1 April 2023

With the cost-of-living crisis showing little sign of easing, life is challenging at present for many people with a private tenancy across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet as bills rise and are at risk of running into arrears or losing your privately rented home, you’re not alone.

The Homelessness Partnership BCP recognises that many people who have coped in the past are now experiencing anxiety as the unprecedented rise in household bills makes it more difficult to pay the rent on time each month.

We have experts on hand to offer advice and support to private renters who are only just scraping by, have fallen into rent arrears, received notice or are facing homelessness due to an imminent eviction.

There are, however, steps that anyone who is renting privately can take to safeguard their tenancy. Here, we outline the four pillars of maintaining a private tenancy:

1 Don’t delay – act today

When financial worries become overwhelming and the risk of losing your home is all too real, it’s a natural reaction to put problems to one side until another day.

In fact, accepting there is a problem and asking for support without delay can hold the key to finding an outcome that works for both tenants and landlords.

By asking for support promptly, help can be more effective – and knowing that people are standing by to provide support can reduce worries about the future.

It’s important to point out, however, that there isn’t a cut-off point. If you’ve already been served notice or are facing eviction, please get in touch immediately. It is never too late to ask for advice and services will do everything they can to find a successful resolution.

2 You’re stronger with support

People renting privately often mistakenly believe that they’re on their own if a tenancy runs into trouble. In fact, there are a host of support services and organisations in the BCP area that can offer free, unbiased advice.

Services supporting the Let’s Talk Renting campaign recognise that swift action is the best remedy for resolving financial challenges that arise with privately rented accommodation.

No-one will be judged, regardless of whether their problems are big or small. Please get in touch promptly to minimise any risk to your tenancy.

3 Know your rights

Few of us take time to pour over the small print of a tenancy and legal jargon contained within contracts can appear bewildering.

By asking for help from the experts at Let’s Talk Renting, you could discover a wealth of facts about your legal rights as a tenant – as well as the rights of your landlord – that can make the process of securing an at-risk tenancy less stressful.

Private tenants who do not understand their tenancy contract or have been threatened with eviction should contact Let’s Talk Renting as a priority.

4 Know your responsibilities

It goes without saying that landlords value good tenants. The process of serving notice and re-letting a property can be costly, so landlords will usually be keen to keep responsible tenants in their home and work together to resolve any difficulties.

A proven track record of paying rent on time, looking after the property, reporting any issues promptly and treating neighbours with respect will stand tenants on solid ground when it comes to negotiations to secure an at-risk tenancy – as will seeking help straight away if a tenant is likely to be late with payments.