Get help with your rent


Taking a council property back

In extreme circumstances we may need to take action to get a council house back. We never want to go down this route so please get help with your rent and talk to us before it gets to this stage.

If you have received a notice seeking possession this is not an eviction notice. It is, however, a warning that you have broken the terms of your tenancy agreement. It is the first stage of legal action and means that we may apply to the court for possession of your home if you do not take action to bring your rent account up-to-date.

12 month period

A notice seeking possession is valid for up to 12 months from the date of service. This means that even if the arrears are cleared within this 12 month period, the notice does not expire until the year is up. This also means that if you clear your arrears after the service of the notice, but do not maintain a clear rent account during these 12 months, we are able to commence court proceedings.

Other help

you may wish to seek independent legal advice at:

If the level of the arrears on your rent account means that we are considering taking court action against you, you will be invited to attend a pre-court interview at our council offices to discuss your rent account.

The pre-court interview will be completed by your Housing Income Officer and during this appointment you will be asked about your income and outgoings. This is an opportunity for you to agree an affordable payment arrangement so that you can reduce the arrears on your rent account and stop further action being taken.

If the arrears on your rent account continue to increase, an application will be made to the County Court to seek possession of your property. A further £325 in court costs will be added to your rent account. You should therefore make every effort to attend.

On receiving the application, the County Court will set a date, time and location for the hearing and you will be notified of when this is. It is very important that you attend the court hearing so that you can find out what the judge orders.

The hearing is held in a small private courtroom and at the end of the hearing, the judge will make a decision called an 'order'. You will be told at the hearing and also notified in writing what this order is. If however, you have any questions about what has happened at court or about the process please contact us.

You should also still make every effort to contact the Housing Income Team to discuss this situation prior to any hearing. You can also seek independent legal advice. Your Income Officer can signpost you to these services.

Once there is a court order in place, you must ensure that you make payments in line with this order. Should you fail to do this or the arrears on your rent account increase, an application can be made to evict you from your home. This is known as a warrant for eviction request and costs a further £121, which will be added to your rent account.

It is therefore very important that, should you find that you are struggling to make payments onto your rent account, you do not allow this situation to escalate to the point where you face losing your home. Losing your home is a very serious situation. You may find the council has no duty to re-house you or you might not be able to find another home which is affordable. Being evicted is also very distressing and worrying for you and your family.

The council will not evict you unless it is a last resort.

If you are a former tenant and you were in rent arrears at the end of your tenancy we will take recovery action to collect the rent arrears and any other former housing related debts to minimise its losses.

Normally we will make an arrangement with you so that the rent arrears can be paid by Instalments.

If payments are not being made we can apply to the County Court to obtain a Money Judgment Court Order to secure payment from you and apply for a Court Order for the cost of taking the former tenant to the County Court.

If you would like to pay a former tenant rent arrears account by instalments or query an amount that is outstanding please contact us on  

Last updated 19 April 2023