At Veterans' Gateway we know housing concerns are challenging for those leaving the armed forces. We're frequently asked for advice on common issues including the end of tenancy agreements. See what you need to know and where best to find help.
Are you facing a rent increase?
At the end of your tenancy a private landlord may try to increase the rent. Shelter provides information on how you can challenge this in England, Scotland and Wales. And see separate housing advice for those based in Northern Ireland.
Renters in council and housing association properties can also challenge increases although these usually happen every April. However, from April 2016, most council and housing association rents will go down by 1% each year until 2020. Find out how to get in touch with your local council.
Need assistance with paying your rent?
The Royal British Legion has partnered with MoneyForce to help you manage your finances with interactive tools. This includes drawing up a budget of all financial commitments so you can be realistic about what property you can actually afford to rent.
If you are on a low income you may also be able to claim housing benefit to pay your rent. Universal Credit is a new benefit that will gradually replace other benefits, including housing benefits. Find out if you eligible to apply for Universal Credit.
Although your rights as a tenant give you some protection it's always best to seek further advice as landlords do have the right to evict you in some circumstances. However a landlord needs a court order, called a possession order. This will state the date by which you should leave and if you don't your landlord can obtain a warrant of possession, allowing bailiffs to evict you.
If you live with your private landlord, they can evict you without a court order. In this case, you should seek advice from your local Citizens Advice or an expert housing adviser.
Shelter provides specialist housing advice on eviction in England, Scotland and Wales, and SAIL can specifically help naval service veterans. In Northern Ireland contact Housing Rights Northern Ireland or your local Citizens Advice. See too more on possession action in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and in Scotland.
Have you been illegally evicted?
Illegal eviction is a criminal offence. Landlords that harass or threaten you, physically remove you from the property, or change the locks while you are out, are conducting an illegal eviction. See advice on what you can do and approach your local council for assistance.
Need to speak to someone for additional housing advice?
The Veterans' Housing Advice service has merged with Veterans' Gateway and we support veterans in finding, securing or maintaining accommodation by utilising the skills and resources of partners and organisations. Our contact centre advisors are available 24/7, supported by a resident housing specialist.
For more information, contact: