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Rent and service charge arrears

We will take firm action against tenants who do not pay their rent. We have a strict policy on rent and service charge arrears. Maintaining low arrears enables us to keep our rents affordable.

If you don’t pay your rent and service charge in full and on time, we have the right to take you to court for permission to evict you and to recover the money you owe.

We would much rather you came to an agreement with us to pay what you owe – either all in one go, or by making regular payments towards your arrears. So, you should always contact us if you are having difficulties.

See also our web page on Managing your finances.

How to avoid legal action

  • Pay your rent and service charge regularly in advance from the start of your tenancy.
  • If you fall behind, contact us and explain why. Don’t ignore the letters we send you.
  • If you have fallen into arrears and made an agreement with us to clear your debt, you must keep to this agreement. Contact your housing officer immediately if you can’t do this for any reason.

If you claim benefits

You are still responsible for paying your rent and service charge on time and in full, even if you use benefits towards the cost.

To avoid legal action, you need to do the following.  

  • When claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, make sure you send all the necessary documents – including details of your income if you are working and/or confirmation of any benefits you get from the DWP.
  • Get a receipt to prove you have made a claim and give us a copy.
  • Remember, it is your responsibility to chase the claim, not ours.
  • Tell the Housing Benefit office or the DWP if any changes in your household might affect the amount of housing benefit you are eligible for. These changes could include the following.
    • You or your partner stop or start getting other benefits.
    • You or your partner’s savings go up or down.
    • Someone (not including your partner or children) over the age of 18 starts living in your home.
    • You move out.
    • Someone else moves into your home.
    • Your children leave school or move away from home.
    • You go into hospital for more than six weeks.
  • Make sure you request any backdating of benefit quickly – backdating is only possible for a limited time.
  • Be aware that the Housing Benefit office and the DWP target fraud and may visit you in your home.