About council rent arrears
If you are struggling to pay your rent, please let us know by contacting your Rent Collection Officer. We would like to help if possible and may be able to refer you for further assistance.
If you miss payments, you will automatically be sent a letter to remind you to bring your account up to date. Arrears can be caused by:
- Late payments
- Missed payments
- Part payments, and
- Changes in Housing Benefit entitlement
Note: If you are an introductory tenant, you should not have arrears on your account as this could prevent you from obtaining a secure/flexible tenancy and put you at risk of losing your home.
What happens if you fall into rent arrears
We will use all legal means to recover rent arrears. You will be told in writing about any legal action and the likely consequences.
Notice of Seeking Possession
If you continue to default on rent payments and accrue arrears, we will serve a 'Notice of Seeking Possession'. The type of notice served will depend on the type of tenancy you hold. If this happens and an arrangement to pay is not made within four weeks, we will apply to the court for a possession order. There will then be a court hearing which you should attend. The court can grant us two types of possession orders – suspended or outright.
Suspended Possession order
This means that provided you keep to the agreement made in court to pay off the arrears, nothing more will be done. If you break that agreement, we will apply for a bailiff's warrant to evict you. You may also have to pay additional court costs which the court may award the council, for having to take further court proceedings against you.
Outright Possession order
This means that you may have to leave the property by the date given in the order. If you do not leave, we will apply for a bailiff's warrant to evict you. You may also have to pay additional court costs, which the court may award us for having to take further court proceedings against you. You have the right to apply to the court to suspend the warrant but we are entitled to defend such applications.
Former tenants in arrears
If you are no longer a current Wandsworth Council tenant but still owe arrears, we will pursue this debt until it is paid in full. In order to avoid possible legal action please contact our former tenants account section on 020 8871 8987.