26 March 2024

When a private tenancy runs into trouble and the spectre of eviction looms, the team of dedicated advisors at Let’s Talk Renting will pull out all the stops to prevent people from losing their homes.

The Homelessness Partnership BCP service, operated by Citizens Advice BCP, recently came to the rescue of a client who was at risk of homelessness after his rent arrears hit a total of £1,700.

The client, a foreign national who lived in a house of multiple occupation (HMO), ran into financial difficulty after reaching pension age, which saw his Universal Credit stopped. He was referred to Let’s Talk Renting by his landlord, who is providing affordable accommodation for single people in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth.

Preventing eviction
Although the landlord didn’t want to evict his tenant – a costly procedure for property owners – it appeared inevitable due to the level of rent arrears that the tenant owed.

However, because the landlord had found out about Let’s Talk Renting through word of mouth, from a person who had previously been supported, work could begin to support the tenant to remain in his home – and ensure that his landlord wouldn’t be left out of pocket.

After being contacted for an appointment with Let’s Talk Renting, the team discovered that the usual support through the Homelessness Prevention Fund, or discretionary housing payments, had not been available to the client, because his Universal Credit was no longer in place.

Getting finances in order
To support the tenant to get his finances back on track, work was carried out to maximise his income, with advisors focusing on his pension, pension credit and housing benefit applications – all of which were successful, with back payments granted, too.

As a result of swift intervention by Let’s Talk Renting, the tenant was able to repay his rent arrears and remain in his home. The tenant saw his income increase by £1,250 per month and a back payment of £2,300 was achieved. With benefits in place and the anxiety of debt removed, the outcome also led to a notable improvement in the tenant’s quality of life.

Having witnessed the level of assistance that can be provided to tenants and landlords, the landlord has subsequently supported two more clients, who were referred to Let’s Talk Renting to receive advice that’s helping them to cope during these difficult economic times.