What if I have looked into all of the options suggested in Part 1 of this series and I am still struggling to pay my rent?
Contact us immediately on 01383 606162. Please do not ignore this serious issue as early intervention can help to avoid arrears increasing.
Speak to your Housing Officer who will discuss your current circumstances and work with you to resolve matters. This may involve contacting other agencies for financial assistance (e.g. the Armed Forces Charity SSAFA). We can also carry out a benefit check to assist in maximising your income and/or refer you to Wise2Welfare for further financial advice (email@example.com).
Your Housing Officer may enter into an arrangement for you to repay the outstanding debt over an agreed period of time. Please be aware that entering into a repayment agreement does not stop further action being taken should you then breach this arrangement.
What happens if my arrears continue to increase?
If you have entered into an agreement with your Housing Officer/Debt Recovery Officer and you fail to keep to the arrangement Fife Housing Group will escalate to the next stage. This will involve instructing Sheriff Officers to serve you, and all qualifying occupiers (everyone aged over 16 years living in the property), with a legal document known as Notice of Proceeding for recovery of possession, payment and expenses. Please see shelter.org.uk for full explanation of what this legal notice means.
What are the consequences of being served with a Notice of Proceedings?
Being served a Notice of Proceedings not only puts your tenancy with Fife Housing Group at risk but it may also affect your future rehousing options.
If your arrears continue to increase Fife Housing Group will be left with no option but to commence legal action seeking a court order (decree) for recovery of the property plus payment of the outstanding debt and legal fees.
Could I be evicted from my home?
If a court order (decree) is granted then it is very likely that you will be evicted from your home.
Between 1 April and 31 October 2016 Fife Housing Group evicted four tenants as unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the tenants involved either chose not to engage with us and/or did not keep to their payment arrangements.
We endeavour to provide all affected tenants with information and assistance in an effort to prevent eviction and potential homelessness. We would encourage anyone who is struggling with rent payments to contact their Housing Officer/Debt Recovery Officer to discuss their arrears and any related legal proceedings. We also suggest you seek free independent housing advice from organisations such as Frontline Fife.
So, if you have any concerns at all about paying your rent, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do what we can to help. Alison can be contacted directly on 01383 608 110 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.