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Rent arrears and recovery policy

Dealing with rent arrears - our process

Persistent non payers of rent and due to ongoing financial hardship 

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council recognises that some tenants are unable to meet their responsibilities regarding rent payment due to financial hardship. As such, we remain committed to supporting our tenants and working with them to help them maintain their tenancy. Legal proceedings against those tenants affected by financial hardship will be paused providing an affordable repayment plan is agreed, and the tenant(s) continues to proactively engage with the Rents Team.

However, some tenants are persistently in rent arrears despite support and intervention. For those tenants, a more robust response to rent recovery may be required.

Eight stages of rent recovery

An incremental approach to rent arrears recovery will be implemented by the rents team.

Out of court stage:

  • Notification
    We will write to you to inform you that you need to make a rent payment or speak to the Rents Team to avoid further enforcement being taken against you
     
  • Reminder
    We will write to you to advise you that, unless you make a payment or contact the Rents Team, legal action is likely to be taken against you
     
  • Final demand
    We will notify you that if no payments are made or a payment plan is not put in place then a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) will be issued.

Legal action stage:

  • Notice of seeking possession (NOSP)
    You will be issued with a legal document informing you that we will be taking the case to court in 28 days, unless you have agreed a payment plan with the Rents Team
     
  • Court action
    You will be informed that you are being taken to court
     
  • Notification of court hearing
    You will be notified of a court date that you will need to attend

Notice of seeking possession 

Court proceedings cannot commence until four weeks after the date of service given on the notice seeking of possession. Court proceedings can also not be earlier than the date on which the tenancy or licence could be brought to an end by a notice to quit given by the landlord on the same date as the notice.

Court proceedings can commence at any time during the following 12 months after the notice has been served. Once the 12 months are up, the notice will lapse and a new notice must be served before possession can be sought.

Preventing eviction

Eviction remains the last resort for the council. In most possession cases a suspended possession order on terms will be requested by the Rents Team to permit the tenant to continue residing in their home, providing they meet their rent liability and pay an amount off their arrears, which is directed by the court.

In some cases, an outright possession order will be requested by the Rents Team if a tenant continually breaks the terms of the court order imposed, or makes no effort to work with the Rents Team to prevent a return to court. In these cases, the Housing Options team at the council will be notified at the earliest opportunity to allow the Housing Options team to offer support to any one facing eviction.

Signposting to other services, such Citizens Advice and Cost of Living Support Team will also be provided.

Last updated: 16/01/2024 08:36