Rent arrears

How to avoid getting into arrears

If you do not pay your rent, or pay it late, the amount of money that you owe is called rent arrears. If your rent account is in arrears you should contact us right away.

We can help in a number of ways, including:

  • having your rent paid to us from other benefits

  • having your arrears paid alongside your weekly rent payments. We will offer constant support during this time.

  • having your rent paid directly from your salary

However you choose to repay your arrears we can set up an arrangement to help you monitor your payments. We and we will notify you if fail to make an agreed payment.

Is there help to pay my rent?

You may be able to claim the Housing Cost element of Universal Credit or Housing Benefit to help pay your rent. Whether you can claim and the amount you can get will depend on your situation. If you are working you can still apply for help.

If you want more advice, an application form, or want to see if you are eligible , visit our Housing Benefit section  or call 03448 920 902 [textphone 18001 03448 920 902].

You can read more information on Universal Credit at NIdirect

What will happen if I cannot keep to the agreement?

Contact us immediately if you find you cannot keep to the arrangement to pay your arrears to see how we can help.

If we do not hear from you we will send a Broken Arrangement letter if you miss any payments. This letter will say that you have 7 days to pay the missed payment to get back on track.

Please do not ignore any warning letters. This could result in legal action.

I am a new tenant – can I lose my home if I am in arrears?

If you are a new Housing Executive tenant your tenancy will start as an Introductory Tenant for the first 12 months.  During this trial period you will not have all the rights of a secure tenant and you could be evicted if you break your tenancy agreement.

If you do not pay your rent during your trial period we can offer advice and support to help you manage your money and pay your rent and any arrear. If this does not happen we can take legal action and you will get a Possession Order for the immediate control of the property and for the rent you owe.

If there are no problems during your first 12 months of tenancy you will become a full Secure Tenant. The date you become a Secure Tenant is detailed in your Tenancy Agreement.

I am a Secure Tenant – can I lose my home?

We do not want to make anyone homeless. If you are a secure tenant who falls into arrears we will try our best to help you manage this. But if you do not reply to letters or visits we can take legal action to recover the rent arrears and be awarded a Possession Order for the property.

Possession Orders

If we need to evict a tenant, we must obtain a Possession Order from the court. When the court grants a Possession Order there can be conditions attached. If you do not keep to these conditions  you can lose your security of tenure. This could in time lead to your eviction.

Legal costs will be added to your existing arrears.

If you are considered ‘intentionally homeless’, because you chose not to pay your rent, we may not have a duty to rehouse you. This means you will have to find your own accommodation.

Making a complaint

If you are not satisfied with a decision made by the Housing Executive or the way you have been treated you can make a complaint

To find out more about our complaints process, read How our complaints procedure works.

You can also pick up a leaflet explaining how our complaints procedure works from your local office.

 

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Transfers and exchanges
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