What happens if I can’t pay?

The simple answer is that you could end up losing your home.

Paying your rent isn’t a matter of choice. It’s your legal responsibility.

We know life isn’t always as simple as that. So if you’re having money problems, call us on 0300 123 3456: don’t wait until it’s too late.

Who can I speak to about this?

Your income officer can help you: they’ve helped hundreds of other tenants so that they can pay their rent. Try talking to them first.

Your income officer can:

  • identify benefits to which you might be entitled
  • refer you to our welfare rights team
  • give you advice about how to save money
  • refer you to our debt advisor
  • tell you how our award-winning employment team will help you find a job if you’re out of work
  • help you fill in your benefit claims form
  • make an agreement with you about how you can pay your rent in instalments

Call our Customer Care Line on 0300 123 3456 and ask to speak with your income officer before you get into deeper financial trouble.

If you don’t pay, we might end up taking you to court. This might mean that you lose certain rights that most of our tenants enjoy, like being able to transfer to another home, or to rent a parking place or garage.

It could result in you being evicted from your home.

Step 1: we will contact you

If you don’t pay your rent regularly, we’ll contact you. Please respond. We don’t want to take step 2.

We will make every effort we can to contact you, both verbally and in writing. We want to support you so that you can pay your rent. We want to come to an agreement about rent you owe.

If you ignore these approaches, or fail to keep to the terms of any agreement we reach, then we’ll have to start legal proceedings against you.

Step 2: legal proceedings

If you ignore these approaches, or fail to keep to the terms of any agreement we reach, we’ll start legal proceedings against you.

We will send you a letter informing you that we have started legal proceedings against you. You will not have to leave your home immediately.

But you should talk to your Income Officer immediately or seek independent legal advice.

Step 3: a formal meeting

If you don’t repay your debts, you will be sent a pre-court letter requesting a meeting at your home or in our office.

We will talk with you about the implications of the court action. We’ll support you with ways you can repay your debt.

Step 4: court hearing

If you don’t repay your debts, you will be sent a possessions summons telling you of the county court hearing date.

If the debts are not cleared before this date (and, remember, you should continue to make rent payments during this time), then the court will decide on four options:

  • An outright order: you will have to leave your home in either 7, 14 or 28 days.
  • A postponed possession order: if you don’t pay the rent you owe as per the terms stipulated in the order, we will then apply for a date to be fixed for possession. You will then receive a warrant of possession with a formal eviction date.
  • Suspended possession order: if you don’t pay the rent you owe on the date stipulated within the order, you will receive a warrant of possession with an eviction date.
  • Throw the case out (dismiss the case). This could happen, for example, if you aren’t responsible for the arrears
  • The court may also decide to adjourn the proceedings, either generally or for a fixed period of time, with or without conditions for payment.
  • A short adjournment may occur in situations where the case cannot be decided yet, for example, because of an outstanding housing benefit claim, or where the hearing should be delayed for some other reason.
  • A general adjournment may be given in cases where the tenant has made arrangements to repay the arrears which is being adhered to or where special circumstances exist.

Step 5: eviction

Your eviction date is the day the bailiffs will come with your income officer to repossess your home.

We don’t want to have to evict you. Please talk to us on 0300 123 3456 if you have problems paying your rent.

Improving health, wealth and wellbeing through housing

Improving health, wealth and wellbeing through housing

Improving health, wealth and wellbeing through housing