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Trouble paying my rent or service charge

There may be times when you are unable to pay your rent or service charge. This could be for a variety of reasons including redundancy, unemployment, bereavement or illness. We know that change can be unexpected or worrying and we’re here to help.

  • We’re here to help – please contact us to let us know. We will then get in touch to offer help and advice about managing your money and any welfare benefits you may be entitled to.
  • If you are claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you will also need to inform your local Housing Benefit Office or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) directly as your payments may change.
  • You can also take a look at our Money advice section which has lots of useful information about a range of money matters.

What happens if I get into arrears?

  • If you don’t pay your rent or service charge and get in to arrears then we will contact you to discuss making a payment. In some situations we may accept an agreement to pay.
  • We can offer you support and help to maximise your income/benefits.
  • You can also contact local advice agencies including Welfare Rights and Citizens and Advice.
  • If you are still unable to pay, we will have no choice but to begin our arrears recovery process. This is bound by the rent arrears pre-action protocol. It means we will do all we can before we apply to begin court proceedings.

What is a notice seeking possession?

  • If you fail to make regular payments, sort out a Housing Benefit/Universal Credit claim or seek other support, we may issue you with a Notice of Seeking Possession.
  • This notice is the start of repossession proceedings giving you four weeks to clear the account, make an arrangement to pay or sort out problems with Housing Benefit or Universal Credit claims.
  • We cannot take legal action against you to repossess the property until after this four-week period.

Legal action

  • Four weeks after serving a Notice of Seeking Possession we can apply to the courts to recover the property, rent arrears and court costs.
  • We will advise you when we are making a court application.
  • You will be told of the court date and will be advised to attend. A judge will decide whether we get the property back on the condition that you pay the rent due plus arrears and court costs or whether we get the property back immediately (usually within 28 days).
  • If the judge decides you can stay in the property on condition of payment, we will monitor your account to make sure this happens.
  • If the payment isn’t made, we will contact you about making regular payments.
  • If you still don’t pay we have no choice but to issue a warrant to the court to recover the property.
  • If we get a warrant from the court you will receive an eviction date and you will need to leave the property.
  • If you leave the property owing rent, we will refer the matter to a Debt Collection Agency and this may affect your credit rating.

Support to maintain your tenancy

What can the Tenancy Coach Service offer you?

  • Support to help you settle into your first tenancy e.g. obtaining furniture, sorting out utilities
  • Support with moving on
  • Support to address rent arrears, benefit issues and debt problems
  • Support to help you develop the skills you need to live independently
  • Access to health and specialist services
  • A dedicated support worker to provide advice and assistance

The Tenancy Coach Service works with people who have mental & physical health needs, substance addictions, vulnerabilities such as domestic violence or safeguarding concerns, complex benefits or arrears issues or are facing financial hardship.

Referrals are made by a Neighbourhood Services Manager  or you can contact us for more information.