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What happens if I don't pay my rent?

​​​We want you to enjoy living in your home but it's important to remember that not paying your rent - even once - means that you are breaking the terms of your Tenancy Agreement. You risk losing your home if you don’t pay your rent.

If you miss a payment, we will take immediate action and will contact you by:

  • Telephone
  • Text
  • Email
  • Letter
  • In person at your home

We will contact you to make you aware of the situation and so we can help you take steps to pay off your arrears. If we don’t hear from you and you don’t respond to any of our attempts to contact you, then we may start legal action.

This can lead to a court application to take possession of your home which isn’t what we want to happen. You will have to pay any legal costs. Legal action of this sort may also affect your ability to get credit or a loan.

Read on to find out more information on legal action.

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​If you are in financial difficulties please contact us​ immediately. We can offer help, advice and practical support. We can also refer you to our Money Advice Team who will be able to help maximise your income click here for the Money Advice web page.


​Initially we will write to you to inform you that your account is in arrears, we will invite you to contact us to discuss ways to pay. If you do not contact us, your Neighbourhood Officer will call to discuss your arrears. 

You will also be offered an appointment with our Money Advice Team​, who will be able to advise you on maximising your income as well as help you budget your money appropriately.

If we are unable to contact you by personal visit or telephone we will send you a letter to advise you that we will begin court proceedings unless you contact us. ​


​A Notice Seeking Possession is a legal notice stating that we intend to take you to court for non-payment of rent and obtain a County Court Order giving us possession of your home. You will be informed of the Court hearing date so you can attend. If you receive a Court date and are unsure of what to do you can contact us for advice and assistance. The following organisations can also offer advice and support:


​Legal proceeding will be put on hold if you clear your account or come to an agreement with us. An agreement is drawn up detailing how much you will pay to clear your arrears, and how often. If the agreement is broken, legal proceedings will begin again. It is important to come to an agreement that you can afford to pay consistently.​


​If you claim Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or are on a low income the minimum you can pay is your current rent plus £3.65 per week. We will look at your individual circumstances and come to an agreement with you.​


​We will give details to the court of how much you owe, details of any payments received and what we have done to help you pay your debts. We will also ask the court to award us costs. This means in addition to your arrears you will be asked to pay court costs of approximately £250.

We could ask the court for a Possession Order or a Suspended Possession Order. The Court could also adjourn the case.​


​Yes, you can bring along anyone you wish to represent you. Both Shelter and the Citizen Advice Bureau can offer help, advice and support. ​


​A Possession Order, which is granted by the Court, ends your tenancy and gives us the legal power to evict you from the property. The Court will decide a date when the Possession Order comes into force, generally 28 days from the Court date.​


​A Suspended Possession Order means that as long as you continue to pay your rent and reduce your arrears by the amount agreed in Court you can continue to live in your home. ​


​The Court could decide to adjourn a case for various reasons. This means that we would apply to Court for another date to continue proceedings.  ​


​If we have been granted a Suspended Possession Order and you break your agreement to reduce your arrears. We will invite you to attend an interview. This is held by the Housing Services Manager to discuss your specific circumstances. The Housing Services Manager will review your case with you and come to an agreement to reduce your arrears. If you fail to attend the Interview or do not reach an agreement, we will return to Court to obtain a Possession Order and eviction proceedings will follow. ​


​You may be considered intentionally homeless as a result of being evicted. However, this depends on your personal circumstances. Our Homeless section may be able to offer temporary housing. If a Possession Order is granted we will automatically inform the WBC Homeless section​, who may be able to offer you help and advice.


​Even if we evict you, the rent arrears on your account still need to be paid. We will continue to work with you to clear your arrears. If you do not make an agreement to pay we can send your case to a debt recovery agency. This could effect your ability to access credit in the future. If you have outstanding debts with us, you may not be able to apply for another property with us.​​