The cost of renting a home has been steadily rising in recent years due to an increase in the demand for private rented accommodation. However over the last few years incomes have at best remained static and in many cases fallen. As a result more people than ever before are struggling to pay their rent.
If you get into arrears with your rent this is a very serious problem as ultimately it could lead to you being evicted from your home. Whether you are currently just at risk of getting into arrears or you are already behind with your payments there are some practical steps that you can take to ensure that you get back in control of your finances.
How to avoid rent arrears
If finding the money to pay your rent each month is becoming increasingly difficult then you need to act straight away to prevent the situation getting to the point where you can no longer make your payments. There may be ways to improve your income that you had not previously thought of such as claiming for all your benefit allowances. Alternatively you might be able to reduce other costs particularly in the area of unsecured debt repayments. More detailed information about these options can be found here.
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How to deal with existing rent arrears
If you are renting with a private landlord and you are already in arrears it is very important that you review your financial circumstances and agree a plan with your landlord to repay what you owe as well as start to pay your ongoing rent on time. If you do not they could take legal action so that the court will have no choice but to evict you. If you are renting through a social landlord such as your local Council then they will have a formal policy regarding how they will work with you to try and resolve your rent arrears problems. More detailed information about how to resolve an existing rent arrears problem is available here.
The rented property eviction process
If you have rent arrears and you are unable to come to an agreement with your landlord to repay these in a sensible period of time they will normally decide to evict you. A landlord cannot force you leave your home without getting a Court Order enabling them to do so. Therefore in most cases they will need to follow a procedure which involves making an application for eviction at the Court. Details about the eviction process and your ongoing liability to repay the outstanding rent arrears if you are evicted are available here.
What are my rights if my landlord’s property is repossessed?
If you are renting a property which is being repossessed by your landlord’s mortgage company it is important for you to understand the implications regarding whether you will be able to continue living in the property. Ultimately it is likely that the mortgage company will want to sell and so you will probably have to leave the property eventually. However how quickly you will have to move out will depend on the time you have left on your tenancy agreement. More information about this can be found here.
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