Problems paying your rent

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Rent Arrears

As a tenant you are responsible for keeping your rent payments up to date. Rent arrears are a priority debt because the consequences of not paying are so serious. Falling behind can cause stress and anxiety and it can be difficult to catch up again. You could be liable for Court costs and ultimately you could lose your home.

What do I do if I fall behind with my rent?

If you can’t pay your rent, you should contact us as soon as possible. If we know there is a problem, we can often help you. If you delay it will often lead to the problem becoming more serious with more serious consequences. You should not ignore the arrears or any letters which we send you.

If you are unable to clear the arrears in full we will try to come to an agreement with you to pay off your arrears in regular intervals. If you have an agreement to pay the arrears it is important that you keep to this and do not miss any payments. If you are unable to make a payment for any reason you should contact us straight away using the contact details on this page.

Can I get help with my rent?

Yes. If you have a low income, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. You can find out if you qualify by using our Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction calculator (opens in new window).   Please visit our Universal Credit page for further information and advice about Universal Credit.

What should I do if I am waiting for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to be paid?

If you are waiting for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to be paid, you should tell us. We will not usually take legal action against you if we know you are waiting for a claim to be sorted out. It is important that you respond to all requests for information as quickly as possible. The sooner all the information is supplied the sooner your claim for housing benefit will be processed and payments made onto your account.

I am receiving Housing Benefit/Universal Credit but my circumstances have changed, what should I do?

We need to know as soon as possible about any changes in your circumstances.

Housing Benefit: You can notify us of a change in circumstances online or by calling us on 01473 432701. If you are not sure whether to tell us something or not, please ask. It is important that we know any changes immediately as any delay in telling us could seriously affect the amount of help you receive.
Universal Credit: You can report changes in your circumstances by using your Universal Credit online account or by calling the helpline Telephone: 0345 600 0723 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

What other help is available?

You can get independent advice and help various organisations. Please visit our Debt page for further information.

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council,
Housing Services,
3E Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432000