If you are experiencing difficulties and cannot pay your rent, you should call your housing/income recovery officer straight away. We understand things can go wrong and we can advise you on how to deal with the problem. We will discuss the situation in confidence and can offer advice on benefits and dealing with debt if necessary.
If you miss a payment, we will write to you immediately. It is very important that you do not ignore this letter. If you contact us, we can help you come to an arrangement to pay back any overdue rent. We can also help you check that you are receiving all the benefits, such as housing benefit, that you are entitled to.
We consider legal action only when all other options have failed. However, if you do not make contact with us, or do not stick to any payment agreement, we will start legal action, which could lead to you losing your home.
There are several stages to legal action and we will negotiate with you at every step to try to avoid eviction:
- The first stage is to serve you with a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP). This is a warning that you could lose your home and that we will take legal action if you do not keep to an agreement to pay the overdue rent.
- If you still do not contact us and make no arrangement to pay the overdue rent we will ask the Court for a Possession Order. The costs will be added to any money that you owe us.
- When the Court gives us a Possession Order, we will usually suspend it if you keep making the payments the Court has set.
- If you fail to make these payments, we will take action to evict you. If you have to go to Court, our guide to the Court process explains what you can expect and helps you to prepare for the hearing.
- Eviction is always the last resort, but if you are evicted and you ask your council to rehouse you, they are likely to decide that you have made yourself intentionally homeless and they will not help you.