What will happen if I fall into rent arrears?
We take rent arrears very seriously and expect everyone to pay their rent on time. However, wherever possible our approach will be one of prevention not possession. We will take all reasonable and practical steps to keep you in your home. The steps are designed to prevent the escalation of rent arrears through prompt and early advice and assistance.
This will include:
- Contacting you as soon as reasonably possible if you fall into arrears to discuss the cause of the arrears
- Aiming to agree an affordable repayment plan based upon your income and expenditure
- Assisting you with the completion of Housing Benefit forms
We will endeavour to support you if you do fall in to rent arrears. However, we will take a firm line with tenants who consistently do not pay their rent or keep to repayment agreements. We will take court action against those who do not pay what they owe. This can result in eviction.
No matter how bad the situation may seem, the sooner we know about your difficulties, and the sooner we can start to work together, the more likely it is that we will be able to help you.
If you are in arrears you will need to reach an agreement with us to clear the debt so that you do not lose your home. We will listen to your circumstances sympathetically and work with you, assisting with benefit claims if necessary to ensure the debt is managed and the rent paid back quickly. Every opportunity will be given to help you, but if you continually fail to keep to arrangements, or do not claim benefits you are entitled to in time, we may take further action.
If you are worried, it is never too late to contact us.
We will make every effort to contact you about your rent arrears, highlighting the balance of your arrears and asking that you clear them.
If we do not receive payment, we will try to contact you at least twice before you receive a Notice of Seeking Possession. This is an opportunity for you to come to a repayment agreement without risking your home. However, if you have a valid Notice of Seeking Possession against you and fail to keep to any agreement we will consider referring you to the county court for a possession order. The costs of the court application and all associated costs will be added to your arrears.
Maintaining payments under a court order
The court will make a court order that mandates what you need to pay to clear your arrears and keep your home. Failure to keep to the terms of the order could result in an application being made to the court to seek your eviction. You will have to pay the cost of the warrant fee.
The county court bailiff will carry out the eviction. You must still pay the arrears owed and your name will be entered in the list of County Court Judgements (CCJ) which may prevent you from getting credit and other services.
We continue to vigorously pursue tenants who have left their home with rent arrears and other debts. Your chances of being rehoused in future will be greatly affected if you leave your home owing rent arrears, court costs, or recharged repair accounts.
Remember, if you are having financial difficulties please contact us immediately.