Guide Rent arrears and Debt Advice

Show all parts of this guide

4. Debt Advice

Not paying your rent puts your home at risk. If your rent is not paid, the money owed is called rent arrears. 

Rent arrears are priority debts. This means that the consequences of not dealing with them are serious.

In the UK, debt advice is free. If you find yourself in debt don't ignore the problem and try not to panic. You should consider seeking free advice about your financial situation. Help can be given in many ways such as maximising your income and benefits, help with filling in forms, looking at managing your income and expenditure.

The Government have now launched a new debt scheme from 4th May 2021 called Breathing Space. This can be accessed by contacting a debt advice agency.

Please telephone us on 01395 517444 and we can refer you to an independent and free debt advice agency. Alternatively one of the following organisations may be able to help you:

The National Debtline

Offers free confidential and independent advice on how to deal with debt problems. Call free on 0808 808 4000 or visit

Step Change Debt Agency

Their services include: free debt advice, debt management plans, budgeting help and Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) advice. Call free on 0800 1381111 or visit


Offers free debt management plans and free debt advice. Call free on 0800 2802816 or visit

Citizens' Advice Bureau

To contact Citizens Advice East Devon, please call 01395 265070

You can also call the national advice line service on 0808 250 5703

Webchat service is available through the website, along with free information on wide range of topics including benefits, housing and debt - 

Money Advice Service

This is a not for profit government organisation created solely to help people with their finances.  To contact them call 0800 138 7777 or visit

Civil Legal Advice (CLA)

You might be able to get free and confidential advice from Civil Legal Advice (CLA) as part of legal aid.

Telephone: 0345 345 4 345
Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm

Universal Credit

For information regarding new and existing claims, call your local job centre.

Honiton - 0800 169 0190 Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

Exeter - 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm