Rent debt recovery action
Rent must be collected to provide services to customers and keep properties in good repair.
Tenants are required to pay rent on time as outlined in the Conditions of Tenancy given to all tenants when they move into their council home.
If you are genuinely having difficulty paying your rent we will provide help and advice.
If your rent account goes into debt which you then fail to clear the Council takes legal steps to repossess the property so that another person or family can be housed. The Rent Service will follow pre-action protocol guidance produced by the Ministry of Justice in recovering the debt owed.
Recovery action for rent debt
A warning letter is sent when your rent account falls into debt. If the debt is not cleared or you fail to respond to the letter then a notice will be served which is the start of the legal process. The type of notice served depends on the type of tenancy you have.
If you are a secure tenant: you will be served with a notice seeking possession you must contact the Rent Service immediately to discuss your options if you are unable to clear the debt in full.
If you are an introductory tenant: you will be served with a Notice of Possession Proceedings (NOPP). Alternatively, the Rent Service may seek to extend you introductory tenancy by a further six months. You will be invited to make a review application which can be done by completing an Application for a Review Form or calling the Rent Service. As an introductory tenant you have different rights to a secure tenant details of which are found in the Conditions of Tenancy. This means that if you fail to apply for a review or clear your debt then the Judge generally, cannot disagree with our request to repossess your home.
Court and eviction proceedings
If you receive a letter that you are being taken to court for rent debt you must contact the Rent Service on 0121 675 2006 immediately to discuss options available to you.
If at court the judge grants a possession order or a suspended possession order with terms and you fail to keep to the terms then a warrant application will be made for your eviction.
You will be given an eviction date and time. You must contact the Rent Service on 0121 675 2006 immediately. The only way that we will be able to halt the eviction proceedings is if you clear the rent debt in full including any court costs that you may be liable for. Alternatively, you can make an application directly to the courts or seek independent legal advice.
If you have left furniture in your property after an eviction, you must contact the Rent Service on 0121 675 2006 to arrange to have the furniture removed or moved to your new address. You will be liable to pay the removal costs – this is a condition of your tenancy.
If you do not arrange for the furniture to be removed, we will put it in storage for 28 days and if you do not claim it, we will arrange for it to be sold to recover any outstanding debt.