Rent

Introduction

The rent that you pay helps Wrexham County Borough Council to provide a good quality housing management and repairs service to all tenants. Tenants who do not pay the rent due, affect the Council’s ability to deliver this service.

It is a condition of your tenancy and your responsibility to ensure that rent is paid regularly. If this is not possible then we will respond promptly to help alleviate further problems.

Below is guidance about:

We understand that people may find themselves in rent arrears for all kinds of reasons and we will treat all information in a sensitive and confidential manner. We encourage early contact with your Housing Officer if you ever have problems paying your rent.

If you fail to pay your rent, for whatever reason, don’t make things worse by ignoring the problem. You should contact your local office straight away to discuss the matter.

Rent is a weekly charge and methods of payment include:

Pay online directly and securely to the Council.

By monthly direct debit payable on 1st or 16th of every month (this is the easiest way for you and us) and by weekly direct debit.  Please contact your local housing office for details and forms.

By cash, rent swipe card, debit and credit cards at your Local Housing Office.

You can also use a rent swipe card supplied by Housing Services at PayPoint outlets, Post Offices and Housing Offices.  Please note that payments made after Thursday, will not reach your rent account until the following week.

By automated telephone line 0845 309 6063 24 hours a day 7 days a week using credit and debit cards.

You can pay at Contact Wrexham, 16 Lord Street and Ruabon Library.  Payments will not reach your rent account until the next day.

How you can claim housing benefit to help pay your rent

When you accept your tenancy from the Council the Housing Officer will provide you with an application form for housing benefit. If you believe you may be eligible for help with your rent, then it is important that you complete this form immediately and return it to your Housing Office with all the relevant documentation.

Any delays in the assessment of your benefit application may result in arrears accruing on your rent account. However, your first priority must be to ensure any rent due is paid and that you continue to pursue your benefit claim.

Housing benefit does not cover water rates, sewerage charges, heating charges, insurance charges or garage rental. If any of these charges are included in your gross rent they must be paid by you.

Changes in your personal circumstances may affect the amount of rent you pay. You should inform us of any changes straight away to avoid back charges being added.

It is also your responsibility to ensure that your claim for Housing Benefit is renewed promptly when requested.

What happens if rent is not paid?

If for any reason you are unable to keep up to date with your rent payments you should contact your Housing Officer immediately.

The Housing Officer will discuss the situation in a sensitive manner, help to identify the reason for non-payment and you will be expected to make an arrangement for the payment of arrears.

Whatever the reason for non-payment of rent, it is important that once an arrangement is made for repayment it is strictly maintained. Your rent account is monitored on a weekly basis and if arrangements to clear arrears are not maintained, your Housing Officer will be forced to consider further action. The cost of any legal action taken by the Council will be charged to you.

How the legal process works for dealing with rent arrears

First Stage:

The first stage of the legal process involves the serving of a Notice of Seeking Possession on a Secure tenant or the serving of a Notice of Termination on an Introductory tenant.

Secure Tenant

A Notice of Seeking Possession gives you 28 days to make an arrangement for repaying the arrears. The Notice is valid for 12 months after this period. During this time, the Council can apply to the County Court for an order to evict you from your home.

Introductory Tenant

A Notice of Termination is also valid for 12 months but gives you 14 days in which to apply for a Review of the Council’s decision to evict you. The review panel, upon hearing all the facts, will decide whether your tenancy is to continue. If the decision is made to end your tenancy, the Council will apply to the County Court for an order to evict you from your home.

Second Stage:

The second stage of the legal process is the Court hearing. You will be notified in advance of the date of the court hearing and it is important that you attend.

Secure tenants

At the Court hearing the Council will be asking for a possession order to evict you from your home. However, the Court may decide to suspend an order and if you keep to the terms of this Order, you will be allowed to remain in your home. You will also have to pay the costs of any court action taken.

This court order will be valid until all the arrears and all outstanding court costs are paid in full. The minimum amount of court costs payable is £156.

Introductory tenants

At the Court hearing the Council will be asking for a possession order to evict you from your home. There is no facility to suspend this order – see Final Stage. You will also have to pay all the costs of any court action taken. This is a minimum amount of £156.

Final Stage:

The final stage of the legal process is the eviction. Every effort will be made to avoid repossessing your home and an eviction is a last resort. In the event of an eviction, you will still be liable for the full amount of arrears and all court costs which have built up.

Secure tenants

If you fail to pay as the Court instructed, the Council can apply for an eviction warrant without a further hearing in Court. The costs of this application will be charged to you. You will be notified of the date of eviction and the procedure on that date.

Introductory tenants

Following the court hearing, you will be notified of the date of eviction and the procedure on that date.

IF YOU BECOME HOMELESS THE COUNCIL MAY HAVE NO LEGAL DUTY TO REHOUSE YOU.

Rent Advice Leaflet

The leaflet is available to download in the following formats:

Rent Advice Leaflet - Word version 710Kb

Rent Advice Leaflet - PDF version 783Kb

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