Wealden District Council
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Council Tenants – Rent Collection And Arrears Recovery Standard

This section sets out a standard for our rent collection and arrears recovery service, agreed by tenants for tenants.

What We Guarantee

We will:

  • Provide clear and prompt information about your rent account
  • Provide flexible and convenient methods of payment
  • Make early personal contact with you if you are having difficulty paying your rent, and advise you where to get independent advice
  • Provide you with advice on your entitlement to housing benefit/Universal Credit and assist you with your application if required
  • Set realistic payments to collect unpaid rent within a reasonable time without the need for more serious recovery action
  • Treat you with courtesy and sympathy and deal with your circumstances in confidence
  • We will use court action if no payment or agreement is reached or if a reasonable agreement is breached

Clear information

  • We will give at least 4 weeks notice of any rent increase
  • We will send you rent statements on a quarterly basis

Difficulty paying my rent?

The best way of preventing a build-up of debt is for you to contact us as soon as you are in difficulties, however, we do monitor accounts and will contact you if payments are missed. We will discuss the situation and agree a repayment plan. We will ask you to explain why payments have been missed and look for ways to prevent further arrears. If appropriate, you will be advised to contact an independent advice agency, for example the Wealden CAB.

If the changes to benefits for working-age people affect you, you may also want to call the East Sussex Benefit Helpline for advice on 0333 344 06 81.

You may also find it useful to look at our Financial Statement Budgeting Form (pdf).

Recovery of arrears

In some cases we will not seek full repayment immediately but negotiate a realistic level of repayment which pays the debt over a longer period by regular instalments.

In setting repayment amounts, we will take into account:

  • Recommendations from recognised advice agencies
  • Any information provided on the overall debt
  • Your commitments to any dependants

Wealden District Council take rent collection and arrears recovery very seriously and expects you to pay the rent each week. However, we recognise that occasionally you may have financial difficulties and are unable to pay the rent on time. When this happens our service aim is to be FIRM BUT FAIR. We will advise you where to get sound financial advice and debt counselling and will offer you clear and practical repayment plans to clear the arrears.

If you feel we fail to meet the requirements of this standard contact the Housing and Property Services  right away using the contact information at the bottom of this page.

Our Approach

We will collect debts courteously, sympathetically and efficiently. We will take into consideration any information people give about their personal circumstances and keep it confidential.

Any person owing money to us will, on request, be given a private interview where we will explain debt procedures and offer reasonable arrangements for repayment.

All our spoken and written communications will be in plain English and easily understandable. Special arrangements will be made to those whose first language is not English or if they have problems with the written or spoken words.

We will work in partnership with recognised advice agencies whilst acknowledging their independence.

Court action

If our recovery procedures have been followed and the arrears persist, the Council will take action through the courts for repayment of the debt and for possession of the property.