Help on Housing

 

 

Deal with problems as soon as possible,
so they don’t escalate further!

 

 
Where to find help and advice on common housing issues:
 

Tenancy Agreements & Charges

Scams, Fraud & Purchase Problems

Dealing with your Landlord/Letting Agent

Shared Accommodation

Financial Assistance

General – Useful Sources

 
 
 

Tenancy Agreements & Charges

 
Never pay or sign anything you’re unsure about!scrutinising-teal-white-backgd

Ask someone who is knowledgeable about housing matters or seek legal advice; landlord and tenant law is a specialist area, so consult a solicitor who has relevant experience.
 
 

Free help & advice

Local Advice Services Directory
Search by postcode for face-to-face advice services
Includes local Shelter, Citizens Advice, council services, law centres & other agencies

 

Shelter – Housing advice helpline:
0808 800 4444

 

Contact Citizens Advice
Webchat, phone & local offices

 

Law Centres Directory
Law centres offer free legal advice to people in their community who cannot afford a lawyer; they usually have solicitors with experience in housing matters 

 
 

Online guides

Renting Agreements – Shelter
Understanding your rental agreement, including what to check for, unfair terms etc.

 

Tenancy Agreements – Citizens Advice
Renting guides covering England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales

 

How to Rent (England) – GOV.UK
Before renting, living in a rented home, the end of a tenancy, solving problems

 
 
 

Scams, Fraud & Purchase Problems

 

If you have been the victim of a scam

If you have been conned out of money, or threatened, contact Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and crime reporting centre:

Report fraud online

Speak to an adviser:
0300 123 20 40

 

How to get Your Money Back After a Scam – Which

 
If you have complained to your bank or other financial institution but you’re still not happy with the outcome,
contact the Financial Ombudsman Service
 
 

If you suspect a scam

Inform one of the following organisations, who can investigate it further and help prevent other people from becoming victims:
 
Citizens Advice

Report a problem online

Citizen’s Advice consumer helpline:
03454 04 05 06

The consumer helpline will assess the problem and may report it to Trading Standards

 
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – for scams relating to financial services

FCA – Report a problem online

FCA helpline:  0800 111 6768

 
 

Problems with purchases

Shopping pig - teal - wh bkgrd
Help and advice on issues relating to buying goods and services:

  • If you think a company has acted illegally, unfairly, or provided a poor service
  • Cancelling a contract or switching suppliers

Citizens Advice consumer service

Citizens Advice consumer helpline:
03454 04 05 06

 
Protection for consumers to ensure a fair deal from financial institutions and advisers:

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Find out about your rights & complain about unfair contracts, misleading ads etc. 

FCA helpline:  0800 111 6768

 
 
 

Dealing with your Landlord or Letting Agent

 
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Try talking through problems before you take any other action.

 

Factsheets on resolving specific issues

Advice on helping you to report a problem in the appropriate way, and to assist the landlord in resolving it e.g. fees and charges, property condition etc.

Resolve a Complaint: Factsheets – Housing Ombudsman Service

 
 

If your landlord/agent is registered with a professional body

If a problem remains unresolved, contact the relevant association and follow their complaints procedure:

 

Private landlord associations

The National Landlords Association (NLA)

NLA – Complaints

 

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA)

RLA – Complaints

 
 

Letting agent associations

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)

ARLA – Complaints

 

The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS)

NALS – Complaints

 

The UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA)

UKALA – Complaints

 

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)

NFoPP Regulation

 
 

Ombudsman services

An independent ombudsman service can help resolve disputes between the tenants and landlord/letting agent, without needing to go to court.
 
 

Ombudsman for resolving disputes with landlords

Private landlords should have a complaints procedure, but if this fails to achieve an acceptable outcome, the Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS) can help with problems concerning its members.

