What to do if you have difficulty with your rent
Many people find that at some time or other they have financial problems. This may make it difficult for them to pay their rent. It is important that you treat your rent payment as a high priority in your weekly budget.
If you feel that you may be unable to pay your rent when it is due you should let a Housing and Customer Services Staff Member know immediately in order that an alternative repayment arrangement can be made if necessary. The Association will take into account your circumstances in setting up a repayment agreement.
Please note that the Association is anxious to help you avoid getting into rent arrears and will give you every possible assistance to enable you to stay in your home if you are in financial difficulties. Help or advice is always available, on a confidential basis, but please contact us at an early stage, when it is likely that more options will be available to you.
Remember: High or persistent rent arrears can be a ground for repossession (eviction), so do not ignore the problem. It is in your own interest to ensure that you maintain contact with a Housing Management Staff Member.
If you enter into an agreement with the Housing Association to pay off any rent arrears by instalments, it is vital that you stick to the terms of this agreement. It is therefore imperative that you contact a Housing Management Staff Member if for whatever reason you fail to make payments as due.
If the Association takes you to Court you have the right to represent yourself in Court, or to be represented by a Solicitor.
Court action could result in a number of alternatives. These may incude:
- the action being dismissed altogether
- the action being postponed to allow time to monitor that repayment proposals are being adhered to
- the Association being awarded an "instalment" decree whereby an eviction could only be arranged if the tenant fails to adhere to the terms of the instalment payments set by the Court
- The Association may be awarded a decree which would permit the setting of an eviction date
In all such cases the Association may be entitled to charge the tenant for the legal expenses incurred in raising the action.
Tenants should note that in all cases, in the first instance, any payments received from tenants will be treated as payment towards ongoing rent unless it is specified otherwise in writing. This includes any payments received after a decree has been granted to the Association.
Independent advice and assistance
Independent and confidential advice can be obtained by contacting a Solicitor, or a number of advice or debt counselling agencies including the following:
Shelter Housing Aid Centre
53 St Vincent Street
Tel: 0141 221 8995
Welfare Rights Moira Baxter
WRO for Mid Argyll, Lorn and Isles
Argyll and Bute Council
Lorne Resource Centre
For general assistance in applying for state benefits or other social assistance contact:
Argyll and Bute Council Housing and Social Work Department at:
Tel: 01631 563068
Isle of Mull
Tel: 01688 302216
Isle of Islay
Tel: 01496 810484
Druimfin Gardens, Tobermory, Mull