If you do not make an appropriate arrangement or stick to an arrangement to clear your arrears, we will take action against you.
Stage 1 - Reminder
Our first step will be to contact you to remind you to make payment and to find out if there is a reason for the delay in your payments. We may contact you by letter, telephone, text message, email or by visiting you.
If we do contact you about your rent arrears, please speak to us. We are trying to help and by discussing your case with us now, we may be able to ensure further recovery action does not need to happen.
Stage 2 - Notice of Seeking Possession
Our next step will be to serve a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) on you. This is a legal notice telling you that we intend to take legal action if you do not pay your arrears.
The NOSP is the first step towards losing your home. We will visit you at home to serve the NOSP so that we can discuss your case. During the discussion, we will offer any help or support that you may need and try to come to a payment arrangement. If you are not home when we visit you, we will post the NOSP through your letterbox and will require you to contact us to discuss your case.
If you make a payment arrangement and stick to it, we will not take any further recovery action. However, the Notice of Seeking Possession will stay live on your account for 12 months so it is important that you keep up to date with your arrangement.
Stage 3 – Legal Letter
If you do not make or stick to a payment arrangement, the next stage will be a letter from our Solicitor. This legal letter will give you 7 days to clear your arrears in full. If you clear the arrears in full and keep your account up to date, there will be no further action.
If you do not, we will issue Possession Proceedings against you. This means a Court Hearing and you will become liable for court costs if this action becomes necessary.
Stage 4 – Possession Proceedings (Court)
At the Court Hearing, depending on your situation, we will usually ask the Judge for either:
Outright Possession of your home. This means you will be required to leave your home on a set date
Possession suspended on weekly payments of your ongoing rent plus an amount towards your rent arrears. This means that if you maintain the payments set by the Courts until your arrears and costs have been cleared in full there will be no further action. However, if you do not keep up to date with those required payments then we get Possession of the property and a date will be set for your eviction
Occasionally, we may ask for an adjournment to allow you more time to resolve financial issues. If this happens, a date will be set for another hearing where we will ask for one of the above 2 options.
In any case, we will also ask for Court Costs and a Money Judgement which means that whether you remain in the property or not you will be required to pay your rent arrears and the court costs.
Stage 5 – Eviction
If we have outright Possession of your home or we have a Suspended Possession Order and you have failed to keep up to date with that Order, we will require you to terminate your tenancy and hand back the keys.
If you do not willingly do so at this stage, we will apply for a warrant for your eviction from the property. A date will then be set for your eviction and you will be removed from the property at a set date and time. If we have to apply for a warrant, the warrant costs will be added to your debt.
If you are evicted for rent arrears, you will still be required to repay the arrears. You will also be considered intentionally homeless and so the Council will be under no obligation to re-house you.