 

Housing Ombudsman – Complaints
A helpful guide to how the complaints system works

Call if you have a query or want to check something before making a complaint:
0300 111 3000

 
 

Letting agent redress schemes

If your letting agent or property manager fails to sort out a complaint, you can take it to a free, independent redress scheme, which helps to resolve disputes.  Letting agents have to belong to one of these Government-approved services, so contact the relevant scheme:

Ombudsman Services – Property

Ombudsman Services – Property Complaints

 

Property Redress Scheme

Property Redress Scheme – Making a complaint

 

The Property Ombudsman (TPOS)

TPOS – How to make a complaint

 
 

If your landlord/agency is NOT registered

Get help and advice from one of the following organisations:
 

Local Advice Services Directory
Face-to-face advisers
Search by postcode – includes local Shelter, Citizens Advice, council services, law centres & other agencies

 

Shelter

Housing advice helpline:
0808 800 4444

Complaints about Private Landlords – Shelter

Complaints about Letting Agents – Shelter

 

Private Renting Complaints – GOV.UK

 
 
 

Problems with Shared Accommodation

 
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Joint Tenancies – Shelter
Rights, responsibilities & sorting out problems

 

Problems in Shared Accommodation – Citizens Advice
How to deal with housemates & money issues (rent, bills & deposit)

 

House In Multiple Occupation (HMO) – Citizen’s Advice

 
 
 

Financial Assistance

 

If you are unemployed or on a low income

You may be eligible for benefits to help with rent, council tax and utilities bills etc.
Check if the landlord/letting agent accepts housing benefit.
 

Housing Benefit – GOV.UK

Housing Benefit – Shelter

 

Council Tax Reduction

 

Benefits for People Looking for Work – Citizens Advice

Benefits for People on a Low Income – Citizens Advice

 
 
Financial Support - wh bkgrd-cropped

Rent arrears & debt problems

If your circumstances change e.g. you lose your job or are struggling with payments, it’s important to tackle the problem ASAP and not let rent arrears & bills pile up.  Talk to your landlord or agent to see if you can come to some arrangement with payments – they’re more likely to be helpful if you tackle the issue early on.
 
Help with rent arrears:

Citizens Advice

Shelter

 
Help with debt problems:

Talk to your bank or a free debt advice service
 
 

Money-saving tips

Buying, Renting & Moving – The Money Advice Service
The Money Advice Service offers free, impartial advice on all sorts of money matters
Online guides, webchat or phone

Money Advice Line:
0800 138 7777

 

Money-saving tips

 
 

General – Useful Sources 

 
Town house - yellow - wh bkgrd cropped

Shelter

The main UK housing charity, which offers advice, support and legal services.
Very helpful for tenants and a great starting point for house matters.

Housing advice helpline:
0808 800 4444

Private Renting – Shelter
Online guides to tenancy agreements, rental costs, letting agents, solving problems etc.

 
 

Citizens Advice

UK legal charity offering free impartial advice concerning people’s rights and responsibilities.
Good reputation for advice on debt & benefits.

Renting a home – Citizens Advice
Online info: tenancy agreements, deposits, common problems, rent arrears etc.
See drop down menu for content relevant to England/Wales/Scotland/N. Ireland

Contact Citizens Advice
Webchat, phone & local offices

 

Citizens Advice consumer service
Advice on issues relating to buying goods & services

Consumer helpline:
03454 04 05 06

 
 

Law Centres

Law centres offer free legal advice to people in their community who cannot afford a lawyer; they usually have solicitors with experience in housing matters

Law Centres Directory

 
 

Face-to-face advisers

Local Advice Services Directory
Search by postcode – includes local Shelter, Citizens Advice, council services, law centres & other agencies
 
 

Other online guides, blogs & forums

How to Rent (England) – GOV.UK
Useful checklist covering the rental process: Before renting, living in a rented home, the end of a tenancy, solving problems
 
The Tenants’ Voice
Tenants’ forum, FAQs, plus advice on tenancy & moving  
 
50+ Renting Tips – Money Saving Expert
Rental rights, energy tips, letting fees & more
 
Money Saving Expert Forums – House Buying, Renting & Selling
 
Get Safe Online
Advice on safe property rental, online payments, transferring money etc.
 
The Landlord Law Blog
Tips for tenants
 
 
 

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