The Importance of Paying Your Rent.
‘It is not in the public interest to release the analysis undertaken on the potential impact on poverty of withdrawing £20 uplift to universal credit and working tax credit’. These were the headlines from the DWP that we at Citizens Advice East Devon have been talking about over this last few days.
We know that this is going to have a massive impact on the finances of the people that we help. We know that the majority of these are hard working people, often on minimum wage, the ones who have proved their worth over the past few months. Our shop workers, cleaners, people who keep us safe.
The £20 uplift has made a huge difference, and without a doubt, difficult decisions will be made as to where this money is going to be saved. If you are concerned, please come and see us. We can help you but only if you come to us early enough to enable us to do something. There is nothing sadder or more frustrating for us when people who we could have helped, come too late for us to do anything.
So, in the offer of providing some advice.
PLEASE, pay your rent.
Section 21’s can be issued again soon with a return to the shorter notice periods. Your landlord can also raise other notices if you are in arrears. We can look at these notices and check that they are being issued correctly, but essentially this will only be a delaying tactic. Eventually if a Section 21 has been issued, chances are there will be an eviction. Facing eviction is stressful enough but if you have rent arrears as well then it becomes very grim indeed.
The council have laws that they must follow in deciding what help they can support you with. One of them is making yourself intentionally homeless. One of the ways the council can decide this is if you have not been paying your rent without good reason. The council is under no obligation to help you. From what we have heard from other Citizens Advices around the country, East Devon Council (in particular the housing officers) are very fair. There are so many people who are facing homelessness who need help, so they will be looking very closely at who they can help.
You may not be able to register on Devon Home Choice if you have rent arrears above a certain level. This means finding private accommodation with: rent arrears, poor credit, reliant on benefits, all the more challenging. Not to mention the rapidly rising rent and that there are not enough properties to go around. Estate agents say for every property there are 9- 10 people looking so landlords have the pick of tenants.
So please, pay the rent (even if it is part rent). Get a rent book, get the landlord to sign for it for evidence that you have paid. If you know you are not going to make the rent, talk to the council, the housing association, your landlord. Talk to us. We could look for discretionary/charitable payments, check you’re getting the right benefits and provide you with food support. We have plenty of school uniforms and stationary to support your children as well. The earliest you come to us, generally the more we can do to help and the better the outcome.
♥ We Care Because You Matter ♥