What If I Can't Pay My Rent?

We know that managing on a low income can be difficult, but please remember that paying your rent is a priority debt. If you don’t pay, you are putting your home at risk.

If you miss a payment

If you miss a payment, you should get in touch with your Housing Officer immediately, so that we can help.

We will start by making sure you are getting all the state benefits you are entitled to.

We may also offer you advice on managing your money. Or give you a referral for professional help with debt. View more places you can get advice on benefits and debt.

We will also offer you the chance to repay what you owe in instalments and encourage you to pay by standing order in future.

If your arrears keep growing

If you ignore our letters or don’t keep to an agreement to reduce your arrears, your Housing Officer will phone you or visit you at home.

But if your arrears keep growing, we will go on to start legal action. This is not something we do lightly, but we can’t and won’t let the situation carry on.

We will first send you a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP), giving you 28 days to make arrangements to repay what you owe. We recommend you call your Housing Officer for advice at this point.

NOSPs are valid for a year, which means that, after the 28 days are up, if nothing has changed, we can take you to court at any point up to its expiry date.

If we take you to court

You will get a letter with a court hearing date. In court, the judge will decide whether to issue:

  • a suspended possession order – giving you time to pay the arrears in instalments, or
  • an outright possession order – which leads to your being evicted.

In either case, you are likely to have court costs added to what you owe.

Once you have been evicted:

  • you are unlikely to get another social rented home, because you made yourself ‘intentionally homeless’ by not paying your rent, and
  • we will continue to pursue you for the rent and other amounts you owe.

More information

Download our Rent arrears management policy.

Contact the Ekaya Housing Team immediately to discuss your arrears. Let us know so we can help! If for any reason you cannot pay your rent, if you let us know, we can support you to prevent arrears from building up by providing you with advice and direct you to local support.

It is always better to pay something regularly than nothing at all. Do not ignore your arrears as they will not go away.