Ryedale District Council

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Help and advice on rent arrears

Information and advice on what to do if you fail to pay your rent. Paying rent is a key part of your tenancy agreement. If you fail to pay your rent you could be at risk of becoming homeless.

 

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!
  • Contact your Housing Association to discuss your account over the telephone. 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.
  • Email the Housing Options Team for advice.
  • Appointments with a member of the Housing Options team are available at Ryedale House every weekday and can be arranged by phoning Customer Services 01653 600666.
  • If you cannot attend an appointment but would like to speak to one of the team for advice please phone 01653 600666 and ask for Housing Options.

 

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 Ryedale District Council's Housing and Council Tax Benefit Section for further advice on (01653 600666).

You can also use the Benefits Calculator on the GOV.UK Website.

 

If you have several debts, you can contact the Ryedale Citizens Advice Bureau on 08444 111 444. 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.

You could also contact The National Debt Line who offer free, confidential, independent advice on FREEPHONE 0808 808 4000.

 

Your Housing Association will take action to recover rent from tenants who don't have a genuine reason for their rent arrears. They will send letters to all their 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 your Housing Association to speak to your Estate Manager immediately to make a suitable repayment arrangement, you may ultimately be served 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 £150.00 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.

Your Housing Association 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, Your Landlord may 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 your landlord 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 your Housing Association the possession of your home as you have no security of tenure.

If you are evicted, your Housing Association 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 intentionally homeless and, as such, would not be entitled to alternative permanent accommodation provided by the council.

 

 

If you are Housing Association tenant with rent arrears and you are worried about eviction, please see the information below.

 

Don't delay - get some help today, contact the Council's Housing Options Team straight away on 01653 600666.

A Housing Options Officer can advise you about your rights and may be able to assist you to claim benefits which you are entitled to. They may also refer you to other agencies which can help with debt problems, support you at court or negotiate on your behalf. Should they be unable to prevent your homelessness they will advise you of your Housing Options and can investigate your homelessness and find out whether you are eligible for temporary accommodation or other assistance.

Contact the Housing Options Team or telephone 01653 600666 to make an appointment for an interview with the duty officer. Appointments are usually available every weekday at Ryedale House in Malton.

 

Depending on your personal circumstances you may be able to work with your landlord, for example by arranging a meeting to look at your finances and agree a payment plan to pay off your arrears. This action could prevent you from becoming homeless so that you can stay in your home.

 

Ryedale CAB may also be able to help to prevent you from becoming homeless. They have specially trained advisors who may be able to help. They hold drop-in sessions at Stanley Harrison house, Norton Road, Norton, Malton each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.30am until 12.30pm and there is a drop-in session in Pickering library each Tuesday from 10.00am until 1.00pm. Email Ryedale CAB or telephone the advice line on 0844 4111444.

 

Horton Housing provide a Homelessness Prevention service in Ryedale and you can contact them directly to ask for help by phoning 01653 694703 or 01723 366566.

Shelter is a national organisation which has a comprehensive housing advice and phone helpline on 0808 8004444.

 

Support may be available from Foundation. Foundation is an independent charity whose legal advice team provides housing advice and legal representation to residents of North and East Yorkshire who are in danger of losing their homes.

Foundation has a Duty Housing Adviser or Solicitor present on housing possession days in York, Scarborough, Bridlington, Harrogate and Skipton County Courts. The Adviser can negotiate on your behalf and represent you at the court hearing.

Contact: 0113 3030150

 

 

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Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House, Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

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