If you can't pay your rent

Last updated: 30 June 2020

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

Get help as soon as possible. Talk to your landlord about your rent arrears, and how much you can afford to pay back. They're likely to be more sympathetic if they know you're trying to resolve the matter.

If you live in a council house

Contact your local council right away if you live in a council house and you have a problem with your rent. You'll get advice on:

  • how to pay your rent arrears in affordable instalments
  • benefits you're entitled to and how to claim
  • what money advice services are available in your area

Help to pay your rent

If you're struggling to pay your rent, you might not be getting all the benefits you're entitled to.

Calculate what benefits you may be entitled to on GOV.UK.

Housing Benefit

If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit. It can pay for all or part of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances.

If you rent from a private landlord, your Housing Benefit is called Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

Discretionary Housing Payment

If you already get Housing Benefit but still can't afford to pay your rent, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment.

A Discretionary Housing Payment can be made if you:

  • claim Housing Benefit but it doesn't cover all your rent
  • need help with removal costs
  • need help with a rent deposit

Money Talk Team

The Money Talk Team is a service that offers money advice to older people and families.

It helps explain how to make the most of your income and make sure you're not paying more than you need to for services like gas, electricity and internet.

It can help you find out:

  • what benefits you can get
  • how to save money on your bills
  • what other money you may be entitled to

You can chat to the Money Talk Team by calling 0800 085 7145, or by setting up a meeting to your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Further information

You can get advice if you're in rent arrears or having difficulty in paying your rent from: