Facing up to money problems can be hard but it is important that you do not ignore rent arrears. If you ignore your rent arrears then you could lose your home. If you lose your home because of rent arrears then Barnet Homes may not be able to help you find somewhere new to live.

First steps

  • If you think you may owe your landlord money, it is important to find out how much your arrears are. Ask your landlord for a copy of your rent account, so you can see exactly how much money you owe.
  • Make a personal budget by listing all the money that you spend and all the money you have coming in each month. Work out where you can reduce your spending to help you pay money towards the rent and your arrears.
  • Check you are receiving all the support you are entitled to. If you claim housing benefit make sure that the payments are still being made. If your circumstances have changed let Housing Benefit know as you might be able to receive more help. If you do not get housing benefit check if you can claim using the .
  • Apply for a discretionary housing payment (DHP) if you’re entitled to housing benefit. The council will decide whether to award DHP and how long this award will last. Call 020 8359 2111 for more information.
  • Speak to all the people that you owe money to and let them know that you are having difficulties. They may be able to help you make a repayment plan. Make sure that you pay priority debts first. Rent and council tax are your most important monthly payments so you need to make sure you pay them before you pay your other debts.
  • If you can pay all the money you owe your landlord, do this as quickly as you can. Make sure you get a written receipt from your landlord.
  • If you cannot pay all the money you owe at once ask the landlord to make a repayment agreement with you. Make sure any agreement is written down and that you both sign it. Keep this for your records.

Contact us

Tenants in rent arrears can contact our Homelessness Prevention team for assistance. Call 020 8610 3539.

Seek advice

You can find more advice around rent arrears.

There are many organisations that can support you to reduce your rent arrears. They may also be able to help you to talk to your landlord – if you are worried about speaking to them about your rent arrears.


National charity which provides free and independent housing advice.


Tel: 0808 800 4444 (Calls are free from UK landlines and main mobile networks (Vodafone, O2, EE and Virgin Mobile)

Barnet Citizens Advice Bureau

Provides free and independent advice on a wide variety of issues, including problems with housing.


Tel: 0808 250 5708

Rainbow Money Advice

Free, confidential, impartial money advice service.


Tel: 07981 760 399 / 0208 441 9837

Step Change

National charity providing free debt counselling and debt management.

Tel: 0800 980 8270

National Debt Line

Free, independent, and confidential debt advice service run by the charity money advice trust.


Tel: 0808 808 4000

Christians Against Poverty

Offers debt advice and free money management courses to people of all faiths.


Tel: 01274 760720

Email: info@capuk.org