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paying rent on time

Understanding Your Rent – A Customer Factsheet

It is important to pay your rent and service charges on time.

At the start of your tenancy, we will tell you what your weekly rent charge will be and whether or not it includes heating or additional service charges. We will also give you a rent information card and a payment card.

Your responsibilities regarding rent are to:

  • Pay your rent when it is due
  • Tell us if you are having paying your rent
  • Tell us and the Housing Benefit department if your circumstances change
  • Provide all the information requested for your Housing claim
  • Contact us if you are unable to keep to the agreement
  • Always respond to letters or phone calls as soon as possible

What will happen if I don’t pay my rent?

Halton Housing will use its rent arrears procedure. At two weeks rent arrears – you will receive a letter confirming the arrears.

At four to five weeks arrears – you will be issued with a Notice of Seeking Possession. This is a legal document and is the first stage in the process Halton Housing may take to repossess your home. A Notice of Seeking Possession is valid for one year from the date issued. However, if you pay the whole debt the Notice will be cancelled. If you do not act now you will end up in court and your debt will increase.

At six week arrears – and if you do not have an arrangement in place or have failed to keep to your agreement a further home visit will be made to discuss your financial situation.

At eight week arrears – If you have failed to make an arrangement to reduce your arrears you will be offered an appointment with one of our Welfare Benefit/Money Advice Officers (if you have not already had an appointment previously) to complete an income and expenditure form and reach an acceptable agreement.

At nine week arrears –
A court warning letter will be sent to you advising that if payments are not brought up to date, an application will be made to court.

At ten week arrears –
An application will be made to the County Court to fix a date for a possession hearing.

If you are evicted you could be deemed ‘intentionally homeless’ and find it difficult to secure somewhere else to live. Halton Housing has no duty to re-house you.

Halton Housing will only take legal action as a last resort when you have persistently continued to allow your rent arrears to increase and have refused our offers of help.

What happens if my case goes to court?

You will receive a summons from the County Court informing you of the date and time you will need to attend. At the hearing, Halton Housing will ask the judge for an order dependant on your payment history, this could be a postponed possession order if an agreement has been reached, or an outright possession order if agreements have not been kept to. You will also have the court costs added to your rent account.

If you do not adhere to the court order an eviction could be applied for. If you are evicted you could be deemed ‘intentionally homeless’ and find it difficult to secure somewhere else to live. Halton Housing has no duty to re-house you.

Halton Housing will only take legal action as a last resort when you have persistently continued to allow your rent arrears to increase and have refused our offers of help.

What if I have problems paying my rent?

If for any reason you are unable to keep up to date with your payments, you should contact us immediately.

If you do not adhere to the court order an eviction could be applied for.

If your rent account does fall into arrears, we will agree a way you can clear the debt by paying a realistic amount within a reasonable period of time.

As well as helping you to stay in your home, we have a duty to protect the rights of other customers. While every effort will be made to avoid you losing your home, if a customer has persistent arrears and refuses to co-operate, we will be forced to take legal action and this could result in you losing your home.

Related Help & Support Articles

Find helpful articles on finding your next home with Halton Housing, and how to apply for a home here.

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Halton Housing has received reports from customers that bogus callers are targeting our neighbourhoods in Widnes and Runcorn. Any visits to your home by Halton Housing will be pre-arranged with you. All of our staff carry photographic identification badges. Each badge has the Halton Housing logo and the staff member’s name. If you are ever in doubt – please call us on 0303 333 0101.