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If you cannot pay your rent

If you miss rent payments you'll owe your landlord money. This is called being in 'rent arrears'.

Your landlord could evict you if you fall behind with your rent. You could lose your home.

Get help as soon as possible.

Talk to your landlord

Talk to your landlord as soon as possible if you miss rent payments. 

If you live in private rented housing

Talk to your landlord about what you can afford.

They must make reasonable efforts to agree a repayment plan with you.

They're more likely to be sympathetic if they know you're trying to pay back the money you owe.

If you live in social housing 

If you live in a housing association or council house, contact your landlord. You’ll get advice on:

  • agreeing a reasonable plan to pay your arrears
  • claiming any benefits, grants or other money you may be entitled to
  • where to go for help with money and debt

How to contact your landlord

If you live in a housing association house, you can find the contact details of your landlord on the Scottish Housing Regulator's website.

Not all councils have council housing. If you live in the Glasgow City Council area, you can find the Housing Associations in your area on the Glasgow City Council website.

If you live in a council house in any other area, visit your local council’s website to get rent arrears advice.

Aberdeen City CouncilAberdeenshire CouncilAngus CouncilArgyll and Bute CouncilClackmannanshire CouncilComhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council)Dumfries & Galloway CouncilDundee City CouncilEast Ayrshire CouncilEast Dunbartonshire CouncilEast Lothian CouncilEast Renfrewshire CouncilEdinburgh CouncilFalkirk CouncilFife CouncilHighland CouncilInverclyde CouncilMidlothian CouncilMoray CouncilNorth Ayrshire CouncilNorth Lanarkshire CouncilOrkney Islands CouncilPerth & Kinross CouncilRenfrewshire CouncilScottish Borders CouncilShetland CouncilSouth Ayrshire CouncilSouth Lanarkshire CouncilStirling CouncilWest Dunbartonshire CouncilWest Lothian Council

Benefits to help with housing costs

You could get:

Universal Credit

If you're on a low income, it can pay for all or part of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.

Apply for Universal Credit on GOV.UK.

Housing Benefit

You can make a new claim for Housing Benefit if you're either:

  • of state pension age
  • living in sheltered, supported, or temporary housing

Find out more about Housing Benefit.

Discretionary Housing Payment

You may be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment if you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and still cannot afford to pay your rent.

Find out more about Discretionary Housing Payment.

Check what benefits you could get

Check you're getting all the benefits you're entitled to.

Use a benefits calculator to check what benefits you could get.

Get free debt and money advice 

Check where to get free advice.

You can also get information and advice about dealing with rent arrears from:

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