Question

Jon,

I have a council flat which is now owned by a housing association and each April my rent and service charges increases. I know it will rise again next April and I am already struggling to pay what the rent and service charges are currently. What can I do? I do not want to fall into arrears and lose my home.

Any advice is helpful.

Lynda

Answer

Lynda,

I understand your concerns as our homes are our priority and most important thing after family in our lives.

I am on a committee for a local housing association and knowing and have learned what I have, this is my advice. And oddly enough, sometimes rents do not go up, and service charges reduce.

Contact your landlord, the housing association and speak to them. Unfortunately, in most instances their hands are tied as to what rents they charge, and service charges due to strict regulations, but some associations have ways to assist those struggling with their rents.

Housing associations or social landlords are there to help, not to stress residents out or evict them. That is the last and I mean the last thing they want to do.

The housing association may direct you to your local Council, to have your Council Tax reduced, which may help, and you also need to explore what benefits you may be eligible for.

We also may need to review your monthly expenses to see if there are any adjustments we can make.

Let’s begin with these, and we can take it from there. You will not lose your home.

Regards,

Jon

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