How the council deals with bad payers
The Housing Department is committed to collecting as much rent as possible to provide the finance the department needs for services to customers and to keep properties in good repair.
If tenants are genuinely having difficulty paying their rent, we will provide all the possible help and advice that we can.
The requirement on tenants to pay the rent on time is outlined in the Conditions of Tenancy document given to all tenants when they move into their council home. Further information on payment options is included in the Tenants' Welcome Pack.
Some tenants, however, choose not to pay their rent and in those cases we will take legal steps to repossess the property so that another person or family can be housed.
We will take the following steps to collect rent arrears, repossess a property or recover any other debts including legal charges:
- Reminder letters are sent if the rent account is in arrears.
- A Notice Seeking Possession (NSP) is sent if rent payments are not made and there is no response from the tenant to the reminder letter already issued. The NSP invites you to meet with your housing officer to discuss the rental position - it is important to resolve any problems at this stage as the NSP is the first stage of the legal process.
- A review of the arrears is carried out by your local housing team if no payment or agreement to part payment of arrears is made. Every case is judged on its individual circumstances. We may go to court to ask for a Possession Order to evict a tenant, or a Money Judgement Order to recover debts. We will charge tenants for taking them to court and they must pay this charge in accordance with any court order.
- If a tenant owes rent arrears or any other outstanding charges when they leave their council home, they will be downgraded from the council's waiting list. It may also affect their ability to be rehoused by other local authorities and housing associations. We will continue to pursue tenants who have left their council home with rent arrears and other debts.
PO Box 16564
0121 675 2006