What if you can’t pay your rent?
We want your tenancy to be a success. If you’re struggling to pay your rent you should contact us straight away. We can help you work out a budget and also check if you’re entitled to any help with your rent, such as Universal Credit or Housing Benefit. We can agree a payment plan to help you pay your rent and stop you building up arrears. If necessary we can signpost you to money and benefit advice or refer you to support agencies.
Welfare Benefits and Universal Credit
The government has changed the way most benefits are paid. In the majority of cases, if you need to claim benefits (including getting help with your rent), you will be directed to make an online application for Universal Credit. This benefit replaces:
- Income Support
- Income-based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income-related Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Housing Benefit (for those under pension age)
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
Universal Credit is paid as one monthly payment and it is up to you to budget for your household, including making sure your rent is paid in full. You also have to wait five weeks to receive your first payment although you can apply for a payment advance. More information about claiming Universal Credit can be found at www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk.
To carry out a basic benefit check you can visit one of the following:
Basic Bank Accounts
You’ll find it easier to manage your money if you have a bank account. A ‘basic’ bank account, which doesn’t have an overdraft facility, so you cannot get into debt. To open this you need to provide proof of your identity and address. All major banks offer basic bank accounts.
Budgeting Your Money
Working out a budget is a great way to focus on your spending priorities, get on top of your finances and avoid getting into debt. We’ve produced a ‘Personal Budget Sheet’ to help you work out how much money is coming in to and going out:
For more help on budgeting you can visit https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
Help with Debts
No debt problems are completely unsolvable. Admitting you are struggling and getting help is an important first step towards resolving debt problems.
Some places charge you for debt advice. The following organisations offer FREE advice and help.
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