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Council home rent arrears

If you already have arrears, you should contact us on 0800 028 1870 to clear the outstanding balance.

If you cannot clear the arrears all at once, you may be able to make an arrangement to clear them in weekly or monthly instalments with your rent payments.

You must stick to any agreement you make. If you do not make an arrangement or stick to an arrangement to clear your arrears, we will take action against you. There are multiple stages to this process.

When we contact you about your rent arrears, please speak to us. We may be able to make sure further recovery action does not happen if you speak to us about it now.

There are 5 stages of recovering rent arrears.

Stage 1 - reminder

If you miss a rent payment, our first step will be to get in touch with you to remind you and ask if there is a reason for the delay in your payments. We may do this by letter, phone, text, email or an in-person visit.

Stage 2 - Notice of Seeking Possession

Our next step is serving a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) on you. This is a 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 may visit you to serve the NOSP so that we can discuss your case. During any visit, we will offer any help or support you may need to come to a payment agreement. If you are not home when we visit you, we will post the NOSP through your letterbox, you then have 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 NOSP will stay live on your account for 12 months so it is important to keep up with your agreement.

Stage 3 - legal letter

If you do not make or stick to a payment agreement, the next stage will be a letter from our solicitor. This letter will give you 7 days to clear your arrears in full. If you keep your account up to date, there will be no further action.

If you do not do this, we will issue possession proceedings against you. This means a court hearing.

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 need 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 if you maintain the payments set by the courts there will be no further action, however, if you do not keep up to date with the payments, 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 your 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 or not you remain in the property, you will have to pay the rent arrears and 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, you will need 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 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 still have to repay the arrears. You will also be considered intentionally homeless and BCP Council may be under no obligation to re-house you.

Help and advice

To find out how much rent you owe, or for advice on paying your rent, call us on 0800 028 1870.

Please be aware that payments can take up to 5 working days to reach us. You can also get help and advice about your money worries or debt problems from our money adviser.

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