Worried about your home?
Housing costs are considered a priority debt, this means you should ensure you are meeting your rent/mortgage payments in the first instance in order to prevent the risk of homelessness.
Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service
The government has launched the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service (HLPAS), which offers government-funded legal advice and representation (legal aid) to individuals facing possession proceedings which could result in the loss of their homes.
Individuals can find their nearest Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service provider by typing in their postcode and ticking the box ‘Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service’ on the GOV.UK website.
Housing association tenants
Social Housing has the lowest rents in the housing market and is considered the most affordable and sustainable accommodation. If you currently reside in social housing, you should take all steps necessary to maintain your home and meet your rental requirements.
If you are a Housing Association tenant, you should contact your housing provider in the first instance for help and advice with your rental payments.
Some Housing Associations can support you via their own Hardship funds if you are eligible. Please speak to your individual housing association.
You should contact your lender directly for help with dealing with mortgage arrears. They will be able to assist with setting up payment plans in line with your current affordability. Shelter has advisors that can give dedicated mortgage advice and can recommend agencies to act on your behalf engaging with your lender.
If you are struggling with paying your rent you should make sure that you are receiving the maximum income you are entitled to via your wages, benefits as well as any grants you may be eligible for. You can do this by checking your entitlements via a benefits calculator:
You should speak to your landlord directly to explain your financial situation. If you are behind with your payments it might help to tell your landlord why you have fallen behind with your rent and see if you can come to an agreeable arrangement for both parties.
A repayment plan means you can make smaller payments over a longer period of time - you will still have to pay everything back, but it could be easier than paying the full arrears in one go. Do not offer to pay more than you can realistically afford as this could result in you not meeting a repayment plan that you have agreed to.
If your landlord does agree to a repayment plan, it is a good idea to get this in writing and signed by both parties.
If you need assistance in determining what you can afford you can use the below budgeting tool:
You can find more information on securing your own private rented accommodation by visiting our private renting page.
Other help and advice
The Breathing Space scheme can help people struggling with debt, including rent or mortgage arrears. Find out how to access
Shelter gives practical housing advice and support online, in person and by phone 365 days a year and helps with everything from mortgage arrears to finding a place to sleep.
Bexley Citizens Advice Bureau has staff who can provide free housing and legal advice if you have problems with housing conditions, paying your rent or are threatened with eviction.
Discretionary housing payments are a limited fund provided to the Council by the government each year. The fund allows the Council to provide additional assistance with rent in exceptional cases.
The scheme is purely discretionary.