A Problem Shared: I Can’t Afford To Pay The Rent


A Problem Shared Housing Money Parenting & Family Advice | by | 29th Apr 2019

Following the end of a relationship our reader is finding it hard to pay the rent. Find out what advice FamilyPoint has to offer in this week’s A Problem Shared.

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Dear FamilyPoint,

I recently split with the father of my child and now I’m struggling to afford the rent. I’m self-employed and have applied for universal credit but my rent is too high to be able to manage on my own along with the rest of the bills. I have two dogs so struggle to find another private rental … do I have an options? I’m at a loss at what to do … any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you

FamilyPoint Advice


Hi there,

Thanks for coming through to us at FamilyPoint. We are sorry to hear about the break down of your relationship. This must be a tough time for you, particularly with these additional financial worries.

Check what you’re entitled to

As you and your partner have a child together, it is only fair that you both contribute evenly to your child’s living costs. This can be arranged by mutual agreement. However, if this is not possible it may be time to have a look at your options with the Child Maintenance Service. Take a look at the information on the gov.uk website.

You mention that you have applied for universal credit, which is great, however there may be other benefits that you are eligible for further support. A great place to start would be the Gingerbread helpline. This is a helpline set up specifically for single parents and any issues they might be facing, including financial worries. 

Be aware that tax credits are claimed separately from Universal Credit, as are any discounts on council tax due the fact that you are a household of one single adult. Check out the information from Citizens Advice.

Pet problems

It can be difficult to find private rentals that accept animals, and your worry about this is understandable, but it is not impossible. The Dogs Trust has set up a scheme online called Lets With Pets. It gives lots of details about how to make the process easier for yourself and gives advice on how to make yourself and your pets more attractive as tenants.

Emergency payments

Whilst waiting for your benefits to be set up or looking for a new place, it might want to consider applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment from your local authority. This can help you to afford your rent in the meantime. These payments are made in extenuating circumstances. Check out the information on gingerbread.org for more details.

We hope that this information will be useful for you in your situation and wish you all the best with the future.

 Take Care

The FamilyPoint Team

FamilyPoint Helpline

If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

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