Try to work out a budget before you move out and get your first place. Plan how to pay for your rent including one month's rent in advance and a deposit.
Housing benefit for young people
You may be able to claim universal credit to help you pay for some or all of your housing costs if you are:
- an unemployed young person
- on a low income
- in limited circumstances, a student
A single-room rate for most young people claiming housing benefit applies until you reach the age of 35. There are exceptions for young people with disabilities and care leavers.
The single-room rate means you are only entitled to housing benefit for renting a single room in a shared house, even if you live in self-contained accommodation. Limits apply on the amount that can be claimed.
Other help with housing costs
You may be able to get a budgeting loan for household essentials if either you or your partner has been on income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance for at least 26 weeks.
Your local council may have a rent deposit or bond guarantee scheme to help with the tenancy deposit for your new home.
Try to pay your rent on time. If you fall behind, your landlord could take steps to evict you and can ask for a court order to make you pay back what you owe.
If you do get into rent arrears, it may be possible to sort things out. The sooner you take action the better. You may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your landlord so you can pay off the arrears gradually.
Even if your landlord takes you to court, you won't necessarily be evicted for rent arrears.
The situation is likely to get worse if you do nothing and you might end up having to pay court costs as well as the money you owe.
Your landlord may be guilty of harassment or illegal eviction if they try to evict you from your home without following the correct procedure or try to force you out by making life difficult for you.
Free help and advice
Speak to a housing or debt adviser in your area.
An adviser may be able to:
- help you work out how you can reduce the arrears
- represent you in court, or put you in touch with a solicitor who can help you in court
- help you deal with the housing benefit department, if problems there have caused your arrears
- check exactly how much you owe. This is very important if you're facing eviction as some tenants can only be evicted for large arrears
- help if you're homelessness
Last updated 21 Oct 2014 | © Shelter
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