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Temporary accommodation

Find out about temporary accommodation for homeless people.

Types of temporary accommodation

We provide temporary accommodation in:

  • privately rented bed and breakfast
  • council-owned and managed hostels
  • privately rented self-contained houses
  • other properties provided by charities and social landlords

Where you will be placed

We try and find temporary accommodation in the borough, but this is not always possible. If this isn’t possible, we will arrange temporary accommodation for you somewhere else. This could be anywhere in or outside of London.

How long you will stay in temporary accommodation

You will stay in temporary accommodation until we can support you to move into your own accommodation.

The amount of time you will stay in temporary accommodation depends on your circumstances. Many households spend several years in temporary accommodation due to the waiting times for permanent housing. Renting privately can offer you a choice of homes, and the opportunity to find a stable and affordable home, near to your work, family and friends. Find out more about renting privately.

If we decide we no longer have a duty to provide housing for you, we may ask you to leave temporary accommodation.

Temporary accommodation agreements

Depending on the property, when you move into temporary accommodation you will sign either:

  • a licence or agreement
  • a non-secure tenancy agreement
  • an assured shorthold tenancy agreement

If you don’t you stick to the terms of the agreement, you may have to leave the accommodation.

Paying rent

You must pay for your accommodation if you are working or if you get benefits. We will send you details of how to pay rent within 10 days of moving into temporary accommodation.

You should receive a letter telling you how much rent you have to pay within 10 days of moving into your new accommodation. It will also give details of your income officer. Please contact us if you don’t get the letter.

It’s very important you pay your rent on a regular basis.

You must pay for your accommodation whether you are working or waiting for a decision on your claim for benefits.  

If you don’t pay your rent, you could be evicted.

How to pay your rent

You can pay your rent by:

Standing order

You can set up a standing order which will automatically transfer your rent payment, please request and complete a form, which you take directly to your bank. You can also set it up if you do on-line banking, our details are as follows:

  • name of bank: Barclays Bank Plc
  • account name: London borough of Lewisham
  • sort code:  20 00 00
  • account no: 93380513

Please use your 10 digit rent account as the reference. 

You only need to change your standing order amount if your rent changes.

BACS payment

You can make a payment by BACS using the bank account details above. Please use your 10 digit rent account as the Reference.

Rent payment card

You can use cash, debit/credit card at any post office or paypoints.


You can pay by phone on 0800 028 2028 (Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm) or touch tone card payment service on 020 8690 8707(24 hours a day). Always use your 10-digit rent account reference.

My Lewisham Homes Portal

You can access your account online anytime. Sign up to the ‘My Lewisham Homes Portal’ https://portal.lewishamhomes.org.uk/registration to see your rent statement and current balance, make payments, order a rent card and find information on finding a home.

Difficulties paying your rent

If you’re struggling to pay your rent because you don’t have paid work, you can get free support with securing employment from Lewisham Works.

You might qualify for Housing Benefit to help towards your rent payments

Do you need advice or help with claiming benefits?

If you need help or advice about claiming benefits, please contact our welfare benefits team by phone on 0800 028 2028 or by email to welfarebenefits@lewishamhomes.org.uk.

Moving out

If you’re moving out, you’ll need to return your keys to the managing agents, if you are in nightly paid or PMA accommodation. You should also email TAincome@lewisham.gov.uk with details of the date and time you moved. Hostel and PSL accommodation keys must be returned to Lewisham Homes. You will be responsible for the rent until the keys are returned

The quality of temporary accommodation

  • we are committed to housing people in suitable temporary accommodation
  • we try to visit as many of the properties used for temporary accommodation as possible to make sure they are suitable

Report a problem

You should report problems with your temporary accommodation to the property provider directly.

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