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Rent arrears

Note: This information is only for council tenants in Bournemouth properties. If you’re a council tenant in a Poole property, please visit the PHP website.

If you do not pay your rent, you may be evicted from your home. It’s important to pay your rent on time. If you fall into arrears with your rent payments, you should pay them off as quickly as possible.  

If you’re having difficulty paying your rent, please contact your income officer immediately. The sooner you tell us about it, the quicker we can help:  

  • we can arrange affordable repayments to help you get on top of things 
  • we can give you advice on budgeting, money management and sorting out debt problems 
  • we can check you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to 
  • you may be able to apply for discretionary housing payments.  

We will not take any further action if you agree to an affordable repayment agreement and stick to it.  

Please do not ignore rent arrears or letters from us asking you to get in touch - it will only make your situation worse.  

Housing Benefit  

You may be able to claim Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent.  

Let us know if you’re waiting for a Housing Benefit claim to go through. It should take no more than 4 weeks. Your housing officer should be able to tell you how much money you’ll be given.  

If you’ve given us all the right information for the assessment, and you pay what we have asked, we will not normally take legal action against you.   

What happens if I do not clear my arrears  

If you do not clear your arrears or keep to the repayment arrangement you made with us, we’ll take legal action to recover the money you owe us. This could result in us evicting you from your home. Eviction is a last resort and only happens when all our attempts to help you have failed to resolve the problem.  

If you’re joint tenants, both of you are responsible for rent arrears. If one tenant leaves the property, they are still responsible for paying rent until the joint tenancy is formally ended.  

If you’re bankrupt, we will still evict you if you do not pay your rent arrears. Non-payment of rent breaks the terms of your tenancy agreement. 

Help and advice

To find out how much rent you owe, or for advice on paying your rent, call us on 01202 123 300.

Please be aware that payments can take up to 5 working days to reach us. If you’re a council tenant, get help and advice about your money worries or debt problems from our money adviser.