Can't pay your rent?

Dealing with Rent Arrears

We understand how quickly you can fall behind with your rent and slip into arrears.  We also understand that there are many reasons why this can happen.  It can be really worrying as you may be at risk of losing your tenancy.  However, this type of debt should be treated as a priority and it is essential that you take action as soon as possible to try to resolve things.

Contact your landlord as soon as you can to try and make arrangements to pay back your arrears.  If you would struggle to pay off your arrears in full then ask your Landlord if you can pay back an extra, affordable amount on top of your rent each month/week for a set period of time until the arrears are paid back.

Check that you owe all the money your landlord says you do against your own records. Ask your Landlord for a copy of your rent statement.

Check that you're getting all the income you can, including any help towards your rent or other benefits you may be entitled to.  Go to Turn 2 Us and use the benefits check tool.


You might not be responsible for all the arrears if:

  1. You are not the tenant or someone else you live with owes the money
  2. Your landlord has not recorded all your rent payments correctly
  3. You took over the tenancy from someone else and your landlord is trying to charge you for rent from before you took over the tenancy
  4. You're not getting all the Housing Benefit you should be. If any of the situations 1-4 apply to you then you might need to consider getting some specialist help or contacting us so a Welfare Officer can discuss things in more detail.

It's important that you maintain any agreed payment plan otherwise your Landlord may take you to court and start eviction proceedings - this is called seeking possession.

Possession proceedings will depend very much upon the type of tenancy you have and whether or not you rent from a private or social landlord.

More detailed sources of information can be found at:

Citizens Advice Bureau 

Always talk to a specialist debt counselling service before making any decisions:

Stepchange Debt
National Debtline
Citizens Advice Bureau - Help with Debt

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