Debt help and advice
We want to make sure that you get the help and support available to you during the current cost of living crisis. With this in mind, we've listed organisations, benefits, grants and sources of advice or support that can help if you have any worries.
If you get behind with your rent payments you need to contact us as soon as possible. If you do this we can offer you early help and advice that can prevent you being taken to court.
Don't ignore your financial problems. They won't go away and will only get worse if you don't dealt with them. The good news is... support is available.
Most people borrow money from time to time, but the less income you have the more difficult it is to repay. If you're juggling multiple debts, you could choose to pay the most immediate debt without thinking about the consequences of not paying other more important debts.
Priority and non priority debts
You may hear rent and service charges described as a ‘priority debt’. This is because, if you don't pay, you'll end up losing your home. Credit card companies, banks and other lenders can only get County Court Judgements (CCJ) against you. We can do this and also take your home!
We also have powers to imprison people who do not pay their Council Tax, so this too is considered a priority debt. Bank loans, credit cards, hire purchase agreements and catalogue debts are considered non priority debts.
What to do if you're falling behind with your rent or service charges
- discuss whether you're entitled to benefits
- help you with claims
- refer you to a money advisor if you think that might help
- discuss the best way for you to pay your rent or service charge
- make an agreement for you to pay the arrears in instalments
If you're receiving care and support from adult social care, you could also talk to your social worker. The charity Penrose offers housing related support to vulnerable adults if you need some help with any of the following:
- understanding the information about your arrears
- how to pay your rent
- if you'd like to speak to someone independent
You can get in touch with them on 01582 343230 or by email: [email protected].
Legal action for rent arrears
If you continue to owe rent, we'll serve a notice warning of legal action. If the arrears persist we can take you to court and ask the court to evict you. We'll also ask for a CCJ which will affect your credit rating.
Legal action for service charge arrears
If you don't pay your service charge we can take action against you. If you still don't pay us, we can apply for a Forfeiture Order to repossess your home.
Other agencies that can help if you’re in debt
Citizens Advice Luton
Community House, 15 New Bedford Road, Luton, LU1 1SA
Adviceline: 0808 278 7847
StepChange Debt Charity
Tel: 0800 138 111
Tel: 0808 808 4000
Tel: 0808 802 2000
Consumer Affairs - pay day loans advice
Tel: 020 3734 9464
Claiming welfare benefits
Department of Work and Pensions for claiming Income Support, pension credits, incapacity benefits
Cheviot House, Guildford St, Luton
Tel: 0845 606 0265
Tax Credit helplines for claiming working or child tax credit
Tel: 0845 300 3900
Job Centre plus for claiming Job Seekers Allowance
Cheviot House, Guildford St, Luton
Tel: 0845 60 60 234
Housing and Council Tax benefits
Town Hall, Luton. LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 510342
Luton Law Centre for advice on your legal rights
Cresta House, Alma St, Luton
Tel: 01582 48 10 00
Luton County Court for advice on your legal rights
Cresta House, Alma St, Luton.
Tel: 0844 892 0550
Housing Solutions team for advice if you're threatened with homelessness
Town Hall, Luton
Tel: 01582 54 66 30
Luton Borough Council, Town Hall, Luton, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 546620