Just like most debt solutions available in the UK, a debt management plan (DMP) can affect many different aspects of your life.
Individuals who live in rented spaces are often worried about how a DMP might affect their residential status.
In this post, I’ll be discussing all the nuances and details when it comes to getting a DMP and renting.
Can Rent Arrears be Included in a Debt Management Plan?
Unlike most debt solutions available in the UK, a debt management plan is an informal solution. Due to this, the only types of debts that it covers are unsecured debts.
Examples of unsecured debts include credit card debts, personal loans, catalogue debts, etc. Unsecured debts can be defined as debts that have not been “secured” against any valuable asset of yours.
As you can probably tell, your rent arrears do not fall under this category since your rented space is what is secured against this debt.
Thus, your rent arrears cannot be included in your debt management plan. If you opt for a debt management plan, then you will have to keep making your rent payments separately from your DMP.
Your rental payments will be considered to be essential expenses when your DMP’s payment plan is being drafted.
Please note that your rent arrears are considered to be priority debts which means that they are something that you need to attend to first before all forms of unsecured debt.
Can I Find a New Space to Rent if I’m in a DMP?
While it’s not impossible to find a new space to rent during a DMP, there’s a chance you may run into some difficulties.
This is because the reduced payments you make as part of your debt management plan have a negative impact on your credit rating.
These reduced payments show up within your credit file so, anyone that’s going to look at your credit report will notice that you’re making reduced payments towards your debt.
These reduced payments will have a DMP marker next to them to indicate that the reduced payments are because they are part of a debt management plan.
When you apply to get a new space to rent, the landlord might perform a credit check on you.
While there’s no legal law that states that someone with a DMP can’t rent a property, there’s a chance that you’ll run into difficulties because of the landlords and the credit check they might perform on you.
During this credit check, if they see that you’re in a debt management plan, they might be apprehensive about letting you rent the property.
This is because they will see you as a risk due to your DMP. They may feel that you might fall behind on your rent payments or might not be able to pay them in full on time due to your DMP.
A DMP will also suggest to the landlord that you are not financially disciplined.
Will My Current Residential Status be Affected Due to a DMP if I’m Living in a Rented Space?
There’s really no reason why a DMP might affect your living status if you already reside in a rented property.
As mentioned earlier, the payments you make towards your monthly rent are considered to be essential expenses in the eyes of your DMP provider.
This means that when your DMP’s payment plan is being written, some budget is set aside to help you pay your monthly rent payments.
Hence, if you opt for a debt management plan as a debt solution, you’re not going to have any trouble making your rental payments.
That being said, you’re going to have to calculate how much money you have leftover to pay towards your DMP after you’ve made the payment towards your rent.
There’s a possibility the money you have leftover after you’ve attended to your priority payments (including rent) might be so low that your creditors might not accept your DMP.
This is something that you’re going to have to discuss thoroughly with your DMP provider before you present the payment offer to your creditors.
You can also seek debt advice regarding the planning of your debt management plan’s budget from independent debt charities. Some examples of great debt charities currently operating in the UK are Payplan and Stepchange.
If you go to any other advice agency, just make sure that they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The Landlord isn’t Letting Me Rent a Property Because of My DMP. What Should I Do?
If your landlord is being difficult about letting you rent a house due to your DMP, there are a couple of things that you can do.
Firstly, producing a guarantor can be a very effective way of securing a rented space for yourself.
A guarantor is someone with a good credit rating that will step up and pay for your rent if you fail to pay it at some point.
Your guarantor can be anyone such as a parent, family member or close friend. If your guarantor has a good credit score, the landlord will have some guarantee that even if you’re unable to make your rental payment, your guarantor will be able to do so on your behalf.
Another way of securing a space to rent for yourself is by a larger initial security deposit. You might be required to pay an initial deposit of up to three months’ rent. This deposit would act as “security” for the landlord in case you are unable to make your payments.
Initial deposits work quite well with most landlords but it’s true that procuring such a large amount of money might be difficult for you since you’re already in a DMP.
If you live in a rented space and are considering a DMP, you may have to do some calculations to figure out whether your payment will be acceptable for your creditors or not.
Your poor credit rating might also make it difficult for you to secure a new rented space.
I hope you found this information useful. You can contact me for more detailed debt advice.