Advice for temporary accomodation residents

Rules for temporary accommodation hostels

Most of our hostels are not self-contained, so it’s likely you will share a kitchen and bathroom with other residents. 

When you live in temporary accommodation you must:

  • pay your rent – make a claim for Housing Benefit if you need help to pay your rent. If you get into rent arrears you may be evicted and any bids that you make for social housing may be overlooked.
  • pay your service charge – this is separate from your rent and not covered by Housing Benefits
  • be respectful of other residents
  • contact your hostel manager if you need assistance with your property
  • agree to move to alternative accommodation at any point and at short notice
  • keep your rooms and all shared areas clean and tidy

Each hostel has a hostel manager and a team of caretakers who look after the property. Our hostel managers carry out regular unannounced room checks for all of our residents and will speak to residents whose rooms are not well maintained. 

Smoking is not permitted in any of our hostels.

Our hostels are furnished with beds, mattresses, tables and chairs. You are not allowed to bring in your own items of furniture. We can assist in storing items for a weekly cost. 

We don’t generally allow visitors to our hostels for the safety and security of all residents. This is to ensure the wellbeing of all of our residents. Hostel managers can grant permission for visitors in certain circumstances such as if a care worker, social worker or a midwife needs to visit. You need to get permission from the hostel manager before the visit, or the visit cannot take place. If a former partner has an access agreement to see your children we recommend you arrange for this to happen outside of the hostel. If you would like to discuss making an arrangement for someone to visit you then speak to your hostel manager to see if this is possible. See visitors and personal callers to temporary accommodation policy (PDF 180kb)

Paying your rent and service charge

When you move into a temporary accommodation property you’re given a letter with your rent account number. You only need your rent account number to pay your rent and service charge. 

If you don’t know your rent account number, contact 0208 356 2929. 

See pay your rent for all the different ways you can pay.

You will receive a rent card through the post within two weeks of moving into your temporary accommodation property. The rent card also has your rent account number on it. You don’t need your rent card to make payment. Do not wait to get it before paying your rent.

Moving on from temporary accommodation

Most people choose to move on from temporary accommodation by moving into a privately rented home.

If you’re in temporary accommodation and bidding for social housing it can take a long time to bid successfully. See estimated times to successfully bid for a property

The long estimated bidding times is a key reason that lots of people choose to find a privately rented home.

We can help you:

  • find a quality home to privately rent even if you’ve never done this before
  • find homes that are available with gardens and good transport links
  • understand the benefits you’ll be entitled to if you move to a privately rented home
  • raise the deposit and rent in advance
  • set up your new home and support you to maintain your tenancy

Get help by contacting your homelessness caseworker. You can also contact us on 020 8356 4411 or

How we’ve helped temporary accommodation residents get a permanent home

Page updated on: 11 April 2024

Homeless Prevention and Advice


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


Opening times

  • Monday 9am to 5pm, Tuesday 9am to 5pm, Wednesday 9am to 4pm, Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 5pm