Council tenant arrears

If you're unable to pay your rent, either on your home or garage, contact your housing officer straight away. We can only help you if you contact us immediately.

You'll normally be asked to agree a suitable arrangement to catch up any missed payments. If your income has changed, your housing officer will also be able to give you advice about applying for benefits.

If you don't contact us, or fail to keep to any arrangements, we will take formal action against you.

Notice of seeking possession

If you don't make and keep satisfactory arrangements to pay your arrears, the first step in legal action against your tenancy is a notice of seeking possession. This will say that the council intends to take you to court for an order to repossess your home - in other words, to evict you.

It will give a date, at least 28 days ahead, after which you may be summoned to appear in court where the judge will consider your reasons for not paying your rent. If you make and keep a satisfactory arrangement during the notice period, we may agree not to take further action. But once a notice has been served, it stays in force for 12 months and we can take the case to court at any time during that period.


If your case is taken to court, we will normally ask for a possession order, suspended on payment of a weekly amount to reduce your arrears in addition to your normal rent. This means that, providing you keep to this court order, you can't be evicted.

But if you don't keep to the order, we can ask the court for a warrant of possession to evict you from your home unless you've paid your debt in full. A bailiff will attend on the day set by the court and you will be evicted.

In exceptional cases, we may ask for a full possession order straight away and the judge may give us possession of your home with no conditions attached.

If you have debt problems, Citizens Advice may be able to help you, but please always let us know of any decisions you've made.

We resort to eviction only if all attempts to help have failed and you've regularly failed to pay the rent.

Garage arrears

If your garage rent account is in arrears we don't need to take legal action to regain possession. The tenancy can be ended after one week's written notice.