If you have a tenancy when you go to prison you may be able to keep it and avoid eviction.

How do I avoid eviction while I'm in prison?

  • Continue to pay your rent
  • Tell the landlord you are in prison and get post sent to you.
  • Ask friends and family to talk to the landlord on your behalf. This will allow you to react to any eviction attempts.
  • You can go to court to defend your tenancy while in prison if the landlord takes steps to evict you.

You may also be eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help pay your rent while in prison. Advice from Shelter [https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/eviction/eviction_if_you_are_sent_to_prison].

What help can I get before I leave prison?

Most prisons have a housing advice and resettlement service called Through the Gate. The service is delivered by charities including Shelter [https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/homelessness/help_if_youre_homeless_ex_prisoners], St. Giles Trust [https://www.stgilestrust.org.uk] and Catch 22 [https://www.catch-22.org.uk].

A resettlement worker in prison can help you with things like:

  • Referrals to suitable accommodation if you'll be homeless on release
  • Dealing with a housing benefit claim while you're in prison
  • Claiming universal credit on release
  • Rent arrears or eviction

You can apply for the following grants before release:

  • A £46 discharge grant
  • Up to £50 for your first night's accommodation (paid directly to the housing provider)

If you are going to be homeless on your release from prison, your Resettlement Worker should also refer you to the Homelessness Advice Service at the Council through Duty to Refer [https://www.coventry.gov.uk/s213b]

What help can I get if I'm released on bail or an electronic tag?

The prison service or court should help you organise a suitable address to stay at before you are released on bail or an electronic tag.

You may be referred to the Bail Accommodation Support Scheme (BASS) [https://www.homegroup.org.uk/Care-and-Support/Our-Care-Services/Justice-Services]. BASS provides short term accommodation and support to men and women on bail or being released from custody on home detention curfew. Call 0300 555 0264 for more information.


If you’re on probation, you should be allocated a Probation Officer in the area you will be living in immediately after release. Depending on the length of your sentence and situation you may also be given a place in a probation hostel.

Your Resettlement Worker from prison should work with the Probation Officer to ensure that accommodation plans are put in place. Probation will give you housing advice and will be able to refer you to specialist hostel, supported housing and private landlords.

How do I get more help from the Council?

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, tell us as soon as you can by registering with us.

Make a housing assistance referral [https://hpa2.org/referral/FormPage.aspx]

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Homelessness Advice Service

If you are homeless and have nowhere safe to stay tonight, please call 024 7683 4025. Our phone lines are open 9am – 3.30pm Monday to Friday. For out of hours emergencies please call 024 7683 2222. If you are worried you may be at risk of losing your home, you can access help by completing an online referral.

Telephone: 024 7683 4025 [tel:02476834025]

Young people experiencing homelessness

If you are aged 16-24, are a single or a couple, and do not have children, you can access the Housing & Homelessness service by contacting the Coventry Youth Hub.

Telephone: 0121 269 1940 [tel:01212691940]