Your council will always take all reasonable steps to try to resolve tenancy or rent arrears problems. However, if all else fails, the council will apply to the courts to repossess a property.
Reasons for eviction
The most common ground for eviction is non-payment of rent, although it is possible for tenants breaching any other aspect of their tenancy agreement to be evicted.
Once a possession order is obtained from the courts any application to change the terms of the order or to suspend the eviction must be made to the court itself rather than your council.
If you are facing a possession order, it is advisable to seek independent legal advice. You can contact a solicitor directly or the local Citizens Advice Bureau can offer free advice.
There is no guarantee that the courts will not evict you if you have children.
Video: rent arrears – local authorities, housing trusts and registered social landlords
Watch a video explaining what to do if you are a council or housing association tenant in rent arrears.
- Video: rent arrears – local authorities, housing trusts and registered social landlords
Eviction from your home
If you are evicted you will have to find alternative accommodation for yourself and anyone else who is living with you. Tenants who are evicted for non-payment of rent are likely to be considered to have made themselves homeless intentionally, in which case the council would have no obligation to provide them with alternative accommodation (except for a short period to give them a chance to find another home for themselves).
The court will tell you the date and time that the bailiff will arrive. A representative from your council’s housing department will also be there. The locks of the house will be changed and any of your belongings that are still there will be cleared.
The following link will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more about being evicted.
The earlier you take action or get advice the better. It is more difficult to make agreements at a late stage. You may apply for the possession order to be suspended. The court will then reconsider your case but may not agree to alter the decision. Please remember, if you are having difficulties paying your rent:
- speak your council’s housing department
- get advice, for example, from a Citizens’ Advice Bureau; and
- make regular payments, no matter how small they are