than six weeks.

Does Universal Credit pay for temporary accommodation?

No, Universal Credit does not pay for temporary accommodation provided by your council. However, if you live in supported or sheltered housing you can continue claiming your Universal Credit payments.

References:

Storage for personal belongings – Shelter Cymru.

Local Authorities – easyStorage

Removals and storage for people in temporary accommodation

Terms and conditions for our removals and storage service for people in temporary accommodation

Storage of belongings when homeless – Legal Notebook

Storage of belongings | I need accommodation now | Birmingham City Council.

Storing your belongings and pet care when you’re homeless – Shelter Scotland

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