Problems with paying your rent
Paying rent is a key part of your tenancy agreement, and we take a firm but fair approach to those who do not pay.
What should I do if I have trouble paying my rent?
We understand that paying rent can sometimes be difficult if you are on a low income or have money problems. Here is a brief guide of what you should do if you find yourself in this situation.
Don’t panic! Please contact the Estate Management team on either (01748) 901158 or 901159 to either discuss your account over the telephone or we can arrange to visit you at home or in one of our Community Offices. It is often possible to make an arrangement to pay your arrears by instalments. If you keep to an arrangement like this then no further action will be taken.
Am I getting all of the benefits I am entitled to?
Many people do not realise that they can claim benefits. You may wish to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau for a Welfare Benefit check - it costs nothing to ask for help.
You can also contact Richmondshire District Council’s Housing and Council Tax Benefit Section for further advice on (01748) 829100.
You can also use the Benefits Calculator.
What if I am struggling with more than one debt?
If you have several debts, you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on (01748) 823978. They will make appointments to see you at their offices with a view to helping you to make arrangements with your creditors. You can also get advice from the CAB advice line www.adviceguide.org.uk
You could also contact The National Debt Line who offer free, confidential, independent advice on FREEPHONE 0808 808 4000 or visit the website www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
If I can pay but don’t
Richmondshire District Council will take every step needed to recover rent from tenants who don’t have a genuine reason for their rent arrears.
We will send letters to all of our tenants who fall into arrears. Do not ignore these letters.
If you are a Secure Tenant and you do not clear the arrears or contact us to speak to your Estate Manager immediately to make a suitable repayment arrangement, we will ultimately serve you with a Notice Seeking Possession (NSP). The NSP stays in place for one year and can be renewed if there are still arrears on your account. Four weeks after the NSP is served, if you have failed to make and maintain a repayment arrangement or clear the arrears in full, your Estate Manager may apply to Court for a Possession Order. The court costs of £285.00 will be charged to you.
If you are an Introductory Tenant you will be served with a Notice of Possession Proceedings (NPP). As an Introductory Tenant, you do not have the same rights as a secure tenant and it is a lot easier for us to gain possession of your home if you fail to pay your rent.
We will continue to write to you and visit you to try to discuss your arrears and it is very important that you make contact with your Estate Manager. You will receive confirmation of the Court Hearing date in writing. It is very important that you attend the Court Hearing as you will need to explain to the County Court Judge why you have not made your payments.
If you make an offer to make payments by instalments, and you are a Secure Tenant, the Court may agree to adjourn your case based on this arrangement. This will stay in force until all the arrears are paid in full.
If you do not make an arrangement to repay your arrears or you default on the agreement made at the County Court, Richmondshire District Council will apply to the County Court again to either request another Hearing or request outright possession of your home. This is called an Eviction Warrant and this gives us the right to send a bailiff to evict you from your home.
Please note: If you are an Introductory Tenant, the Court will automatically give Richmondshire District Council the possession of your home as you have no security of tenure.
If you are evicted, Richmondshire District Council will continue to take action to recover the amount owed. If you contact the Council as a result of homelessness occurring due to non payment of rent you may be considered to have made yourself homeless intentionally and as such would not be entitled to alternative permanent accommodation provided by the council.