If you are having trouble paying your rent, please contact us as soon as possible on 0207 326 3700 and select the 'rent and service charge' option.
It is better to deal with the problem straight away. If you let debts build up, you could be at risk of losing your home.
There are a number of ways that we may be able to help. For example:
- setting up personal repayment plans;
- assessing if you are entitled to more benefits than you are currently receiving;
- putting you in touch with other services that can help with debt advice and support;
- exploring employment and training opportunities to raise your income.
I am in rent arrears. What should I do?
When you signed your tenancy agreement with us, you committed to keeping your rent account in credit at all times.
If you are struggling with rent payments, the earlier you get in touch with us, the quicker we can help you. Please contact our Income Team on 0207 326 3700 and select the 'rent and service charge' option. Our Income Team are here to help you find ways to pay your rent and help you clear any arrears. By not letting us know that you are struggling with your rent, it could result in high arrears and the possibility of losing your home.
If you are in arrears, we will contact you by letter and text to tell you the amount you owe and ask you to make a payment. When you receive your letter, it is important to read it carefully and not ignore it. We will make an agreement with you to pay your rent and clear your arrears.
What happens if I do not stick to my payment agreement?
We do our best to make sure we discuss your payment options and arrange a realistic payment agreement with you before resorting to court. Eviction is always a last resort.
If you do not stick to your payment agreement the following steps will be taken:
- We will serve you with a Notice of Seeking / Requiring Possession.
- If you still do not clear the arrears as agreed in the time allowed, we will request a court hearing.
- At the time of the hearing, if you have still not cleared your arrears in full, the court can grant an outright possession order and we will arrange a date for eviction. (Sometimes the possession order may be suspended if the court allows more time for you to clear your arrears).
- If you still do not clear your arrears once a possession order has been suspended, we will ask the court to arrange an eviction and you may lose your home.
Please contact us if you need help or advice. We can refer you to other organisations that will be able to offer you extra help.
What other help is available to me?
We can refer you to our Welfare Benefits Officer who can help you explore the benefit options available to you. Just call us on 0207 326 3700 if you would like to arrange an appointment with our Welfare Benefits Officer.
You can also get independent advice and help from the following organisations:
Citizens Advice - a service that provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.
National Debtline - a helpline providing free, confidential advice on dealing with debt problems - 0808 808 4000
Did you know that you can also request to have mediation between yourself and SW9 once your case has been referred to court?
If mediation is successful, you’ll make a verbal agreement over the phone. This is legally binding which means that you must comply with it. You’ll be given the terms of the agreement in a document – this is called a Settlement Agreement.
If either party breaks the terms, then the other party can go to court to ask for a judgment or hearing.
If mediation fails and a court hearing is needed, what happened during the mediation appointment cannot be mentioned in court.
You will not have to wait longer for a court hearing if you choose mediation.
For more information visit the government website.