Rent arrears: what can happen if you don't pay your rent

Our rent arrears procedures and what could happen if you don't pay your rent.

If you don't pay your rent on time you will be in arrears. We will visit you and send you a letter if your account goes into arrears.
 

If you cannot pay your rent

Please tell us if you are having problems paying your rent.

Our staff are trained to deal with debt problems and will also try to help by making sure you are getting all the welfare benefits you are entitled to and, where appropriate, arranging for you to pay off your missed rent in instalments you can afford.

If you get behind with your rent, you may lose certain rights as a tenant. If you constantly fail to pay your rent, we will take action against you and you may lose your home altogether.

We will also take  action against you if you leave your tenancy without paying all the rent you owe.

You will risk losing your home if you do not pay your rent regularly.
 

What may happen

If you do not pay your rent we will work with you to recover the arrears. If you still do not pay we will take steps that may end in you being evicted from your home.

We will try to recover the arrears if you:

  • do not pay your rent
  • do not make contact with us
  • have not applied for Housing Benefit

Find out more about council and housing association evictions on GOV.UK.
 

Our rent arrears process

Find out how we will work with you to recover any rent arrears that you owe.

Week 2 - arrears visit

A housing officer will visit you to discuss your arrears. They will give you advice regarding payment methods and Housing Benefit. You will also be advised to seek help from the Citizens Advice or Essex Floating Support Service.

We will  leave a covering letter with you. If you are out when the housing officer visits they will post a covering letter through your door.

Week 4 - Notice of Seeking Possession

A housing officer will deliver a Notice of Seeking Possession. They will also discuss your arrears with you again.

If you are not in the housing officer will visit again at a different time. The housing officer will post a copy of the Notice of Seeking Possession through your door if you are not in on this second visit. They will also lave a card asking you to contact us as a matter of urgency to discuss the situation.

Week 8 - letter from a senior housing officer

If we still do not hear from you we'll send you a letter to be sent from the Senior Housing Officer (Rents). This letter will advise you that we will apply to the court for a possession order unless you make arrangements to repay the rent arrears.

We will also offer to set up a formal interview with you to discuss the situation.

Week 10 - application to the court for a possession order

We will apply to the court for a possession order. We'll send you a letter to advise you of the date of the hearing and the costs that you must pay.

 

Rent Arrears Policy

You can find more information in our Rent Arrears Policy.