Council and housing association homes

Both offer similar types of housing, often to people on a low income or who need extra support. For Council housing, each council has its own rules, and you’ll usually have to join a waiting list, ask your council how long you may have to wait. To apply for council housing click here through your local council.

Councils decide who is offered housing based on a points or banding system. These are based on your housing need. For example:

  • Are homeless.
  • Have a medical condition made worse by your current home.
  • Live in cramped conditions.

Housing association homes

You can apply:

  • Directly to a housing association.
  • Often through your local council click here to find your local council.

Once you apply, you’ll be placed on a waiting list, they normally offer housing to people most suited to that particular property. You may have to wait a long time for a suitable property to become available. You can apply to more than one housing association at a time. Housing Associations are also known as Registered Social Landlords or Private Registered Providers of Social Housing.

Almshouse association

Almshouses are a charitable form of self-sufficient, low-cost community housing that is held in trust for local people in housing need. The majority of almshouse residents today are of retirement age, of limited financial means and living within the vicinity of an almshouse charity or have a family connection to the area in which the charity is located. Residents pay a weekly maintenance contribution which is like rent but different in law, and less than a commercial rate.

Almshouse trusts were generally founded by benefactors in the past to provide for those in need and often to accommodate for a particular group of people. Today there are almshouses for certain occupations and other groups in addition to the elderly. Some almshouse charities have no age restrictions and can accommodate families, the disabled and key workers.

To see what is available in your area click here. The Priceholme Trust, Haywards Heath, West Sussex is an almshouse for those with local connections and having previously worked in horticulture. For more information please click here to contact the Priceholme Trust directly.

Renting in the private sector

Many people will not meet the conditions necessary to acquire social housing and so renting in the private sector will be the only option. For information concerning renting from a private landlord check here:

You need to consider the size and type of accommodation you need and how you will pay the rent. Good places to start looking for a new home to rent from a private sector landlord include:

  • Popular websites that advertise house shares and homes to rent are: Rightmove, Zoopla, Spareroom, Gumtree.
  • How to rent guide for England.
  • Letting agents – Specialist Property Management.
  • Estate agents – many have property management departments.
  • Local newspapers – usually carry advertisements in the classified section.
  • Local councils – some local authority housing departments and Housing Advice Centres keep lists of landlords in their area.

Private sector rents are usually higher than the rent charged for social housing and rents differ around the country. A landlord will usually expect you to pay a minimum of a month’s rent in advance and a deposit. The deposit will be held in a special account and at the end of the tenancy, provided the accommodation is returned as specified in the rental agreement, the deposit returned to you. If you do not have a deposit, you may be able to get help from the local authority.

For tips to actively save money for a deposit look at our Money Matters information click here.

If you have any questions or queries, you can contact us by calling us on 0800 093 8543.  All advice is free and fully confidential.

Dealing with rent arrears

We understand how quickly you can fall behind with rent payments and slip into arrears. We also know that there are many reasons why this can happen. Most people know that their rent is a top priority and should be paid before any other financial commitments. If you are struggling to pay your rent and have possibly fallen into arrears, then you are not alone.

If you are having difficulties paying rent the Perennial Debt Team are here to help you find a solution.

  • Even if you have received a letter about eviction, it’s not too late to get advice. There may be options to stay in your home that you have not considered.
  • Don’t be tempted to just borrow money or consider an option like bankruptcy to deal with any rent arrears as this may make things worse.
  • We can help you to understand the implications of any possible solutions and try to find one that best meets your individual needs.
  • You may have other debts that you are trying to pay instead of your rent, and we can help you look at the options for managing those better too.

If your current home is at risk because you are having financial problems paying the rent, you may be able to sort things out by seeking advice from Perennial. Ignoring rent arrears and not seeking assistance can have serious consequences like your home being repossessed and you being evicted. You may then find it difficult to get further accommodation. This rarely happens if you get the right advice so get in touch and talk to us.

Our Helpline, Debt Advice and Casework Teams are here to offer you support and advice if you need help or information on rent arrears, debts, housing, and welfare benefits, including housing costs. They can provide you with your individual support, so you are able to make an informed choice. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 093 8543. All advice is free and fully confidential, impartial, and non-judgemental.

Perennial’s Debt Advice Service is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.