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Rent arrears

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5. Served notice due to rent arrears

If you are a private assured shorthold tenant and you have not previously received notice, your landlord may choose to serve one or two notices on you if you are being asked to leave for rent arrears.

The most likely is a Notice Seeking Possession (S21 Notice). Here is an example of a S21 notice. This is a two month notice asking you to leave your home. If you are served notice please contact your local housing options team as soon as you can. Contacting us early usually means we can offer far more options, services and help. 

Your landlord can issue a section 8 notice at any time during your tenancy.

Your landlord must give a legal reason to end your tenancy, for example because you have:

  • rent arrears
  • broken the terms of your tenancy agreement

They must follow the correct legal process and apply to a court to evict you.

They will need to serve a minimum of 14 days written notice advising you they intend to apply for accelerated possession. If this is due to rent arrears, the arrears must be 8 weeks or 2 months in arrears at the time it goes to court to be valid. Therefore, even if you cannot make full payment to clear your rent account, if you can reduce to less than 2 months arrears the notice will not be granted in court.

The Housing Options team will;

  • check your notice is valid
  • contact your landlord to see if anything can be done to save your tenancy
  • arrange an appointment with a Money Advisor if you have not already seen one
  • arrange for representation for you to attend court with you if appropriate
  • look at options to try and clear your rent arrears or get payment plan in place
  • look at options to find you a new home before you are made homeless, if we cannot save your tenancy

If a payment plan can be agreed with your landlord and you fail to maintain those payments you are likely to lose your home.

For information on Welfare Benefits
For information on debt advice
For information if you are homeless or at risk of homelessness