How do I pay rent if my income has fallen?

I've lost work and am worried about being able to pay my rent


If you are facing a loss of income you may be able to apply for Universal Credit, which includes support with rent.  

If you cannot afford to cover your rent, your council may be able to help on the basis that it is not reasonable for you continue to occupy your current accommodation.

If you have lost work, or are on a low income, you can claim Universal Credit:

  • Universal Credit contains a housing element (local housing allowance) to cover the full rent for the cheapest 30% of rented homes in a local area (as of March 2020). For many renters this is not enough and it may be possible to request a Discretionary Housing Payment through your council.
  • To check what you're able to claim, visit a free benefit calculator, such as entitledto. In October 2021, eligibility for Universal Credit was widened so you may be entitled to claim even if you were not before.
  • Universal Credit is currently paid monthly, in arrears. That means you could have to wait up to 5 weeks before receiving a payment. It's important that you communicate with your landlord if you are struggling to pay your rent. We have outlined our advice below.
  • If you can't wait for your first payment, you can apply for a month's advance up front, which you will have to pay back over a period of 12 months.
  • Read more about Universal Credit


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