Citizens Advice Cardiff & Vale open helpline for Private Rental Sector Tenants and Landlords

private rented sector debt helpline

The Citizens Advice Private Rented Sector Debt Helpline is a bespoke service that is dedicated to helping private rental tenants in Wales who are struggling with debt issues. The service is the only one of its’ kind being offered by a Local Citizens Advice office.

It is estimated that over half a million private renters in the UK are behind on their rent.

It’s no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on those who would normally be able to budget sufficiently to pay rent every month. The cut in Universal Credit payments, rising energy bills, and the looming Christmas period are only exacerbating that impact.

Citizens Advice Cardiff & Vale are currently offering free, impartial advice and support to those who are feeling the weight of this burden, through a Private Rented Sector Debt Advice Helpline. The branch are the only local Citizens Advice office that provide this bespoke specialist service.

What is the Citizen’s Advice Private Rented Sector Debt Helpline?

The Citizens Advice Private Rented Sector Debt Helpline is a bespoke service that is dedicated to helping private rental tenants in Wales who are struggling with debt issues. The service is the only one of its’ kind being offered by a Local Citizens Advice office.

The aim of the project is to help people who may be feeling helpless and overwhelmed, feel empowered to get on top of their finances and ultimately, remain in their homes.

The helpline is open Monday – Friday between 9am and 5pm, and provides free, impartial and confidential advice.

Who is the Private Rented Sector Helpline for?

“In a nutshell, the helpline is available to anyone living and renting in Wales,” says Callum Lavin, Advice Services Manager.

“Whether you are a private rental tenant who is struggling with debt issues, or you are a landlord who has tenants you suspect are struggling, we are here to help.”

“The people who call us may not necessarily be at the stage of eviction yet, but have found themselves in a difficult position for the first time because of the pandemic, or because of factors surrounding the pandemic, that are leading them to extreme worry about their finances.”

The range of people who contact the helpline may be experiencing one or more of the following circumstances:

  • Facing eviction
  • In rental arrears for the first time
  • Struggling to keep on top of their rent and outgoings
  • Their circumstances may have changed, and they are concerned about falling into financial difficulty
  • A private landlord who is concerned about a tenant

What happens if someone calls the helpline? Will it be recorded or will information be logged?

The helpline is entirely free, and more importantly, completely confidential. Anyone who is concerned about, or is already in the midst of, rental arrears can contact the PRS Helpline to receive impartial, friendly support. One of the Citizens Advice Cardiff & Vale team will establish the individual’s concerns and what they want to achieve, address any emergency issues and arrange a meeting with a member of their specialist debt advice team.

What sort of advice gets offered by the service?

The specialists at the debt advice helpline operate on a case by case basis, so the rental arrears advice we offer can vary. The main aim of the helpline is to empower anyone who calls to take action, and to feel more in control of their financial situation.

Getting debt advice is a big step for a lot of people, and can be a difficult call to make. How can you reassure tenants and landlords that calling is the right thing to do?

“Crises can affect anyone, at any point,” says Lavin, “Debt and rental arrears are no different. People should never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. The Citizens Advice Private Rented Sector Debt Helpline is there to provide practical advice and assistance to help people get on top of their finances and remain in their homes.”

To get in touch with the helpline, visit the contact page of the Cardiff & Vale Citizens Advice website to start the process: https://cacv.org.uk/our-projects/private-rented-sector-helpline/

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