Last updated 25/03/2014
When this happens we act fast to prevent the problem escalating. We will offer you all the help we can to prevent you getting into arrears; our rent arrears recovery policy is based on early action, which is firm but fair. Staff will try to establish and maintain a relationship with tenants in arrears to ensure that they receive sound advice at every stage.
If you are having any difficulty in paying your rent, please make sure you contact us as soon as possible and ask to speak to a member of our Income Team. If you clear your arrears or keep to your agreed payments we will take no further action.
If you fail to keep to agreements you have made or do not respond when we try to contact you, there may be no alternative but to commence court action against you, which could lead to your eviction.
Court action begins with us issuing a legal document called a Notice Seeking Possession (for Assured Tenancies). These documents do not mean that you have to leave your home, but it is the first stage in legal action to recover the arrears and/or repossess the property. If you begin to make payments towards clearing your arrears the case will not proceed to court. However, if agreed payments are missed we will proceed with court action.
Going to court is a serious matter and can lead to:
- An order to clear the arrears and pay our legal costs.
- A County Court Judgment (CCJ) against you, which may affect your credit rating in the future.
We will continue to try and make contact with you and agree a suitable repayment plan before the case is heard in court
- The court will be told if a repayment agreement has been set up.
- We will seek an adjournment order through the court; this is an agreement for the repayment of any arrears.
- If you default on the court order, you will receive a final warning and eviction proceedings will follow.
- If a suspended possession order is granted, you will receive a letter from the County Court telling you what repayments you need to make to prevent an Eviction Warrant.
- If the case results in eviction, the Council may regard you as intentionally homeless and will have no statutory responsibility to re-house you.
If you are faced with money problems and are struggling to pay your rent, talk to our Income Team. Although we consider rent arrears to be a priority debt, we will take into consideration other debts and commitments when arranging for arrears to be paid off. All discussions about your financial circumstances will be dealt with in confidence.
The Income Team can help you by:
- Discussing your circumstances with you before your arrears become too serious.
- Advising you on welfare benefits or Housing Benefits you may be entitled to and helping you to apply for these benefits.
- Putting you in touch with other agencies that can offer you support such as Citizens advice Bureau or Welfare Rights.
- Setting up a voluntary arrangement for you to pay regular amounts off your arrears.
They can also help you:
- Claim benefits you are entitled to.
- Look at your incomings and outgoings to ensure you can pay your bills.
- Help you negotiate with companies you owe money to in order to agree repayment plans.
- Provide advice on obtaining a bank account.
- Provide money advice and the best way of paying your bills.
- General advice on financial inclusion
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Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 25/03/2014 13:37:20
Comment: Annual review, no changes required.
Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 20/09/2012 12:58:56
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Chapter titled "Overview" content changed.
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New Tag assigned "rent problems".
Tag assignment removed: "eviction".
Updated by Elesh Makwana on 29/06/2012 10:47:21
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Updated by Elesh Makwana on 29/06/2012 10:44:10
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