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Rent Arrears

Facing up to money problems can be hard but it is important that you do not ignore rent arrears. If you ignore your rent arrears then you could lose your home. If you lose your home because of rent arrears then this may affect the help we are able to give you.

First steps

  • If you think you may owe your landlord money, it is important to find out how much your arrears are. Ask your landlord for a copy of your rent account, so you can see exactly how much money you owe.
  • Make a personal budget by listing all the money that you spend and all the money you have coming in each month. Work out where you can reduce your spending to help you pay money towards the rent and your arrears.
  • Check you are receiving all the support you are entitled to. If you claim housing benefit or Universal Credit make sure that the payments are still being made. If your circumstances have changed let Housing Benefit or Universal Credit know as you might be able to receive more help. If you do not get any benefits, check if your are entitled by using the benefit calculator at
  • Apply for a discretionary housing payment (DHP) if you’re entitled to housing benefit. The council will decide whether to award DHP and how long this award will last.
  • Speak to all the people that you owe money to and let them know that you are having difficulties. They may be able to help you make a repayment plan. Make sure that you pay priority debts first. Rent and council tax are your most important monthly payments so you need to make sure you pay them before you pay your other debts.
  • If you can pay all the money you owe your landlord, do this as quickly as you can. Make sure you get a written receipt from your landlord.
  • If you cannot pay all the money you owe at once ask the landlord to make a repayment agreement with you. Make sure any agreement is written down and that you both sign it. Keep this for your records.


If you have followed this advice and are still having difficulties, or if you think you may be asked to leave your home, please contact us on 0208 770 5000.