Probably the most common problem facing tenants is not having enough money to pay their rent. Sometimes this is due to a failure to claim the correct amount of benefit. Social Work Services, Glasgow Housing Association and other Registered Social Landlords work together with tenants to reduce rent arrears and prevent evictions.
If you are in private rented accommodation and need advice about benefits or advice on how you can reduce your rent arrears make an appointment at your local social work office.
If you have a number of other debts on top of the rent you owe you should consider contacting GAIN for expert advice.
Click here to find your nearest GAIN agency or call the GAIN Helpline on 0808 801 1011 Mon- Fri 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Calls are free from land-lines and some mobile numbers.
Many low-income households will qualify for some help through the housing benefit scheme. It is important that claims are made as soon as possible as benefit can only be backdated if there is a good reason for not claiming sooner.
Being unaware of entitlement to benefit will not be considered a good reason for not claiming earlier.
From April 2013 working age people renting a property from the Council or a Housing Association may find their housing benefit is reduced if they are deemed to have an extra bedroom. Click here for more information
Prior to 2004 housing benefit was only awarded for a fixed period and a renewal claim form were sent out each year. This is no longer the case and housing benefit will continue until there is a change in your circumstances.
Change in your circumstances:
If someone comes to live in your house, or a child becomes 18 years old you should notify the housing benefit office. It is important to notify changes as soon as possible as any delay may result in an overpayment of benefit that you will be expected to repay.
Other adults living in the house:
Where there are other adults, excluding your partner, living in the house there may be a reduction in the amount of housing benefit you qualify for. This is referred to as a non-dependent deduction.
Reviews and appeals:
If you are unhappy with a decision regarding your housing benefit you may be able to challenge the decision. For more information see our section on ‘How to appeal benefit decisions’.
If at any time you are threatened with eviction it is important to get advice as soon as possible.
If your landlord intends to evict you from your home they are required to advise you of their intention to raise eviction proceedings. The landlord will then have to obtain a decree from the Sheriff Court. Even after a decree has been granted it is sometimes possible to have the matter brought back into Court and the decision changed. It is advisable to get legal representation in Court.
If you receive income support or you are on a low-income you may be entitled to legal aid to employ a solicitor to act on your behalf.
Repairs and dampness:
All landlords are under a legal obligation to keep their properties wind and watertight. Many landlords will also wish to keep their property in good repair.
You should report any repairs or dampness to your landlord as soon as possible. Tenants of private landlords who have had their belongings damaged or health affected by dampness may be entitled to compensation but will need to take legal advice.
Tenants of housing associations may find that their landlords operate a scheme to compensate tenants for losses arising through dampness in their home.
If you are homeless or likely to become homeless then Glasgow City Council may be able to assist you to find accommodation. This assistance may take the form of simple advice, temporary accommodation or, in some cases, permanent accommodation.
If you have any questions about housing issues, a GAIN adviser can help you. Click here to find your nearest GAIN agency or call the GAIN Helpline on 0808 801 1011 Mon - Fri 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Calls are free from land-lines and most mobile numbers.
Please see Glasgow's Housing Options Guide for further information on Housing Advice and Information and Homelessness.