If you fall behind with rent

Rent is due every Monday for the week ahead. It is important  you pay your rent on time and in full. If it is more convenient for you, you can pay monthly, fortnightly or four weekly. You must also pay in advance, not in arrears, as this is a condition of your tenancy agreement. Please contact us and we will tell you how much you should pay if you are unsure. If you miss any payments you should catch up in full as soon as possible.

Silva Homes offers free benefits advice (please click here for more information), so if at any time you experience financial or benefits difficulties, it is important you contact us as early as you can. If you are finding it difficult to pay your rent or you fall behind with payments, please contact us immediately. Most problems with rent arrears can be sorted out if early action is taken. We can give help and advice about benefits or put you in touch with someone who can give advice on more complex problems. Rent is our main source of income for providing all the housing services so it is important all rent is paid.

To ensure you are maximising any benefit to which you are entitled, you can contact our benefits and financial inclusion officers for advice and support. In addition, you must not delay in applying for housing benefit and providing all the necessary proofs as soon as possible.

What happens if I fall behind on rent payments?

If you allow the rent arrears to increase so that the level of debt is at least four weeks' rent, you will be served with a Notice of Seeking Possession after your income officer has tried to contact you. 

A Notice of Seeking Possession is the first stage of any legal possession proceedings. 

If an arrangement is not made or is defaulted upon, then the income officer will have to apply to the County Court for a Possession Hearing. During the period before a date for this is set, your income officer will continue to give advice and support to reach an agreement so you can clear the debt.

You could seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, especially if you have other debts. They offer a debt counselling service if you need advice in arranging to pay your creditors. You can also try Step Change for debt guidance.

What happens if Silva Homes obtains a Possession Order?

When Silva Homes obtains a Possession Order it is essential that you stick to this Order, as by not doing so, will mean you lose security of your tenancy. We could then apply for the Warrant of Eviction. If you are subject to a County Court Order and default, you must contact your income officer immediately who will provide advice and support to get you back on track.

Remember, applying for the Bailiff’s Warrant is the final step we will take after every effort has been made by the Income Management team to work with you to resolve your debt.

Current customer arrears

The weekly rent is due every Monday apart from the rent-paid weeks at Easter and Christmas. If at any time you experience financial difficulties, it is important that you contact us without delay in order to reach an arrangement to clear any outstanding arrears.

To ensure you are maximising any benefit to which you are entitled, you can contact our benefits and financial inclusion officers for advice and support. 

What happens if I fall behind on rent payments?

If you allow the rent arrears to increase so that the level of debt is at least four weeks rent, you will be served with a Notice of Seeking Possession after your income officer has contacted you to advise that this action is being taken.

A Notice of Seeking Possession is the first stage of any possession proceedings.

If an arrangement is not made or is defaulted upon, the income officer will have to apply to the County Court for a Possession Hearing. During the period before a date for this is set, your income officer will continue to give advice and support to reach an agreement so you can clear the debt.

Garage arrears

Unlike houses and flats, Silva Homes does not have to apply to the court for a Possession Order if garage accounts are in arrears. Most garage arrears cases can be dealt with quite easily though, as long as the tenant gets in contact with us early enough. Ignoring the situation will only make matters worse.

When garage rent arrears rise to an unacceptable level, or an account is in arrears for too long, we may decide to repossess the garage.

If a garage is repossessed and found to still contain goods, we will contact the tenant to make arrangements for the items to be removed. If we have to clear the garage, the cost of the clearance and, if necessary, a lock change will be charged to the tenant. This will be in addition to any arrears outstanding.

Some tenants might think that garage rent isn't that important because it isn't as much as the rent for a house or flat, but we have a duty to recover all rent owed to us to pay for the services we provide. We are also required to keep levels of all outstanding rent, including garage rent, within limits set by the government.

Rent debt when your tenancy has ended

Former tenant rent arrears is what you owe in unpaid rent at the end of your tenancy, and may be caused by missed payments or part payments during your tenancy. 

What should I do if I still have rent arrears at the end of my tenancy?

You need to pay them as quickly as possible, ideally in one payment, to clear the whole amount. However, we realise this is not always possible. If you cannot do this, you should contact us to make an agreement to repay the money you owe. 

If you know you are going to have difficulty paying your rent or keeping to your agreement, you should contact your us immediately as we may be able to help.

If you do have problems, you should keep us informed. Don't ignore your arrears and don't ignore any letters from us.

What will happen if I do not clear my arrears?

If you do not clear your arrears, we will take legal action to recover the debt. Our first step will be to write to you and to make an agreement. If you do not keep to your agreement, or clear your debt, we will take legal action.

If the court grants a County Court Judgement against you, you will have to pay the money and cover the legal costs. The Judgement will also show on the records checked by credit checking agences, so you may find you are unable to get loans, mortgages or credit cards in the future.

  • Contact us if you have problems
  • Don't ignore letters from Silva Homes
  • Don't ignore your arrears
  • Do what the letters from Silva Homes ask you

What should I do if I think there is a mistake on my rent account?

If you think there has been a mistake, you should contact us as soon as possible. We will be able to examine your rent account and sort out any problems.

If a payment you made is not showing on your account, we will need to see your receipt so we can track the payment and put the amount into your account.