All Helping Hands on deck

Posted on 14 February 2024

At Hyde we’re more than just a landlord. Everyday, customers reach out to talk about their finances, and our experts are on hand to help.

Here are some real-life examples of how we were able to lend a helping hand.

From Joseph

Shirley - arrears then = £3,231.39. Arrears now = £0

Shirley, who lives in Kent with her 17-year-old son, got some bad advice after losing her job and ended up £3,231.39 in rent arrears. Our expert Joseph helped her apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment with the local authority, but it was declined.

He got Shirley onto the Government’s Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space), giving him time to look at other avenues, but also to arrange council tax support, fuel hardship payments of about £200 and food vouchers.

He eventually secured a debt relief order to clear all of Shirley’s rent arrears and some other debts she had built up. “The advice and support I’ve been given by Joseph is second-to-none,” Shirley said. “I’ve always been given respect and kindness. Without his help, I truly don’t know what I would have done.”

Joseph said: “There are lots of ways to get out of debt, but it’s important to fully-understand their advantages and disadvantages. We can help find the best solution for you.”

From Melanie

Aaron – arrears then = £6,205.93. Arrears now = 0

Aaron lives in Surrey, and suffers with severe mental health issues. When his local authority asked Aaron to update some information, he didn’t respond, and his housing benefit payments stopped. Before long he’d built up £6,205.93 in rent arrears.

Aaron’s vulnerability meant we also struggled to engage with him. But seeing he was very close to becoming homeless, our expert Melanie was determined to help. She managed to build up a rapport with Aaron by text messaging him and got his consent to talk to the local authority on his behalf.

Melanie appealed the decision to stop his payments and the local authority agreed to restore his housing benefit and backdated his payments, which meant he received £6,325.24.

Melanie said: “Don’t ignore benefit letters. If you don’t understand them, ask for advice. When you’re asked for information, you must provide it or your benefits could be suspended or stopped.”

From Catherine

John – arrears then = £2,806. Arears now = 0

John, who’s retired, moved into his Hyde home in 2022, after being homeless for 13 years.

He got in touch after falling into debt when his housing benefit stopped. While John had prioritised his rent, other debts had been piling up. He was £2,806 in rent arrears alone. He was struggling to navigate the benefits system and didn’t know what to do next.

Our expert Catherine managed to secure a backdated housing benefit payment of £10,892. This, along with council tax support, meant John was able to pay off all his debts, and could stay in his home.

“Brilliant!” John told us, “I can now afford a TV licence, which means I can get a TV again.”

Catherine says: “Don’t bury your head in the sand. Check what benefits you’re entitled to and always ask for help. If you’re struggling to understand the welfare benefits system, don’t struggle alone.”

Remember, it’s never too late. Start by visiting our Helping Hand pages, and see what you can do to get started.