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I’ve heard that Universal Credit is going to be cut from September. I struggle to get by as it is and I’m really worried that if I lose £20 a week, I’ll get into serious debt. I’m already behind on some of my bills. What can I do to avoid things getting worse?.


You’re not alone in this – there is support available.   Firstly, depending on your situation, you might be able to ask to have your Universal Credit paid differently – these are called ‘alternative payment arrangements’. This might be an option if you’re in debt or rent arrears, among other reasons. To apply for an […]

My energy bill really shot up last month. I don’t feel like I’ve been using any more heating or electricity than usual, so I’m worried I’m being overcharged. I’ve tried to contact my energy supplier for support, but no one ever seems to answer the phone or respond to my emails. I’ve waited on hold for nearly an hour several times before giving up. What should I do?


It’s normal for your energy bills to change depending on the time of year and how much gas and electricity you’re using. But if your bills seem strangely high, then it’s important to investigate why.   Firstly, check your meter is working properly and your usage has definitely not gone up, even accidently. Also check […]

I’ve been living in my privately rented flat for years. I generally have a good relationship with my landlord but I just can’t get them to carry out various repairs that have built up. How can I get them to act – and what exactly do they have to do?


This must be a very frustrating situation. The law states that your landlord must provide accommodation that is safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm. (This is for England – housing is devolved in Wales). You don’t say exactly what repairs are needed. If you have problems such as electrical wiring […]

I’ve been saving up to have my kitchen redone, but I’m a bit worried about it. Last time I had any work done on the house, it took more than double the time I thought it would and ended up costing me a fortune. I’m looking for a different builder this time, but how will I know I can trust them?


Many of us will take advantage of the warmer weather and bank holiday weekends coming up to improve our homes, and it’s important to make sure the job goes well. Here are some steps you should take when choosing a trader:   Find a Trading Standards ‘approved trader’ – use the internet to search for […]

“I’m really worried about my elderly relatives being targeted by coronavirus scams – are there any warning signs that I can tell them to look out for? What should they do if they think that something is a scam?”


Unfortunately, we’ve seen an increase in scams since the beginning of the pandemic, so it’s good to be thinking about the steps you can take to help protect friends and family.   Common scams we’re seeing are about bogus testing kits, coronavirus vaccinations and government refunds or fines. You should watch out for messages about […]

I don’t think I’ve had the right pay from work. What can I do?


If you think your pay is wrong or you haven’t been paid, the best thing you can do is talk to your employer to find out why. If you and your employer can’t agree on how much you should have been paid, you can challenge them. You should act quickly – it’ll be much harder […]

Withholding rent because of disrepair


If you’ve reported repairs to your landlord and they haven’t done anything, you may be able to do something about it. Tenants often think that it’s unfair for them to pay rent while their home is in disrepair and want to know if they can use their rent in some way to deal with the […]

I think my employer is monitoring me at work. Can they do that?


Employers have the right to monitor activities in many situations at work. Monitoring in the workplace includes: recording on CCTV cameras opening mail or email use of automated software to check email checking phone logs or recording phone calls checking logs of websites visited videoing outside the workplace getting information from credit reference agencies collecting […]