You must pay your rent or mortgage to avoid losing your home. Start paying again if you have stopped. This is more important than paying towards unsecured loans, credit cards, hire purchase etc - those lenders cannot take your home away from you but your landlord or mortgage company can.
Can't afford your mortgage?
If you cannot afford the whole of your mortgage repayment talk to your lender about this. See mortgage arrears for advice.
If you are already facing eviction because you are behind with your rent see the eviction page.
Need help to pay the rent?
- If you work variable hours, including under a zero-hours contract, then you can claim based on your last 2 months income if you are paid monthly or 5 weeks income if you are paid weekly; you will then need to report your income at the end of each month or week, and your claim will then by adjusted accordingly.
- If you have applied for Housing Benefit but are not receiving payments then ask the Benefits team if there is a problem and sort it out. You are responsible for paying your rent not the Council, and so you need to take responsibility for making sure the Housing Benefit is paid.
If you receive Housing Benefit you need to spend the whole of each payment on your rent to avoid falling into arrears. This is because rent is normally due a month in advance and if you use your Housing Benefit for something else you will not be able to pay the rent when it is due. It is therefore best to pay your Housing Benefit towards your rent as soon as you receive it.
If your Housing Benefit does not cover the whole of your rent, you need to pay the difference to the landlord from your other income by the due date.
- If your circumstances have changed so that you can no longer afford your rent you may be granted a Discretionary Housing Payment for a short time (normally up to 13 weeks) to give you time to find a long term solution.
- If the reason your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing element does not cover the whole rent is because you are under-occupying social housing.