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National Homeless Advice Service

Dealing with rent arrears and preventing eviction

Young people who have only recently left home may have limited money management skills and lack financial confidence. This may be exacerbated by low incomes and a reliance on benefits, with limited access to emergency funds for unexpected bills or changes in circumstances.

Difficulties in keeping up rent, council tax and utilities payments can lead to young people falling into arrears.

Young people should therefore be assisted to claim any relevant benefits and to access any additional available financial or other support.



Tenancy support

Young people may be able to access tenancy support to help avoid getting into debt, and to deal with other issues affecting their tenancy sustainment. For more information, see the section Young people and tenancy sustainment.

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Negotiating over rent arrears

It may be possible to come to an agreement with the landlord to gradually pay off any arrears. The amount agreed should be realistic for the young person to pay. It may be possible to arrange for a small amount to be deducted from benefits and paid directly to the landlord.

For more information, see Shelter Housing Advice - How to deal with rent arrears.

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Discretionary housing payments and local authority homeless prevention funds

Local authorities may be able to make discretionary payments to young people with rent arrears from their discretionary housing budget or from their homelessness prevention budget.

For more information, see Gov.uk - Discretionary Housing Payments.

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Eviction from a private tenancy

For more information on eviction, see Shelter’s Housing Advice pages.

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