Rent arrears and recovery policy
Appendix two - procedure for collection of former rent arrears
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council aims to collect all debts owed from former tenants in order to maximise its income and achieve its objectives of delivering an efficient and cost effective housing service.
We will pursue former tenant arrears for such time as is economically viable. We may consider taking enforcement action such as seeking a money judgement order, and in turn applying for enforcement action such as an order to attend court for questioning or attachment of earnings. Information on what action can be considered can be found within this procedure.
We will ensure that no individual is discriminated against on grounds of marital status, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, racial ground or other personal attributes including religious beliefs or political opinions.
- The recovery and monitoring of former tenant debt is the responsibility of the Tenancy Management Team
- Once a tenant gives notice to terminate their tenancy, the tenants will be notified of the amount they need to pay to ensure that their rent account is clear at the termination date. They will also be advised of the implications if the account is not cleared. Forwarding contact details will be taken including an address, contact telephone number and/or email address
- The Housing Allocations Team will notify the Tenancy Management Team of any new voids on a weekly basis. The Tenancy Management Team will check the rent account to see if there are any:
- Outstanding arrears
- Housing Benefit overpayments
- Court costs
If necessary, the Tenancy Management Team will liaise with Benefits colleagues and write to the tenant at their forwarding address to clear the account
- For tenants that are evicted from the property and are in rent arrears, a forwarding address and contact details will be established where possible and the same process will be followed
- Former tenants who have arrears and are unable to clear the account in full will be offered a financial assessment to determine affordability and if necessary offered a repayment plan. All agreements will be monitored by the Tenancy Management Team until the account is cleared
- A monthly report will be produced and reviewed by the Tenancy Management Team to monitor responses to letters and existing repayment plans, and if necessary take further steps to recover the arrears
- Where attempts to recover arrears by letter, text message, telephone call and email have failed, or the whereabouts of the former tenant is not known, the Housing Support Officer will use all information and opportunities available to locate them, including tracing agents, where it is cost effective to do so
- Where the arrears are in respect of a deceased tenant, action will be limited to contacting the next of kin or executor to claim against the estate
- Where a debt is uneconomical to pursue or there is no prospect of recovery, consideration to it being written off is given. Before any case is considered for write off, the case must be reviewed by the Anti-social Behaviour and Tenancy Manager or the Head of Housing, to ensure all necessary action has been taken before approval to write off the debt will be given
Review and performance monitoring
- We, the council, will formally review our former tenant arrears procedure on a bi annual basis, taking into consideration strategic and ‘best value’ aims and objectives and agreed performance targets
- We may utilise debt recovery agencies if it is considered the only way through which to recover debt
Last updated: 27/01/2023 14:04