There may be times when you have difficulties paying your rent or other bills.
If that happens, we’re here to help.
Your money problems can only be solved if you don't ignore them. They won't go away and the longer you leave them, the worse they get. And if you continue to fail to pay your rent you are at risk of losing your home.
What to do to avoid rent arrears:
Pay your rent and other charges* in advance.
Advise us immediately if you’re having difficulties paying your rent. We can check if you are claiming all of the benefits you are entitled to and offer advice about managing your income and outgoings. For further information and advice just call us on 01204 335395.
You should always check with your Housing Benefit office to see if you qualify for Housing Benefit, even if you think you may not. Call 01204 331590 for more information.
Ensure that all information for Housing Benefit applications is accurate and honest and let us know straight away of any changes in your circumstances or income. If you don’t do this, you may fall into arrears with your rent which could lead to court action against you.
Return all Housing Benefit forms on time. If you don’t do this, you will be charged full rent.
*Other service charges will depend on what’s been agreed in tenancy agreement, but may include:
- Heating charges
- Service charges
- Warden charges / Careline charges
- Home contents insurance
What to do if you’re having money troubles:
- Tell staff at our income management office as soon as possible if you have a problem. Don’t wait until you receive an arrears letter or a legal notice.
- If you are not in receipt of Housing Benefit, pick up an application form from your neighbourhood office. You may qualify.
- Don’t ignore letters you receive about your rent account. Talk to our staff – we are there to help and we’re fully trained to provide financial advice on arrears to customers.
- Get independent and free advice from:
Citizens Advice Bureau
Call: 0870 1264038
Welfare Rights Officer
Call: 01204 380460
Department for Work and Pensions
Call: 01204 367000
What we’ll do if you are behind with your rent
- We’ll tell you if you’re entitled to any benefits.
- We’ll be sensitive to your needs.
- We’ll work out a payment schedule with you that meets your needs and income patterns e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly in advance.
What happens if you fail to pay your rent
If your rent account shows arrears we’ll send you a letter to request payment in full. If you don’t pay the arrears within one week, we’ll send you a reminder advising that court action will be taken to recover the debt.
One week after the reminder, if your rent account still shows arrears, you may
be served with a Notice Seeking Possession.
If the arrears continue to increase or remain at the same level, we may ask the County Court to give Bolton at Home possession of your property, a District Judge will decide at a court hearing whether it is reasonable to give Bolton at Home possession of the property. Where possession is given, a bailiff from the court will be asked to carry out the eviction.
Remember if you lose your property as a result of non-payment of rent, then Bolton at Home or other Registered Social Landlords generally have no obligation to re-house you. If you are evicted you will have to find alternative accommodation for yourself and anyone who is living with you.
It is advisable to seek independent legal advice if you’re facing a possession order.
For more information from our income management team just contact us:
Call: 01204 335395
4, The Courtyard
Bolton, BL1 8PB
Some useful agencies include:
Consumer Credit Counselling Service
Call: 0800 138 1111
8am to 8pm Monday to Friday
National Debt line
Call: 0808 808 4000
9am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1pm Saturday
Citizens Advice Bureau
Citizen’s Advice Bureau
26-28 Mawdsley Street
Drop in service 9:30 am to 11:30 am every Tuesday and Friday.
Call: 0844 826 9707