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What if I can't pay my rent

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2. Recovering unpaid rent

If you fail to pay your rent, we will take the following actions:

Step 1

You will be sent reminder letters detailing the amount outstanding and requesting payment. We will also remind you that if you are experiencing difficulties paying your rent you need to contact us immediately.


Step 2

If the reminders are ignored we may serve you with a Notice of Seeking Possession if you have a secure or flexible tenancy. This is the first step of the legal process to get possession of the dwelling. The notice gives a period of at least 28 days for you to pay your debt in full or make arrangements to pay by instalments.

If you have an introductory tenancy we will serve you with a Notice to End at which point you will be given 14 days to ask us to review our decision to end your tenancy.

Upon service of a notice we will consider you to be threatened with homelessness and we have a duty to refer your case to our Housing Needs Service who will contact you to discuss your housing situation.


Step 3

For secure or flexible tenants if the debt continues to increase the matter will be referred to the county court to seek a Possession Order on your home. At the court hearing a District Judge will normally grant a Suspended Possession Order, which means that you will be required to pay the rent as it falls due plus a fixed sum each week towards your arrears of rent. At the hearing we will also seek an order for costs which will be added to your rent account.

For introductory tenants, if you failed to ask for a review of our decision within the 14days or your review was unsuccessful the matter will be referred to Court. The court will give us a possession order after which we will contact the county court bailiff to request a date to take possession of your home.


Step 4

If you do not keep to the terms of the court order we will contact the court and ask the court to issue a Possession Warrant, which the county court bailiff will serve and execute to take possession of your home.

We do everything possible to prevent evictions but, as a last resort, we will evict people who do not pay their rent. Please do not ignore the problem. We can try to help you resolve it.

You should be aware that if you are evicted you could be deemed as being intentionally homeless owing to your failure to comply with the terms of your tenancy and make payments of rent, as such the Council would be under no obligation to offer you other accommodation, or be held responsible for any goods left on the premises at the time of repossession.

For further information please see our Debt Collection Policy.