Housing association rent arrears
Your housing association can evict you if you don't pay the rent. However, the housing association will have to go to court before you must leave your home.
Get advice if you are having problems paying your rent. An adviser can help you look at your financial situation and help you to work out what to do.
Work out your finances
It can be difficult dealing with a rent problem. You must plan a solution if you are in debt. If you owe rent you should:
Housing association recovery procedures
Each housing association has a different approach to dealing with rent arrears. Your tenancy agreement will explain your housing association's procedure. Ask your housing association for their recovery procedure if you can't find your tenancy agreement.
Although each housing association has a different procedure, most have a similar structure:
- a letter warning you that rent arrears are increasing
- a letter asking you to meet the housing association to discuss your rent arrears
- a visit from a member of staff to discuss your rent arrears
- the housing association can go to court to evict you if it can't recover the rent arrears
Can my housing association evict me?
Your housing association can evict you if you don't pay your rent. The housing association will usually try to get back the money you owe instead of starting legal proceedings . The housing association must go to the county court to evict you and repossess the property. It is very important that you appear in court to present your case.
If the county court decides that you do owe the money it can:
- give your home to the housing association after 28 days,
- give you a reasonable period of time to repay the debt (usually 18 to 24 months).
If you don't repay the debt within this time the housing association can repossess your home.
I'm in arrears because of problems with housing benefit
Contact the Housing Executive if you have rent arrears because your housing benefit hasn't been paid. Your housing benefit may be delayed for a number of reasons:
- backlogs at the housing benefit office,
- the Housing Executive hasn't got all the information it needs to assess your claim.
If you have provided all the information you've been asked for you can ask for an 'interim payment' 14 days after you put in your claim. You should request this in writing and keep a copy of the letter.
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