Are you behind on your rent?

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with your rent and missed a payment (also called arrears) we want you to contact us to talk through your issues and help us help you. This section will help you understand the process we follow to help you repay your debt.

The first thing you’ll need to do is contact us to discuss the problem. We can only help you if you tell us you're having issues. We can refer you to our Money Advice Team who will try and help you identify ways to improve your finances and maximise your income.

Please browse the drop down information below to ensure you know your choices.

  • First contact

    Once there has been a missed payment of either rent or Housing Benefit we will contact you by letter and telephone to discuss your account with you. We can then make an arrangement with you to repay the debt as quickly as possible, dependant on your income. This is called first contact and is not part of any formal legal action to recover the debt.

    If you are struggling with debt or finding it difficult to budget, it’s always best to speak to us as soon as possible so we can put you in touch with our Money Advisers for independent advice. The team may also be able to help you make sure you’re receiving benefits that you’re entitled to.

  • Notice seeking possession

    If you make an arrangement with us and fail to keep it, or you fail to respond after the first contact, then you will be served with a Notice of Seeking Possession. This notice is the first stage of the formal legal action and could be the beginning of possession proceedings to repossess your home.

    The notice gives you a total of 28 days to either clear your arrears (debt) in full, or if you are unable to do this, we can make an arrangement with you to clear the arrears as quickly as possible by paying in instalments.

    This Notice of Seeking Possession is active for 12 months or until you clear your arrears in full. Once the Notice of Seeking Possession is active, we can consider possession proceedings to repossess your home if the agreed payments are not being made to reduce your arrears. 

    If your rent is in arrears because you’re waiting for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to be paid, it will be your responsibility to resolve this as quickly as possible to prevent further action being taken. 

    If you are struggling with debt or finding it difficult to budget, it’s always best to speak to us so we can put you in touch with our Money Advisers for independent advice. The team may also be able to help you make sure you’re receiving benefits that you’re entitled to.

  • Court warning

    If you receive a court warning you will normally be given seven days to clear your rent account, make an arrangement, or resolve Housing Benefit or Universal Credit claims. If we do take you to court we will request our costs which will be between £250 and £325 and you will also be at risk of losing your home.

    If you are struggling with debt or finding it difficult to budget, it’s always best to speak to us so we can put you in touch with our Money Advisers for independent advice. The team may also be able to help you make sure you’re receiving benefits that you’re entitled to.

  • Going to court for possession proceedings

    Possession hearings are held in the County Court and a District Judge will listen to you and our Legal Officer to decide whether it’s reasonable to give you more time to pay off your rent arrears.

    If you have received a court date for a Possesion Hearing due to rent arrears you should contact the Rent Payment Team on 0345 60 20 540 immediately. They will be able to offer advice on what you should do to avoid us requestion possession of your home on the day of the hearing.

    What are the options?

    • We can ask the court to set an arrangement to cover the full rent and clear your arrears by agreed instalments so you can keep your home. This is called a Suspended Possession Order.
    • We can ask the court for an Immediate Possession Order if you have failed to make any contact with us and have not made any attempt to reduce your debt
    • If you have reduced your arrears to less than 4 weeks rent we can ask for the proceedings to be adjourned on the grounds that you clear the remaining debt by instalments as ordered by the District Judge.
    • If you clear the full amount of rent outstanding up to the date of the court hearing and the court costs, we can withdraw Possession Proceedings.
  • Missed a rent payment whilst under a court order?

    If you have been ordered to reduce your arrears by a court order, and have fallen into difficulty, you should contact us immediately to work out how you can catch up. We will write to you with how much you need to pay, but if you can’t pay this in one lump sum, we may be able to give you a little extra time to complete the payment.

    Remember, you always remain responsible for the full rent. If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit stops you’ll need to take all possible steps to get this resolved and keep us updated.

    If you ignore our attempts to contact you about this, and your rent account is not brought up to date, we will ask the County Court to set a date for your eviction.

    If you are struggling with debt or finding it difficult to budget, it’s always best to speak to us so we can put you in touch with our Money Advisers for independent advice. The team may also be able to help you make sure you’re receiving benefits that you’re entitled to.

  • Do you have an eviction date?

    If you don’t make payments as ordered by the court, and you have not been able to bring your rent account up to date with the court order instructions, then we will advise the court and the County Court bailiff will set a date to evict you.

    You should contact the Rent Payment Team or our Money Advice Team immediately to discuss what you can do to try to stop this action.  Even at this late stage it might not be too late to keep your home and turn things around.

    Contact us as soon as you can to see if we can help.