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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Rent arrears

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

When you’re in debt it’s not always easy to recognise that you have a problem and need to get help. Learning how to budget effectively is a good first step. The good news is that there are lots of charities and government funded agencies that can help you with this, so you should never have to pay for debt advice.

There are a few key steps you need to take to deal with your debts effectively. A charity that provides debt advice can often help you with this.

When you're in debt, you need to make sure you're making the best possible use of any money coming into your home. Check to see if you're entitled to any benefits or tax credits. You could ask for extra hours at work or rent out a room in your home to increase the amount of money your household has.

If you don't pay the rent your landlord can evict you. You may be able to keep your home if you act quickly. Get in contact with your landlord and don't just hope that the problem will disappear.

If you fall behind on your rent, the Housing Executive or housing association can take steps to end your tenancy and evict you. Your landlord will need to get a court order before you'll have to leave the property and this will always be a last resort. Your landlord should try to sort the situation out with you before it starts legal action.

You could lose your home if you don’t pay your rent. Your landlord, whether it’s the Housing Executive or a housing association will have to follow the proper procedure before this happens. Part of this procedure is to work with you to try to sort out the problem.

The Housing Executive or housing association can use different methods to get the money that you owe. If you're worried about the rent you owe, get help from a charity that provides money and debt advice.

The Housing Executive and housing associations should only evict tenants as a last resort. These landlords will usually only start legal action to evict if other ways of sorting out any problems have failed.

When a tenant is late with rent or hasn't paid, it can have a huge effect on your own finances. Contact your tenants as soon as possible to discuss any arrears, as there may be a valid reason for them.

The key aspect of budgeting is being honest and realistic, whether you’re listing your income or your outgoings. A financial statement, containing a listing of your income and expenditure, is a starting point for dealing with debt and making a sustainable repayment proposal.

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