Bedrooms and under occupancy

What if I don't pay my rent?

If you don't pay your rent, the money you owe your landlord will be called a 'rent arrear'. The consequences of not paying your rent arrears are serious and there is a risk you could be evicted from your home.

Your landlord will usually have the right to seek a court order to evict you for not paying your rent (rent arrears). In certain circumstances your landlord may be able to evict you without the need to obtain a court order first.

The rules about when and how a landlord may evict you for rent arrears differ according to the type of tenancy agreement you have.

The type of tenancy agreement you have will depend partly on who your landlord is. If you are unsure of what type of tenancy you have you should check your tenancy agreement. Find out more about tenancy and eviction.

How to deal with rent arrears

If you can't pay your rent, or have missed rent payments, or if you're worried your payments are not being made, sort things out as soon as you can. Even if you have other debts, make sure you prioritise rent arrears.

Things to do to help you get back on track:

  • make a list of all your debts and put them in order of priority.
  • write down all your income and expenses – then see how much you've got to pay your debts.
  • work out how much you can afford to pay to each creditor (a person or organisation you owe money to).
  • consider seeking advice from a debt advice agency such as National Debtline.
  • most importantly, talk to your landlord – try to reach an agreement about paying off the arrears, but don't agree to pay more than you can afford.
  • Remember that once your rent is being paid in full again, the arrears that have built up will still have to be paid off.
  • One way to do this is through an agreed debt management plan.
  • There are lots more handy hints and tips about how to tackle debt on our sister website