Rent arrears are what you owe in unpaid rent and are caused by late, missed or part-payments. It is critical that rent arrears levels are kept to the minimum because we rely on rental income to pay for the services we deliver to our tenants.
Dos and dont's:
- don't ignore your arrears
- don't ignore our letters
- do what the letters ask you
- if you have problems - contact us
- not paying your rent can lead to you losing your home
- if a joint tenant leaves - the remaining tenant is responsible for all the rent.
If you don’t clear your arrears we will visit you to discuss your debt and to make an agreement. If you do not keep to your agreement, or clear your arrears, we will serve a Notice of Seeking Possession on you. This informs you that we intend to take legal action if you do not pay your arrears.
The Notice of Seeking Possession is the first step to losing your home. We will contact you when we serve this notice to discuss your case. If you are not available at home, we will invite you in for an interview. It is vital you attend.
There comes a point when we have no alternative but to evict a tenant. This is very much a last resort and it is not an action we take lightly.
If a person is evicted they have a right to make an appeal to us as being homeless. Whilst every case is different, we may argue that if a person had the ability to pay the rent, but did not do so, then they may be considered 'intentionally homeless' and we would have no obligation to re-house them. That applies even where there are children in the household.
When a person leaves a Council tenancy they become known as a 'former tenant'. If there are arrears at the end of the tenancy, we will continue to pursue these.
Help with arrears
If you know you are going to have difficulty paying your rent or keeping to your agreement, you should contact your Housing Officer immediately.
We may be able to refer you to the local Welfare Benefit Advisor who can advise you on available Benefits and how you can make the most of your income.
You can also obtain advice from Citizens Advice.