The housing and homelessness charity

Shelter Scotland / England

Paying for a home

This section contains information about housing money matters, including rent, deposits and rent arrears, mortgages and mortgage arrears, council tax, benefits to help with housing costs and advice on what to do if you get into debt.

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England
This content applies to Scotland only
Get advice if you're in England

  • Paying rent

    This section looks at how you pay rent and what you can do if your rent goes up or you can't afford to pay your rent.

  • Rent arrears

    If you have rent arrears, your landlord could take legal action to have you evicted from your home. This section looks at different ways to deal with your rent arrears and avoid eviction.

  • Deposits

    Most private landlords or letting agents ask for a deposit if you're renting.Find out what a deposit's for, help to pay your deposit, and what to do if you have trouble getting your deposit back.

  • Mortgages

    If you buy a home you'll probably get a mortgage to pay for it. Find out what you should consider when choosing a mortgage and how common problems can be dealt with.

  • Mortgage arrears

    If you fall behind with your mortgage payments you could risk losing your home. This section has advice on what you can do if you are having problems paying your mortgage.

  • Buying a home

    As well as your mortgage, there are other costs you need to factor in when buying your home. This section looks at the cost of your deposit, insurance, stamp duty and registration fees.

  • Other housing costs

    Other costs involved when you live in rented accommodation or own your own home. Unfortunately your rent or mortgage is only the start of it!

  • Paying for care and support

    You can get care and support if you're living in your own home, in sheltered accommodation or in a care home. Find different ways to pay for care and support and what help is available.

  • Paying council tax

    Whether you own or rent your home, you may have to pay council tax. Find out who has to pay council tax, how much you will have to pay and what to do if you

  • Housing benefit and local housing allowance (LHA)

    If you rent your home and have a low income, or get welfare benefits, you may be entitled to housing benefit to help pay your rent.

  • Welfare reform: what are the changes?

    Changes to welfare benefits in 2013 may mean that your benefits will be reduced, find out if these changes will affect you.

  • Other benefits, grants and loans

    Find benefits, grants and loans for housing costs. There's financial help for students, parents, care leavers, disabled people and young people, and advice on getting help to pay for heating.

  • Benefits for disabled people

    Find out what benefits and financial support your disability and other circumstances makes you eligible for.

  • Benefits for young people

    The rules for claiming benefits can be different if you're under 18. Find out more about benefits for young people.

  • Benefits and support for care leavers

    Care leavers are entitled to certain support and benefits such as community care grant, a budgeting or crisis loans. This page outlines the benefits and support that care leavers are entitled to.

  • Financial support for students

    This page looks at loans and grants available to students, including student loans, bursaries and sponsorship.

  • Financial support for parents

    How you can get help with housing costs if you are a parent or responsible for bringing up a child. There's also advice on working out which benefits you can claim and other means of support.

  • Rent and financial support for crofters

    This section looks at rent issues for crofting tenants, and at financial support available for crofting tenants and owner-occupiers.

  • Paying for heating

    How to reduce how much you spend on heating during the winter. If you are elderly, disabled or on a low income, you may get some help to pay your bills.

  • Budgeting

    If you want to manage your money, drawing up a budget will really help. Find out what budgeting is and get resources to support you in looking after your finances

  • Dealing with debt

    With credit cards, overdrafts and bank loans readily available, debt can mount up. Most housing problems start because of financial difficulties, so if you do get into debt, do take action as soon as possible.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444*
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

*Our advice line is free to call from landlines and all six of the main UK mobile networks, Virgin, Orange, 3, T-mobile, Vodafone and O2, but charges may apply from any other network