Problems Paying Rent and Debts

It is most important that you contact us [Telephone: (01624) 675564] as soon as you can if you are having problems paying your rent. We will arrange to discuss the matter with you in private, and will be able to suggest methods of clearing any arrears.

Remember that arrears can start off small when the occasional payment is missed but they build up quickly. If your account remains in arrears or if you are a persistent late payer we will take action to recover the rent you owe us. Rent payment should always be at least 1 week in advance.

Please remember, if you are having difficulties paying your rent:

  • speak to the Deputy Finance Manager or contact the Commissioners’ Finance Office by telephoning (01624) 675564, or email; 
  • get advice, for example, from Citizen’s Advice Service or the Office of Fair Trading, and
  • continue to make regular weekly payments, no matter how small they are.

What happens if rent is not paid?

If you find yourself in arrears, or are having problems in making your rent payments we will always be sympathetic to your position, and you should contact us for help and advice as quickly as possible. If you do not pay your rent, members of the Finance Office will contact you by letter and/or telephone to request that you clear your arrears and remind you of your obligation to keep your payments up to date.

If you fail to respond or do not make satisfactory arrangements to clear the arrears, you will be sent a final reminder. Failure to respond to this within 7 days will result in a notice to quit and your arrears being referred to our advocates for legal action to repossess your home.

If you have previously been in arrears and have already been through this process, you may automatically get sent a notice to quit. The same could apply if you have failed to keep up payments on any agreement to clear your arrears.

If you do not make arrangements to clear your arrears or they continue to increase we will have no alternative but to take legal action against you and you will be in danger of losing your home. In addition, any legal or administration costs incurred while pursuing our claim against you may also be charged to you.

REMEMBER: Ask for help before your debt gets too large.

We will work with you to help resolve your financial difficulties so that, if at all possible, you do not have to leave your home.

Some reasons to avoid falling behind with your rent

  • If we take court action against you, you will have to pay all the costs of this action. If a case goes to court the costs will be more than £200. You will have to pay this as well as any outstanding arrears.
  • Owing rent is likely to prevent you getting a transfer or mutual exchange.
  • We will not let a garage to you if you have rent arrears.
  • If you have a court order against you, you may be blacklisted by credit companies

But most importantly

You can avoid the upset and expense of legal action by contacting us early to make suitable arrangements to pay off as much as you can afford.

How to deal with other debts

If you are having problems keeping up with other payments or debts, you should get help as quickly as possible. The Office of Fair Trading has a Debt Counselling Service and can be contacted [Telephone: (01624) 686510].

The Citizen's Advice Service is also available to help [Telephone: (01624) 626863].

Don’t ignore the problem. The sooner you get help the easier it will be to sort things out.

You can also help yourself by following a few simple steps to work out a budget. Add up all the money you have coming into your home each week or month. Work out over the same period of time all the things you spend your money on. You must make sure that you include all essential items such as food, electricity, gas/oil, rent, and any other regular payments.

Take what you spend away from what you have coming in. The amount left is what you can spend to pay off any other debts.