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Facing Rent Arrears?

Our People - Navin Bundhoo
8 January, 2019

Statistics show that more than sixty percent of tenants will face rent arrears at some point in their lives. What can you do if this happens to you?

Check how much rent you actually owe!

It is important you keep records of: 

  • All payments made by you;
  • Any housing benefit or universal credit payments; and 
  • All rent paid in advance at the start of the tenancy. 

If you tend to find that you end up being in rent arrears due to your benefits not being paid at the right time to you, you can always request for payments to go direct to your landlord. These benefits are usually paid directly to you but it might help if the payments are made direct to your landlord instead. 

Communication is key! 

It is vital you speak to your landlord as soon as possible so you can inform them of any difficulties you might have in paying the rent. Most landlords may consider giving you an extension of time to repay the rent due or agree to set up a payment plan.

The ‘Eviction’ notice

Speaking to your landlord might not always resolve the situation, your landlord may threaten you with eviction. What then?

Depending on the type of tenancy you have, there are certain procedures the landlord must comply with if they wish to evict you lawfully.

If you receive any “Notice” seeking possession, it is crucial that you contact solicitors immediately to get legal advice. 

If a court hearing date has already been set and you wish to successfully defend the proceedings, there is a lot of preparation that needs to be done before the date of the hearing.

So, the sooner you get legal advice from solicitors, the stronger your prospects will be to successfully defend yourself from eviction proceedings.

What if you decide to leave?

You may decide that you do not wish to challenge the eviction proceedings. If you do decide to leave, you must end your tenancy properly or your rent arrears will continue to grow until the property is re-let.

Your landlord might agree to end your tenancy immediately or at short notice. Get any agreement in writing to avoid disputes later on. 

You may then find yourself in a tricky situation to find somewhere suitable in such a short amount of time.

You might want to consider if you will need make a homelessness application. You can ask the council for help if you are homeless or at risk of losing your home. You do not have to wait until you are evicted.  

For more advice on this or anything else relating to eviction, homelessness, ASBOs and disrepair, we offer a FREE 20-minute clinic appointment on Mondays between 2pm – 4pm. Click Here

If you have any questions, especially if you have been served with a Notice seeking possession or have a hearing date for possession, please call us on 020 8492 2290.

Solicitor
Navin Bundhoo is a Solicitor working in the Housing Department and is based at our Finchley Office. Navin advises clients on all aspects of Housing/Landlord and Tenant issues, including homelessness, possession claims, rent arrears and disrepair matters.

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