Can I be away from my home for a period of time?

Yes. You can be away or leave the property for up to 28 days, but you must tell the Property & Housing Division in advance and ensure that your rent account is covered while you are absent.

The maximum time you can be away (from St Helena) is six months – having notified the Housing Office. If you do not, the Housing team may consider that you have abandoned the property, and may enter the property and take back possession without a court order.  You should also notify the Benefits Office if you are receiving IRB or BIP.

While you’re away, you will need to continue to meet your tenancy responsibilities. For example, you need to keep paying your rent and any other debt arrangements, keep your electricity connected, and arrange for someone to check the property regularly while you are away.

 You need to have a valid reason to be away from your Government Landlord home.  Here are some examples:

  • Medical treatment, hospitalisation or rehabilitation
  • Care or family responsibilities
  • Study or training overseas
  • Travel relating to a significant life event, circumstance or emergency
  • Escaping domestic violence or child safety issues

If you need to be away for more than 6 months in one 12-month period, the Housing Office might need to review your ongoing need for housing assistance.


Do I need to provide my contact details while I’m away?

Even if you’re only going away for a short time, you are encouraged to provide the Housing Office with alternative contact details in case of an emergency.

 Can I arrange for a friend, relative or a neighbour to house-sit while I’m away?

Yes, but you will need to advise the Housing Office of the full details of anyone who is living there while you are away. You will continue to be responsible for the rent and the behaviour of anyone who stays in your home while you are away.

 How do I notify the Housing Office or seek approval to be away from my home?

Remember that you only need to apply for approval if you’re going to be away for more than 28 days in any given year.  You can do this by telephoning 22270, e-mailing,sh or visiting Essex House, in Jamestown. 


Housing Office


17 February 2016


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St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470