Ms G, who is living in a privately rented flat with her two teenage children, contacted us on receiving an eviction date from the court following possession being granted to her landlady, due to there being over £5,800 of rent arrears.

This had been their home for over 12 years. Ms G is separated from her children’s father and is now has sole responsibility for them as he has returned to live in Poland. Ms G works and is paid the minimum wage and has an award of Universal Credit. The rent arrears arose because of gaps in benefit payments. Ms G had already spoken to the landlady who was prepared to negotiate for her to stay in the flat if she started paying towards the arrears, unfortunately she was unable to afford to do so.

We quickly established that because Ms G was not receiving all the benefits she was entitled to, as she had not notified the DWP that her 17-year-old was still in full-time education, and that deductions were being made for an overpayment; we booked her an appointment with Luton Rights for assistance with resolving these benefit issues. We assisted MS G with making an application to the council’s homeless prevention fund, we negotiated with the landlady, who agreed that if the homeless prevention fund cleared the arrears that she would cancel the eviction and issue the client with a new tenancy agreement at a rent Ms G could afford. This resulted in the arrears were paid by the homelessness prevention fund, the eviction cancelled, and a new 12-month tenancy agreement was entered into enabling the family to remain in their home without a large debt hanging over them.