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Housing arrears and evictions

What can I do about my rent arrears?

If you are struggling to pay your rent or are at risk of losing your home because you owe your landlord rent, you need to take action. It is always a good idea to tell your landlord if you are having trouble paying the rent. Your landlord will notice that you haven't paid and is more likely to take action if you ignore the problem. Telling your landlord and offering a practical solution may prevent her/him from trying to evict you, as it shows that you are making an effort to deal with the situation.

Negotiating payments of rent arrears

It may be possible to come to an agreement with your landlord to pay a certain amount each week or month off the arrears you have built up. If you decide to do this, then make sure you agree on an amount you can realistically afford. It is better to make small regular payments than to miss payments because you can't afford it that week/month. Whatever you agree with your landlord, get it confirmed in writing or make a note of the date and time of the conversation for your records.

For further advice on your rent arrears:

See contact details and suggested websites and web pages.

Where can I find advice about mortgage arrears and repossession?

If you're struggling to pay, you need to act quickly, even if the problem is only temporary. Mortgage arrears don't automatically lead to repossession but must be taken very seriously.

For further advice on mortgage arrears:

Preventing eviction

If you are threatened will homelessness you should contact Eden Housing Association's Homeless Prevention Officer on 01768 861421. For further information see homelessness on Eden Housing Association's website.

Eden Housing Association as part of their homeless service offers advice on housing options, waiting list procedures, provide assistance with obtaining alternative accommodation and if possible negotiate with landlords to enable you to remain in the property.

Contact details for Eden Housing Association:

  • Telephone: Housing Advice Officer on 01768 861428
  • Emergency hours service on 0800 3581401
  • Switchboard 01768 861400
  • Address: Eden Housing Association, Blain House, Bridge Lane, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 8QU

Further advice on preventing eviction

See how to prevent evictions on Shelter's website.

Legal advice and representation in court

Keeping up with rent or mortgage payments should be your top financial priority. If you are having problems paying your rent or mortgage you should discuss the situation with your landlord or mortgage lender. The sooner you deal with the situation, the more options you will have and the less chance that you will lose your home.

If you are facing threat of eviction you can contact:

  • Eden Housing Association - telephone 0800 1833 948, their housing options service offers free advice and assistance, or

  • Cumbria Law Centre - telephone 01228 515129, who offer free legal housing and advice service at Eden Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) office in Penrith on Wednesdays. If you would like to use this service please make an appointment with a member of the Eden's CAB staff - telephone 01768 891 503.


Unlawful eviction is when your landlord or someone acting for them forces you to leave your home without following the proper legal procedures.

Unless you are sharing part of your accommodation with your landlord (for example: sharing a bathroom, kitchen or living room), you can only be forced to leave your home by the County Court Bailiffs. For this to happen, your landlord must serve a proper written notice telling you that your tenancy is being ended, and then must apply to the County Court for a Possession Order requiring you to leave. Only the bailiffs can enforce the Possession Order and force you to leave, this cannot be done by your landlord.

For further general advice see eviction on Shelter's website.

Housing Association evictions

Housing association tenants can only be evicted in certain circumstances, such as breaking one of the terms in their tenancy agreement. If this happens, the housing association should give you notice. The amount of notice you get depends on why you are being evicted and the kind of tenancy you have.

For further advice see eviction of housing association tenants on Shelter's website.

Private tenant evictions

Private landlords usually have to follow special legal procedures in order to evict tenants. They sometimes need a particular legal reason to evict tenants but in many cases they don't. Whether your landlord can evict you and how depends on the type of tenancy you have.

For further advice see eviction of private tenants on Shelter's website.

Gypsies and Travellers evictions

Gypsies and Travellers can be evicted from land where they have stopped, by the police or by us, even if it is land they own.

For further advice see Gypsies and Travellers information on Shelter's website.