A council is bracing itself for a possible "wave of homelessness applications" as a national ban on evictions is lifted.
The government has confirmed that as of August 23, courts can start dealing with cases again after they were halted due to the pandemic.
It is feared that many people who have run into lockdown-related financial difficulties won't be able to pay their rent or mortgages – and they will be turning to Dartford council for help.
The authority has already seen a spike in the number of people asking for assistance.
Prior to lockdown, on March 18 some 82 households had been placed in temporary accommodation.
However, by June 17 this figure had climbed to 136 - an increase of 54 at a total cost to the council of £145,577.
A national poll carried out by YouGov on behalf of homelessness charity Shelter estimates 226,785 private renters have fallen into arrears since lockdown began.
Some 45% of people said they expected landlords to demand payment even if the pandemic left them unable to pay.
The law says if a tenant has built up at least eight weeks of arrears, they can be automatically evicted by a court.
The situation was discussed by members of Dartford council's scrutiny committee on Tuesday.
According to a report published by the head of housing services, Peter Dosad, the majority of housing sourced by the council has been for shared accommodation – this is mainly for families with children.
An increase in domestic abuse as a cause of homelessness has also been seen in recent weeks.
A freedom of information request revealed that since May 1 there has been nine applications citing domestic abuse as a factor, with none recorded in the two months of lockdown prior to that.
Other causes identified were parental exclusions and anti-social behaviour as well as eviction notices due to rent arrears.
Officers have also seen an increase in appeals for help from people described as "sofa-surfers".
Isolation means they have not been able to move around and stay at the homes of friends or extended family as they would have previously done.
In response to this, the council applied for and secured £69,000 in funding from central government to increase the number of support workers.
All rough sleepers were placed into temporary accommodation by the council as part of the national "getting everyone in" drive.
Meanwhile council officers are working with tenants and landlords in a bid to resolve issues and prevent homelessness cases from happening.
They added "move on arrangements" had been put in place for the vast majority of cases which would be into the private rented sector.
Dartford council has also been making use of the Help2Rent insurance scheme, co-designed with the National Landlords Association and other partners, and said it had been very successful, adding that, until March, it had assisted nearly 100 homeless cases.
During the meeting, Temple Hill councillor Victoria Oguntope (Lab) sought assurances homeless people would not simply be "left out on the streets" when all this is over.
Mr Dosad responded to say each case was being treated on its own merits.
He said: "I can't say never, each case is a particular circumstance.
"Don't get me wrong, some cases are very difficult to manage and in other circumstances we would have been evicting people in terms of their behaviour, if I'm honest.
"But we are trying to do the right thing."
Council leader Cllr Jeremy Kite (Con) said: "We do make interventions and we make them boldly and courageously.
"I want to make clear homelessness and rough sleeping is the end result of a whole series of bits of work that have gone on."
The Tory was joined by other councillors in paying tribute to services such as the Dartford Churches Winter Shelter – which the authority has funded since 2017 – but has been forced to close temporarily due to the pandemic.
He echoed the words of Dame Louise Casey, chairman of the government's Covid-19 taskforce on rough sleeping, by adding: "This is a unique opportunity, having made ground under these terrible circumstances, to actually recognise, identify and work with people.
"It would be a terrible tragedy if we went back to situation normal and allowed the number to rise again."