Paying your rent on time is one of the most important conditions of your tenancy, and you are responsible for making sure that your rent account does not fall into arrears.
We do understand that sometimes our residents experience a change in circumstances which causes financial difficulties – you must let us know immediately. The sooner we know about any problems, the easier it will be for us to help you.
What should I do?
- contact us, we’ll do all we can to help you
- get some independent advice - ask someone like the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to help you
- don’t ignore any letters or calls about your arrears
- if you think you may be entitled to housing benefit, complete an application form. Make sure you provide all the information needed to assess your claim. If not your claim will be delayed or will not be paid
- get a receipt for any completed forms or letters – especially about your Housing Benefit claim
- keep us up-to-date with information about your Housing Benefit claim
- make an agreement with us to pay off any arrears at a rate you can afford, and stick to it
- don’t ignore the problem, it won’t just go away.
We take rent arrears very seriously, so if you fall behind with rent we will take prompt, helpful and firm action including taking all reasonable steps to make personal contact with you as soon as possible if you haven’t already got in touch.
We will ask you to clear your arrears straight away. If for some reason you can’t, we will agree to repayments that take into account your income and commitments each week.
We will confirm the agreement in writing so there is no doubt what payments are expected. As long as you keep to the agreement, we won’t take any further action.
Failing to keep an agreement could result in you losing your home. If you do not pay as agreed and the arrears are not cleared, the next step is a Notice Seeking Possession. If you still do not pay we will take you to court, where you will be ordered to pay back the rent you owe, plus court costs.
Although there are unfortunately times when we have to take this action, we do not want to reach this stage, so please cooperate with us and we will give you as much help as possible to sort out the problem and stay in your home.
Where it is helpful, we can also put you in touch with agencies who specialise in debt advice. We will also provide advice on benefits, and other ways of increasing income or reducing outgoings.
We aim to treat anyone experiencing financial difficulties sympathetically and fairly, however it is important that you make paying your rent your most important financial commitment.
Contact the Income team on 0300 123 8080