What if you can't pay your rent?

As a tenant, you have a legal obligation to pay rent. Paying your rent is the most important part of a tenancy agreement. The rent you pay to BCHA goes towards paying for the services that we provide to you.

If you miss payments, then you will owe us money and your account will be in arrears. We offer advice and support to our customers who are having difficulty paying their rent.

Are you having difficulty paying your rent?

If you are having trouble paying you rent, you should seek advice as soon as possible. The first thing you need to do is contact your Housing Officer, who will work with you to identify why you are unable to pay your rent, and try to help you sort the problem.

If it is a temporary problem which is preventing you from paying your rent, for example, your Child Tax Credit has been delayed, then we can work with you to set up an agreement, establishing when and how you will pay your rent.

However, if there has been a significant change to your circumstances, for instance, if you have lost your job, our Housing Officer will advise you of your next steps, and how you can prevent your rent arrears from increasing. One way for us to help you will be to work through an Income & Expenditure Form, this will show you exactly what money you have left over each month to go towards debts. It will also help us to ensure that any agreements that you make to clear your rent arrears are affordable. As long as you continue to maintain these payments, we will not need to make any further contact.

If you would prefer to discuss your finances with an independent service, then please let your Housing Officer know, who will be able to provide you with some contact details. 

What happens if you don’t pay?

We do not recommend that you ignore your rent arrears – it is always best to speak to someone to help you get back in control of your finances.

Having spoken to your Housing Officer, if you are still struggling with your finances, then your Housing Officer will refer you to our Financial Inclusion Officer for further help and advice.

Our Financial Inclusion Officer will be able to offer you advice on ways to manage your money, and if you’re in arrears they will be able to help you find a way to pay these off.

The advice we can offer, includes:

  • Telling you about housing benefit and any other benefits that you may be entitled to
  • Advising you about how to manage any debts you may have
  • Putting you in touch with an independent advice agency and a debt advice agency if we think they might be able to help you

Click here to read about what will happen if your account is in arrears, what process we will follow to reclaim your arrears, and the effects on you of having rent arrears.

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