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The vicious circle - housing

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Social housing tenants can end up struggling with their finances for many reasons, from getting into debt or seeing their benefits cut.

A major challenge faced by low-income tenants is managing money effectively to keep on top of monthly financial commitments. With fluctuating incomes, zero-hours contracts and the bedroom tax, juggling bills and debts can be difficult for many.

Welfare reform and mounting cuts have made it more difficult for the social housing sector to help tenants in financial crisis, which often results in the risk of a tenant losing their home, faced with escalating arrears.

If evicted, due to rent arrears, an average tenant is unlikely to be eligible for assistance from their local authority if they present as homeless. After considering an application from such an applicant, a local authority typically decides that the applicant is intentionally homeless, having failed to pay their rent, resulting in their earlier eviction. In such circumstances, the applicant is frequently left without accommodation; and left to struggle in finding a new home.

Social housing becomes more difficult to obtain, partly due to the increasing numbers of people in need of assistance and the decreasing numbers of suitable properties, but also due to having prior arrears history.

Private housing is also difficult to obtain. Private landlords are charging higher rents than ever before. They want a month’s rent in advance and a month’s rent as a deposit. Private landlords also run credit checks, and charge the prospective tenant for that, before ‘accepting them’. Given the arrears history, a prospective tenant in such circumstances is unlikely to pass such checks.

More and more people are sleeping rough, and it seems that we, as a society, are able to do less and less about it.

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness our expert housing law team can assist you. You may be eligible for legal aid to help pay your solicitors costs.

If your landlord has sent you a notice seeking possession or started a claim for possession of your property against you at the County Court, it’s not too late to prevent the loss of your home. Contact our specialist housing law team for assistance. legal aid may be available to you to pay your legal fees.

The system is setting people up to fail, despite those within the system being the very people the system should be designed to assist the most. This is housing’s vicious circle.

Fortunately for those that seek it, help is still at hand.