If you fall behind on paying your rent, you will find yourself owing rent arrears. If this happens, take action as soon as possible:

  • Contact your landlord first, If you can’t pay all your rent on time,
  • If you can’t afford to pay everything on the day, you must pay as much as you can and plan to pay off any arrears. You can use our Benefit and Budgeting Calculator to help with planning your spending and finding out what benefits you may be entitled to. 

If you don’t do this, your landlord may issue you with a formal eviction notice (Section 21 or a Section 8).  This means that you may be taken to court and face eviction.

Repayment plans

If you have rent arrears and are homeless, or looking to move properties, it is essential that you have a repayment plan so that you can lower your rent arrears and prevent them from getting larger.

Repayment plans:

  • show that you are committed to paying off your debts,
  • will give you a much greater chance of being re-housed.

Ensure that the rate of repayment is affordable to you, you can discuss this with your landlord. You may find it helpful to seek financial/debt advice. The advisors may be able to recommend an affordable amount and how you can fit this into your budget.

Landlords, including housing associations, will usually check if you have historical rent arrears from past tenancies, and will also check to see if you have any other outstanding debts from those tenancies. If you have historical debt from past tenancies, it is important that you declare this as part of your repayment plan so that this cannot be used against you later down the line.

Third-party deductions

A third-party dedication is when you have rent arrears and are in receipt of income-related benefits, have already discussed this with your landlord. You can apply for an amount to be deducted from those payments which will be paid directly to your landlord.

Third party deductions can be made from the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Getting a third-party deduction would mean your rent arrears would be paid off automatically and you will not have to worry about making extra payments to the landlord yourself. Third party deductions are usually only very small amounts, which is why it is important to deal with arrears as soon as they begin to build up.

You can get more advice from:

How do I get more help from the Council? 

If you have received an eviction notice because of rent arrears, tell us as soon as you can by registering with us.

Register now

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Homelessness Advice Service

If you are homeless and have nowhere safe to stay tonight, you can contact our emergency assessment team on 024 7683 4025. Our phone lines can be very busy, you will need to hold to speak to an advisor. Unfortunately, we are unable to deal with general enquiries via our phone line. If you have a general enquiry, please email us. For out of hours emergencies, please call 024 7683 2222.

Telephone: 024 7683 4025