Housing Advice & Options
If you want to move, or need to move, it is important to plan
properly. Think carefully before giving up your home and make sure
that anywhere you plan to move to is suitable and affordable for
You should not wait until a crisis to ask for advice. If you
think you are at risk of losing your home, we will be able to
advise you of your legal rights and may be able to help you look at
ways in which you can stay in your home.
Call us on 01234 718058 and we can give you immediate
Email us at email@example.com
providing details of your situation and we will reply with
Visit us at the Customer Service Centre, 2 Horne Lane, Bedford,
MK40 1SJ open 9am to 12.30pm (Monday - Friday)
Can you stay where you are?
If you don’t want to leave, find out about your rights. We can
give advice on tenancy rights and responsibilities. We can give you
advice on how your landlord can end your tenancy, your rights
and responsibilities as a tenant and whether your Landlord's
behaviour constitutes illegal eviction or harrassment.
Even if your landlord or mortgage lender has asked you to leave,
you may not have to leave immediately. In most cases you have a
right to be given proper notice and a court order before you have
to leave your home. We can refer you for assistance with
If you are a lodger in your landlord’s home they can ask you to
leave without going to court to evict you.
Respond to any eviction notices
and seek advice: If you get a court notice that
says you are being evicted, seek legal and money advice straight
away. You may be able to delay or stop the eviction.
Get ready for the hearing if you
have a court date and go to court: Repossession
doesn’t happen automatically. Even if you have been given a date to
attend court, you can still get help to keep your home. It is vital
that you go to your court hearing. It’s your opportunity to explain
your situation to the judge. If you don’t go, it’s much more likely
the judge will decide you have lost the right to keep your
For move information visit Direct.Gov
Sometimes when your circumstances change, for example you work
fewer hours, have higher bills to pay or become sick things seem
impossible. Don’t let your debt problems get on top of you, get the
advice you need to prevent you from losing your home.
Talk to your lender
about your situation: Generally, lenders are willing to talk
about your situation and help you find a solution.
Seek free and
independent money advice: Speak to an adviser immediately if
you can’t reach a repayment agreement with your lender or can’t pay
at all. A trained money adviser from an independent agency, like
the Citizens Advice Bureau or
Shelter England, can give you free
and impartial advice. They can also give advice about government
mortgage rescue schemes.
Consider selling your
home: If you are very behind with your mortgage repayments,
in order to avoid repossession, you may want to consider selling
your home. You can do this independently or in some cases with help
from your lender. This could result in you getting a better price
for your property than if it were repossessed. However you must
take advice about whether this is right for you and if a decision
to sell your home would affect any legal rights if you seek help
from the council.
Read any letters you
recieve from the lender: If you have fallen behind
with your mortgage payments, your lender will send you a letter
called a ‘notice of default’. Make sure you read this letter – it
will give information about how much you owe and any action your
lender plans to take.
How can you move on?
If you need to find a new home we can give you
advice on subjects such as:
- How to apply for Social Housing through Bedfordshire
- How to find Private Rented housing
- Our Tenancy Deposit Guarantee Scheme
- Low cost home ownership
Bedfordshire Homefinder is the choice based lettings scheme for
Registered Providers (social housing) properties in
You will need to be registered on the scheme to bid on the
council and housing association rented properties. Bidding is how
you tell us you are interested in the property. It does not involve
any monetary payment.
There are lots of people registered on this scheme and bidding
on properties so not everyone will be successful.
If you are a council or housing association tenant you may be
able to find another tenant to exchange properties with by
registering for a mutual exchange. You do not have to live in
Bedfordshire to register for a mutual exchange. To put your details
on the site you will need to follow the instructions on the mutual
Private Rented Housing
Bedford has a varied supply of private rented
housing most of which is managed by Residential Letting Agents. The
local weekly newspapers have details weekly of available properties
and the Housing Options Team can also assist with finding
accommodation. If you cannot afford to pay rent you may be eligible
for Housing Benefit. Click on the following link for more
information about Housing Benefit. Housing Benefit website
Tenancy Deposit Guarantee Scheme
We work with some local private landlords to
increase acces into private rented accommodation for people on low
incomes. The scheme can assist you with guaranteeing a deposit to
the value of one months rent if you are in housing need and looking
for accommodation. To find out more regarding this scheme please
contact us on 01234 718058. Our ability to assist you will
depend on your circumstances and the availability of
Low Cost Home Ownership
Orbit Homebuy Agents is the agent for low cost
home ownership and discounted market rent products in
Most people they assist are first time buyers
but if you are an existing home owner and have a housing need they
may be able to help. Visit their website for more information.
What happens if you are homeless or at risk of
If you are homeless or at risk of being homeless, we can give
advice about any duties the council might have to help you.
The law provides protection to families and other vulnerable
“priority need” groups in the event that homelessness cannot be
The Council will always seek to prevent homelessness by
assisting clients to remain in their homes or to find other
accommodation. Where this is not possible and there is reason
to believe that an applicant may be homeless or threatened with
homelessness, we will assess their applications and fulfill
temporary accommodation and other duties as necessary.
More information on homelessness and the Council’s duties are
available on this website. Homelessness
Further information about council responsibilities and
homelessness are available at the Shelter website, http://england.shelter.org.uk
The Prebend Day Centre provides advice and
support to vulnerable adults. Their drop in centre provides washing
and laundry facilities and free meals 365 days a year.
Prebend Day Centre
12 Prebend Street
Telephone 01234 365955
If you are experiencing abuse from a partner
or someone who lives with you, there are agencies who may be able
to support and help you.
Locally there are providers of refuge
accommodation for those fleeing a violent home:
BedfordRefuge, 01234 353592
Santosh Asian Women’s Refuge, 01234 261228
For information about refuge accommodation
elsewhere in the UK you can call Refuge on their national 24 hour
domestic abuse helpline
Refuge Helpline : 0808 2000 247
If you are the victim of domestic abuse and feel unsafe in
your home but want to stay there, we may be able to offer
assistance by providing additional security. For more information
contact us on 01234 718058.
The Freedom Programme
The Freedom Programme is an 11 or 12 week
rolling programme which provides information about male violence to
women. Anyone can access the Freedom Programme. Log on to the
website to find out more.
Women's Aid is the key national charity
working to end domestic violence against women and children. They
support a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence services
across the UK.
Advice for male victims
The ManKind Initiative is a national charity
that provides help and support for male victims of domestic abuse
and domestic violence.
Advice for Landlords
The Housing Options Team gives advice to
Landlords as well as tenants, to help them make sure they are
acting within the law when letting their properties and that
tenants are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities in
respect of their tenancies. Landlords can contact us directly on
Help with mortgage problems
Help with debt problems
National Debt Line