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Need advice on rent arrears?

We can help. Take two minutes to find the right support for your situation.

Get help now

Rent arrears. Get help if you can’t pay your rent

Missed rent payments are called 'arrears'. Try to offer a payment plan as soon as you can. We can help.

Rent arrears are 'priority debts'.

  • "Priorities" are your most important payments
  • They can impact your home and health
  • For example, you can be evicted for not paying your rent

Is your home at risk?

Free legal support is available.

The government's Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service can advise you on:

  • Illegal eviction
  • Rent arrears
  • Mortgage arrears
  • Issues with welfare benefits payments
  • Debt concerns
  • Disrepair and other problems with housing conditions

Find out more here.

Four Useful Renting Tips

Check out these four essential steps if you are struggling with renting:

  • Know your rights
  • Understand your rights inside out
  • Our friends at Shelter also have great information on this
  • Talk it out
  • Don not keep it to yourself
  • Tell your landlord what is going on
  • Make a repayment plan
  • Look at your budget
  • Create an affordable payment plan
  • Let's tackle this together.
  • Get in touch if you need debt advice

Have arrears from a previous home?

It may be hard to rent a new property if you have arrears on an old one.

  • A rent guarantor may make it easier
  • They are responsible for debts you cannot pay

There is also a chance landlords could take court action against you.

Is someone helping with your rent or deposit?

It can be a big relief when someone offers you help. This could be a friend, family member, or someone who lives nearby.

Whoever it is, make sure to check a few things first.

Loan sharks or illegal lenders can be hard to spot. They may use trust or friendship to trap you in debt.

There are other options to help with housing costs. You can also look at:

Can I stop myself being evicted?

Contact a specialist advice agency is you are worried about being evicted.

Contact your local authority if eviction would make you homeless.

You may also be able to get Breathing Space.

For up to 60 days your creditors:

  • Cannot add interest or fees
  • Cannot take court action

You cannot be evicted for rent arrears during this time.

Your landlord could still evict you for:

  • Anti-social behaviour
  • If they need to live in the property themselves

Your landlord can evict you when Breathing Space ends.

Need help with rent arrears?

Money worries?

Find out how we can help you.

Get help now

How do you deal with rent arrears?

  1. Look at your budget and work out how much you can afford to pay
  2. Ask you landlord to accept lower payments for a time
    • Give them a copy of your budget to show what you can afford
    • Explain your situation and tell them you are getting debt help
    • They do not have to agree but many will accept a reasonable offer
  3. Keep to the new payment arrangement
  4. Make the payments even if:

    • Your landlord refuses your offer
    • They do not respond

We can help if you are:

  • Struggling to build a budget
  • Worried about repayments

Use our sample letters to contact your creditors.

Can you get a CCJ for rent arrears?

Yes, but this happens more for other types of debt.

If you do get a claim letter for a County Court judgment (CCJ), you can:

  • Pay it off
  • Make a payment arrangement
    • This stops it going on your credit history

Read our guide to dealing with County Court judgments.

Can the council help with rent arrears?

The council’s housing department can help you:

  • Apply for social housing
  • Apply for emergency accommodation
  • Deal with the risk of homelessness

Find contact details for your local authority.

What should I do if housing benefit delays mean I cannot pay my rent?

Your local council should process your housing benefit claim within 14 days.

Contact the housing benefit department if you do not get your payment.

  • Take a copy of your original claim to help them locate your record
  • Take the email receipt if you claimed online

You should also:

  • Tell your landlord what is happening
  • Ask them to agree a temporary payment arrangement

I’m on Universal Credit and cannot pay my rent – what can I do?

Contact the Universal Credit helpline for advice on:

  • Changing how they make payments to you
  • Paying you an advance
  • Paying your rent directly to the landlord

Universal Credit helpline (free calls)

  • Telephone: 0800 328 5644
  • Textphone: 0800 328 1344
  • Telephone (Welsh language): 0800 012 1888

How do I deal with arrears for a previous property?

Treat these like other non-priority debts unless there is court action.

Find out more about which debts to pay first.

These arrears may show on your credit file. This can impact:

  • Your ability to take out more credit
  • Your ability to rent another property

Council housing

If you have rent arrears for council housing:

  • Some local authorities will not let you apply for new council housing
  • Clear the arrears as soon as you can to get rehoused with them

You may be able to pay off the arrears by:

I cannot pay my rent, how can you help me?

We can help you work out what you can afford to pay towards your rent.

Take two minutes to answer a few simple questions and find out how we can help.