Four ways to get help with rent as nearly half a million families are behind on payments

Half a million Britons already have to pay rent – but there are ways to help you pay your bills, according to new research.

More than 430,000 households have been saddled with debt due to non-payment of rent during the Covid crisis, according to new figures from the National Association of Landlords.

We explain how you can get help paying your rent if you're falling behind


We explain how you can get help paying your rent if you’re falling behindCredit: Getty – Contributor

The average amount of money households in trouble has also increased from £900 to £1,270 since May this year – a 41 per cent increase.

Nearly half (43%) of rent-paying families are claiming Universal Credit.

Among these difficult families, 59% said they are struggling to cover the costs due to down to £20 a week increments back in October.

The Government increased the payments to £80 a month at the start of the Covid pandemic, but this was cut back on 6 October.

Experts predict the cut will bring 100,000 people are at risk of losing their homes because they won’t be able to afford a roof over their heads due to being cut.

It comes after the end deportation protection was introduced during the pandemic in May, making families short of money to pay rent more vulnerable to eviction.

National Housing Rental Association chief executive Ben Beadle said the government should step in to prevent people from losing their homes.

“The NRLA is concerned that tenants with outstanding COVID-related rent debts are seeing these debts grow,” he said.

“While landlords have done all they can to support affected tenants, they simply cannot let this situation continue indefinitely.”

It’s not just rent, but families are falling behind when it comes to housing costs.

A Sun investigation uncovers Brits owes a whopping £87.2 million the value of council tax for the 2020/21 financial year.

This is up 35% from the £64.5 million recorded in the previous financial year.

How to get help with your rent

If you’re having trouble paying your landlord, there are ways to get help meeting your bills.

Here are four ways to ask for more money or support.

Cash from your council

You can apply to your local council for financial help in paying your rent after the government notices £65 million in funding for those in debt.

The assistance is intended to help low-income families avoid losing their home and get back on their way to paying.

Help is available during the winter months and you must apply for help through your local council, which you can find using website.

The government said any payments would likely be made directly to an existing homeowner or to a new homeowner if the money was used to assist a household in finding a new home.

Custom Housing Payments

If you’re on Universal Credit, you can apply for a Housing Discretionary Payment – which gives you extra money for housing costs like rent, security deposits and advances if you are moving house.

Each local government issues cash on a case-by-case basis – meaning the amount you receive will depend on your individual situation.

Councils have shelled out a whopping £171m in Discretionary Housing Payments for the financial year ending March 2021 – up 30% from the previous year at £132m.

Each council has its own application process – so you will need to ask your local authority for more information about the council program.

Welfare support programs

Many local councils have welfare programs in place that provide free cash, food stamps, furniture and more.

In some cases councils ask Britons for help with paying rent.

An investigation by the Sun revealed that the councils the distribution of grants has increased by 210% in some places.

Some councils, like the East Riding of Yorkshire, are giving out up to £1,000 in free cash to families to pay rent.

Again, what you can get will vary depending on who your local council is – in some cases the local government doesn’t even have a plan in place.

Contact your local council for more information.

Talk to your landlord

The first step you should take if you think you can’t pay your rent bill is to talk to your landlord.

They may be willing to charge you a lower rent while you do your own redundancy and operations.

You can also set up a reasonable repayment plan if you have been late in your payments.

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Bobby Allyn

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