84 per cent increase in people struggling to pay the rent
More and more people are joining the renting market each year, with few able to leave by getting a mortgage. The English Housing Survey released in February showed that the number of people renting in England had increased by around 40 percent since 2005. With relatively few new homes being made available this has lead to a situation where demand is outstripping supply and prices are rising very quickly.
- Don't bury your head in the sand - dealing with rent arrears can be an isolating experience, but it is vital to do what you can to get on top of the problem, the first step should be to get some free, confidential, independent advice.
- Work out a personal budget to help you see where your money is going. See if you can make any savings to help pay the rent by reducing your outgoings.
- Rent is a priority debt, and you should pay the rent each month before you make any payments on non-priority credit debts such as credit cards and unsecured loans.
- Make sure you are receiving any Housing Benefit you are entitled to - to make a claim ask your council's Housing Benefit office for a form. Also make sure you are claiming all the benefits and tax credits you can.
- Speak to your landlord, make sure they understand your situation and that you are doing everything you can.
- With many types of tenancy the landlord can take swift court action and the court cannot always let you stay in your home. Don't ignore the problem. If you get any court papers, get advice immediately.
- You cannot be evicted without a court order. If your landlord threatens to throw you out without going to court or harasses you to make you leave, they may be acting illegally. Contact your local council for advice.