Rent arrears and eviction
Chasing up payment
If you fall behind with your rent, we follow a standard procedure to chase up payment, as follows:
- We will write to you if you get into arrears. We also phone, send reminders by text and carry out visits during the day, evenings and weekends
- You can tell us if you are having any problems paying your rent and we can help and advise you on what to do next
- We will write or phone you again if you do not get in touch with us or if you do not pay off your arrears.
- We can recommend an arrangement for you to pay off your arrears in reasonable instalments. You can contact Income Collection on 020 8489 5611 (menu option 4) to discuss this.
- If you break an agreement with us we may serve you with a formal notice. If we have to take you to court you will have to pay our costs and legal fees on top of what you owe.
We must collect the rent in order to pay for the housing services we provide all our tenants. Although we do our best to sort out tenancy or rent problems, we still have to evict tenants every year as a last resort. Even families with children can face the risk of losing their home.
If you are evicted and find yourself homeless, Haringey Council will usually not be obliged to re-house you or anyone who lives with you, so you will have to find your own accommodation. You will also still have to clear your debt with Homes for Haringey.
If you face eviction, the court will tell you when the bailiff will arrive (the date and time). Once the bailiff has made sure everyone has left, a housing officer will take possession of the property. We will store any personal belongings you leave behind for a short period, unless they are perishable (food, for example).
Please note that if you are a tenant facing a possession order, you should seek independent legal advice. You can do this by contacting a solicitor or your local Citizens Advice Bureau (external link). See also the section on: if you are having trouble paying your bills
Can an eviction be stopped?
Once a court order (possession order) has been given to you, only the court can change it. If you need to make a request to vary the terms of the order, or to delay an eviction, you will have to make it to the court.
The earlier you take action or get advice the better, it gets harder to make agreements the longer you leave it.
You can apply for the warrant of possession to be suspended, and in this case the court will reconsider your case. This doesn’t mean that they will necessarily agree to change the decision however.
Remember, if you are having trouble paying your rent:
- tell us about your problems
- get advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau (external link) if necessary
- make regular payments, even if they are not for the full amount owed.