Are you homeless or at risk of homelessness as a result of rent arrears?
If you are finding it difficult to pay your rent, or you have missed rent payments, you may be at risk of losing your tenancy.
What to do if you can't pay your rent
Contact your Landlord
Let your landlord know if you are likely to fall into rent arrears, or if you have missed a rent payment. You may be able to reach an agreement to pay the rent owed over a period of time. You can use a budgeting tool to ensure you can afford these repayments. If your landlord does not agree to a repayment plan, you should pay what you offered to anyway, and keep a record of payments.
Make a budget and prioritise rent payments
Work out a budget with a budgeting tool and ensure that you are prioritizing rent payments, eliminating and reducing non-prioirty spending, and considering whether you are getting the cheapest deals for utility costs through comparison websites.
Maximise your income
Make sure you are getting all the benefits you are eligible for through the Entitled To Benefits Calculator
Consider applying for Discretionary Housing Payment through contacting Daventry District Council's Benefits Department on 01327 871100.
Get advice about dealing with notices & court action
Seek advice from Daventry District Council's Housing Options Team on 01327 871100.
You can also seek advice from free, independent advice agencies, including:
The Eviction Process: Privately renting
If you are renting your home from a private landlord, they must follow specific procedures if they want to legally evict you. They can begin the eviction process through Section 21 Notices and Section 8 Notices.
Section 21 Notices:
Your landlord doesn't need a reason to serve a Section 21 Notice. You must be given at least 2 months notice and your landlord must follow certain rules for the notice to be valid. If your landlord does want you to leave the property, and you have not done so by the expiry of the notice, your landlord would be required to apply to the court to evict you.
Shelter: Section 21 Eviction Process
Section 8 Notices:
Your landlord must give you a legal reason to end your tenancy through a Section 8 Notice, including having rent arrears or breaking the terms of your tenancy agreement. This notice can be served alongside a Section 21 Notice, and your lanldord can give you 14 days, 4 weeks or 2 months notice depending on the reason for serving the notice.
Your landlord must apply to court at the end of the notice period. You can challenge a Section 8 Notice if it is not valid, if your landlord can't prove you owe rent arrears, or you have evidence that disproves your landlord's case. You should seek legal advice if you wish to defend your notice.
Shelter: Eviction after a Section 8 Notice
The Eviction Process: Social Housing
Pre-Action Protocol for Possession Claims:
The court has outlined what your landlord should do before taking court action, including making contact with you as soon as possible, helping you to sort out any benefits issues, agreeing an affordable repayment plan with you, and postponing court action as long as you make the agreed repayments. If you do not engage with this support, your landlord could decide to start the proceedings for possession of your property.
Eviction & Housing Association Starter Tenants
If you have been in your housing association property for less than 12 months, you may have been given a starter tenancy. If you owe rent and you are on a starter tenancy, your landlord may serve a Section 21 Notice, giving you 2 months notice period. Some housing associations will consider letting you remain in the property if you pay off your rent arrears.
If you don't leave before the notice expires, it is likely that the housing association will apply to the courts to begin posession of the property. Usually, your only defence would be if the housing association has not followed the right procedure to evict you.
Eviction & Assured and Fixed-Term Tenancies
Most housing association tenants have an assured tenancy (without a fixed time period), or a fixed-term tenancy (usually lasting at least 5 years). If you have an assured or fixed-term tenancy, and your landlord wishes to evict you due to rent arrears, they will serve a Notice Seeking Possession or a Section 8 Notice. The notice must outline the reasons for wanting to evict you and the length of the notice, which is typically 2 weeks or 2 months depending on the reasons. When the notice period expires, the landlord can apply to court to evict you at any time within the next 12 months. You are more likely to be able to keep your home if you provide a defence in court. You should let us know as soon as you have been told that the housing association has applied to the court, so we can help you to get the support in court.
Shelter: Eviction of Housing Association Tenants
You can access free, independent advice from the following agencies:
If you would like advice from the Housing Options team, please contact us as soon as possible.
Daventry District Council, Lodge Road, Daventry, NN11 4FP
Mon-Thurs 9-5, Fri 9-4:30
Are you a professional looking to refer a service user?
If you are a professional working with a person in rent arrears, you are able to refer them to us by using the Duty to Refer.