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 for fair and confidential advice.

We can help in a number of ways, including:

  • having your rent paid to us from other benefits
  • organising for your arrears to be paid alongside your weekly rent payments. We will offer constant support during this time
  • having your rent paid directly from your salary if you are employed

However you are repaying your arrears you promise to do so is an agreement with the Housing Executive.

What help can I receive to pay my rent?

If you receive Income Support, or are on a low income, you can claim Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit. The amount you can get will depend on your situation. If you are working you can still claim Housing Benefit.

If you want more advice, an application form, or want to see if you are eligible for Housing Benefit visit your local district office.

What will happen if I cannot keep to the agreement?

If you cannot keep to the agreement to repay your arrears, you must contact your local district office as soon as possible.

You will receive a Broken Agreement letter if you miss any payments. This letter will say that you have 7 days to pay the missed payment. We can apply for payments to be made from certain benefits.

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

I am a new tenant – can I lose my home?

If you are a new Housing Executive tenant your tenancy will start with a 12 month trial period.  During this time you will not have all the rights of a secure tenant, and could be evicted if you break your tenancy agreement.

If there are no problems during your first 12 months of tenancy you will become a secure tenant. The date this will happen is on your tenancy agreement.

If your account falls into arrears during this time you will be offered the advice and support as a secure tenant. So you will be given the chance to repay the arrears along with your normal weekly charge.

If you fail to pay the arrears during your trial period, you will receive an Order for Possession from the court and will have 14 days to ask for a review of the case. This review will be heard by a member of Housing Executive staff. 

You do not have the right to appeal against the outcome of the review.

I am a secure tenant – can I lose my home?

We do not want to make anyone homeless. If you are a secure tenant and fall into arrears we will try our best to help you, but if you do not reply to letters or visits, we will take legal action. The courts will issue a Decree for Debt or a Possession Order.

Possession Orders

If we want to evict a tenant, we need to obtain a possession order from the court to allow us to do this. When the court grants a possession order you lose your security of tenure and you may have legal costs which will be added to your existing arrears.

If you are seen to be intentionally homeless, we may not have a duty to rehouse you and you will have to find your own accommodation.

Making a complaint

If you are unhappy with a decision made by the Housing Executive or the way you have been treated you can make a complaint under our complaints procedure.

A leaflet explaining how the two stage complaints procedure works is available from your local district office.


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Transfers and exchanges
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