Help to keep your home
Our aim is to help people keep their home where possible. Staff at the Newcastle City Council Housing Advice Centre will help you to understand the different options that are available in Newcastle to solve your housing problems. We will
- try to prevent a homelessness situation from occurring, if possible
- explain the processes of homelessness prevention
- provide you with information on your options.
- and where necessary assist in locating alternative accommodation, such as a housing association, local authority or privately rented property
We will give you free advice and information about the different options and support available, and we will help you to work out the best plan for your situation.
- Change to the Housing Advice Centre’s working arrangements
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, from 1.00pm on Tuesday 24 March Newcastle City Council’s Housing Advice Centre staff will only be providing telephone or email advice. The Housing Advice Centre building will not be open for face-to-face advice until further notice. This will help us all to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
Please don’t attend the Housing Advice Centre in person as the building will be closed. Instead, please phone 0191 277 1712 or 0191 277 1716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate that this is a difficult time and that you will be concerned. Please be reassured that we will do our best to respond to your query as soon as we can. However, please bear with us at this time while we are are experiencing additional pressures and there is some disruption to our service.
We can also give you free advice and information about the different options and support available for dealing with debt.
For more information, visit our debt and money advice page
What can you do if you are worried about paying your rent
If you are a Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) tenant, talk to your housing officer and they can help you to set up a realistic repayment plan if you have rent arrears. They can also refer you to an advice and support worker who will be able to give you advice on your financial situation, they will also check to ensure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. Find out how to contact YHN
Some housing associations will have a similar service and you should notify your housing officer as soon as you get in to difficulty. Their contact details will usually be on any of the letters they have sent you. If you aren't sure who to contact or you don't want to speak directly to them please contact the Housing Advice Centre and they will be able to help. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be to take control of the situation.
If you are in private rented accommodation, contact the Housing Advice Centre. Explain to your landlord the problem and let them know that you have sought help.
If you are receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and are finding it difficult to pay your rent then you can apply for additional help through the Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) scheme.
DHPs are not payments of benefit and you should not rely on a payment being made. They are separate payments that we can make at our discretion if we believe that you need additional short term financial support towards your housing costs. You can find out more about Discretionary Housing Payments here
What can you do if you have received a Notice to Quit
You need to act quickly if you have been given a Notice to Quit.
If you are a Council tenant, Your Homes Newcastle must follow certain procedures before evicting, as part of the Council's Sustaining Tenancies Guidance. For example, your housing officer will try to resolve any arrears issues by making a repayment plan which you should comply with. A referral to an advice and support worker should be made so you can discuss your finances and try to sort out any problems.
If you are a private rented tenant, it is likely that you will have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Your landlord doesn't have an automatic right to possession of the property until the fixed term has ended. If the landlord wants possession at the end of the fixed term a written notice must be issued and you must be given at least two months' notice. If you had a fixed term contract but it has expired, you will have a statutory periodic tenancy. Your landlord must give at least two months' notice in writing that they require possession of the property if they want you to leave. However special rules apply to these notices and you should seek advice if a notice is issued. You do not have to leave on the expiry of a notice.
If you rent privately and are unsure if your Notice to Quit (Notice Seeking or Requiring Possession) is valid, or you have any other questions regarding the eviction procedure, contact the Housing Advice Centre.
For more general information about private tenancies, go to the Shelter website.
Other sources of advice and information
There is a range of other advice and support available so that you understand the different options available to help you keep your home. This includes:
- Information on possession proceedings whether you have a mortgage or you are a tenant
- Advice on managing debt and checks to ensure you are in receipt of your full benefits. There are also a range of local and national services that can help with debt and maximising your income. You can find out more about these on our Debt and Money Advice page