Published on May 4th, 2016 | by FinanceLoophole0
Can’t Pay My Rent | Find Out What To Do
We are seeing an increasing number of referrals of people coming to us saying “I can’t pay my rent”. It’s a double whammy for renters as rents are becoming increasingly expensive and un-affordable and high property prices make it difficult or impossible to get onto the property ladder. So how to get out of rent debt? Read on …
We all feel the pressure on our pay packets at the end of the month resulting from increasing prices in the shops, garage forecourt and utility bills. Increasing prices hit us all hard but people who are renting where they live are being particularly badly hit.
What to do if you can’t pay your rent
The first thing you need to do is not ignore it – don’t bury your head in the sand because you are falling into rent arrears – speak to your landlord and let them know there is a problem. Let them know what the problem is and what you are going to do to address the problem. The longer it goes without doing anything about it the bigger will be the issue and the larger the debt you have is likely to be.
It can be difficult to admit to yourself that you will not be able to pay your rent at the end of the month, but ignoring it won’t make it go away and you should take action quickly to resolve the issue.
First check that the amount you owe is correct. It seems obvious but you would be surprised how many people we have spoken to who are trying to pay more arrears than they actually owe.
If you are unable to pay your rent regularly and you do not get housing benefit already – you should look to see if you can get housing benefit. You may be able to get housing benefit if you are on a low income or in receipt of some benefits already.
If you are regularly falling behind with your rent and tried just about everything you to little or no benefit you may want to consider using a debt management company to help you manage your debts more effectively. We have had good feedback from our site users about this company who will be able to help you if you qualify for their help – check them out and let us know how you get on.
Budget for rent arrears
If you are in arrears with your rent and are finding it difficult to make ends meet then you should look at what you are spending. By analysing what you are spending daily you will be able to see where all of your money is going. In this way you should be able to identify areas where you can save some money to help you pay your rent bills.
- Use a budget planner to work out the gap between your monthly income and your outgoings.
- Then look at ways you can cut back your spending or boost your monthly income to close the gap
Savings you could make – If you buy your lunch every day at work try making your own sandwiches. Limit yourself to going out as little as once a week should save a lot of money. You could switch your phone to a cheaper tariff or don’t go for the top tier phone next time you renew your contract – see more info if you cant pay your mobile phone bills. See if you could switch any credit card debt onto a 0% interest card. Check to make sure you are on the cheapest tariffs for your utilities.
Can I pay my rent with a credit card
Yes you can. It is not recommended that you do this regularly as it is just putting off the inevitable payment to another day. The best way to do this is to withdraw the cash and pay that directly to your landlord. If you do this regularly your credit card provider may well identify this as financial stress and alter your credit ratting accordingly. It is advisable that you do not do this regularly or it will affect many other services (like credit) that you receive. Using credit cards is not a long term solution to get out of rent debt.
We have provided some useful information if you can’t pay credit card bills – see the link on the right.
Can I pay my rent with a payday loan?
1 in 50 people with rent arrears have even turned to payday loan companies to pay their rent – according to figures released by the housing charity Shelter. While this may fill the shortfall in your finances it is definitely a bad idea unless you are sure that your income will shortly increase or you will be benefiting from a windfall cash injection into your personal finances. It is likely that if you use a payday loan to pay your rent it will just make your situation worse if you can’t afford to pay it back on time. It is also very likely to affect your ability to get any credit in the future until you rebuild your credit rating.
If you have problems paying a payday loan we have produced some information you will find useful – how to get out of payday loan debt.
What happens if I can’t pay my rent
If you don’t pay your rent on time you could become homeless as your landlord is more than likely to evict you if you do not pay your rent regularly. Not only could you be evicted, but you may find it more difficult to get another place to rent if your credit rating is damaged and you can only get a bad reference from your previous landlord.
Depending on your personal situation and where you live you may not be able to rely on the council to rehouse you following an eviction. Your local authority may even consider you to have made yourself intentionally homeless and will not even consider you for rehousing.
For these reasons it is always better to pay your rent on time and if you fall into arrears pay it off as quickly as possible with the agreement of your landlord.
Complaining because you can’t pay your rent
If you think you have been treated badly by your landlord or cannot pay your rent because you think it someone else’s fault you may be able to make a complaint.
The first thing to do if you have a complaint about your landlord is to go to them and raise your concerns with them (preferably in writing) they may have a complaints procedure you need to follow. This will give them a chance to put right any complaints you have about your rent. Include the following details :-
- that you are complaining
- what the complaint is about
- what you would like done about the problem you have got
It could take them a few weeks to respond to your complaint so you need to be patient.
You may also have to complain to a letting agent- again the procedure will be similar – address your concerns to them.
A letting agent redress schemes provide a free and independent service to resolve disputes arrising between a letting agent and tenants.
All letting agents are required to be a member of one of the three letting agent redresss schemes. And both landlords and tenants are allowed to use the schemes. Any decision made by the redress scheme will be binding on all parties involved in the complaint – though you may have a chance to appeal if the ruling does not go your way.
What else can you do if you cannot pay your rent
If you have done everything else and you still cannot afford your rent each month it could be time to look for a cheaper place to live.
There are cheaper alternatives than renting out there if you look carefully for them. There are a number of possible options for finding cheaper accommodation. Some of these options could be seen as a little alternative but are growing in popularity as rent keep increasing every year.
- Apply for council accommodation – there are a lot of good quality properties available form local authorities https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-council-housing
- Become a property guardian could get you a room as cheaply as £35 a week including bills, but if you search hard you may find ones that are cheaper (peppercorn rents). I have heard stories of people renting National Trust properties under temporary agreements from as little as £1 a month. You could try to find a suitable guardianship property from http://www.global-guardians.co.uk/ but there are others available.
- Speak to a housing charity – if you are really in a sticky position do not forget there are housing charities to go to for advice – http://www.shelter.org.uk/ is the obvious one but there may be local housing charities that you could go to who would be able to help you with advice if you loose your accommodation because you can’t pay your rent.