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30. I'm being evicted because of my rent arrears. What can I do?

If you are getting behind with your rent, it's important to act quickly to avoid the risk of being evicted.

However, you cannot be evicted from your home until:

  • firstly, your landlord has obtained a court order to repossess the property; and
  • secondly, the court has issued a court bailiff with a warrant to evict you.

Your first step should be to check your rent book, payment statement and receipts to make sure that your landlord is asking for the correct amount in arrears.

You should then discuss the rent arrears with your landlord, and try to come to an agreement about repayment with them. If you cannot pay the full amount you should try to pay some of the rent arrears back regularly.

If you get housing benefit, the rent arrears may have arisen through a delay in the processing of payments. You should check any correspondence from your local council carefully, and speak to their Benefits Department to check your entitlement to housing benefit.

If you are still unable to pay your rent arrears and think you will be evicted, you have the right to make a homeless application to your local council.

If you need help dealing with your rent arrears, or any other aspect of housing, we recommend that you speak to one of our housing advisers on 08001 225 6653 for specialist advice. Telephone specialist advice is only available if you qualify for legal aid.