Whether you’re in employment or in receipt of benefit payments, money issues can affect anyone and if you're having difficulties paying your rent, we’re here to help.
- We're here to help
If you’re having difficulties, please talk to us and we’ll try to find a way forward. It's important that you contact us as soon as possible, so we can try and prevent you falling behind and enforcement action being taken for non payment.
We understand it's a stressful situation, and the longer you leave it the worse the situation will get. We can help you with benefits and discuss how to manage your payments. We can also tell you about agencies who offer free and independent money advice to help you manage your debt.
- What happens if I fall behind on my rent payments?
Falling behind on your rent payments is called rent arrears. In fairness to the majority of tenants who pay their rent on time, we must deal firmly with those who do not pay and break agreements to clear arrears.
Working with you
If this happens, our approach is one of prevention, not possession. We'll take all reasonable and practical steps to support you and keep you in your home. These steps are designed to prevent the escalation of rent arrears through prompt advice and assistance.
This will include:
- Contacting you as soon as possible if you fall into arrears to discuss things with you
- Aiming to agree on an affordable repayment plan, based on your income and expenditure
- Assisting you to complete benefit forms
Our housing officers receive regular training on benefits entitlement and debt counselling and can assist with basic advice.
It's our policy when arrears reach a certain level to serve a Notice of Seeking Possession. This legal notice does not mean that you have to leave your home when it expires. However, you must clear your arrears or keep to an arrangement to pay them off. If you fail to do this we will take you to court.
If you do receive a Notice of Seeking Possession you must contact us immediately to discuss how you intend to clear your arrears. If you ignore the notice and your arrears continue we will take legal action.
This may result in a County Court Judgement against you, making it difficult for you to get credit in the future and a possession order which results in you being evicted from your home.
- Where else can I find help?
There are also lots of free services available online and in your community. You’ll find lots of links on our support pages to a range of support agencies, tools and information to help you manage your money and make sure you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on our support pages or need further assistance, please talk to your Housing Officer who can help you get the support you need.