Frequently asked questions
What should I do if I can’t pay my rent?
Contact us straight away, if you do, it is easier for us to help. We can help you by:
- Listening to what you have to tell us
- Agreeing a suitable payment plan with you
- Informing you of other agencies that may be able to assist you
- Helping to check if you are entitled to benefits.
I am on a low income and cannot afford to pay the rent, what should I do?
Please contact us straight away; we have trained officers who can check if you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. We can also help if you are having problems organising your income, or refer you to independent organisations for help if you wish.
What should I do if I get into arrears?
Again, contact us straight away; the sooner you contact us the better. Even if you cannot clear your account, we will be able to help you. Generally, the longer you leave the problem the worse it gets.
I have other debts, what should I do?
Talk to us about your concerns and we will be able to help you seek advice or alternatively, you can seek independent debt advice. Independent debt advice link (Debt Advice).
Why do I need to pay the rent?
We have to make sure the rent is collected to support our repairs, maintenance and improvement programmes. Failure to pay your rent could result in legal action and you could lose your home.
How can I pay my rent?
We offer a wide variety of ways for you to pay your rent, please visit our Rent and service charges pages.
Rent is charged weekly, but can I pay monthly?
If your rent is due weekly in advance as per your tenancy agreement, you can pay fortnightly or monthly, but you must pay in advance so that you account does not go into arrears.
I have received a statement and it looks like I am in arrears but I am on Housing Benefit - why?
Housing Benefit is usually paid every four weeks and in arrears. You need to check on your statement when the last Housing Benefit payment was received for your balance. We have to show details about charges and all types of payment onto your rent account; this can sometimes look complicated so we provide an explanation on the reverse. If you have any queries about your rent statement balance, please contact us.
What happens if I don’t pay my rent?
Payment of your rent is classed as a 'priority' which means that it must come first in your list of outgoings. This is because if you don't keep up with your payments, you could be evicted from your home. You must contact us if any of your circumstances change that may affect the payment of your rent.
Whilst we try to do everything in our power to help you to avoid this, rent payments are your responsibility and it is you and your family that will lose your home.
Although evictions are rare, they do happen, as non payment of rent is not an option for any of our residents.
What happens if you decide to take court action against me?
We would issue you with a ‘Notice of Seeking Possession’ stating clearly the grounds for serving the notice. We would encourage you to seek independent advice to ensure that you are getting all the assistance that you are eligible for to prevent this happening. This gives you a limited time to address the situation and contact us so that we can consider your circumstances and make arrangements.
If you fail to contact us, or you do not stick to the terms of any arrangements made, then we would apply for a Court Hearing. You would be liable for the court fees, which can be up to £150, and this would be added to the amount you already owe. The judge will then decide which of the following orders to make:
- Postpone the case and give a date for a new hearing (this is known as an Adjournment)
- Agree to an eviction date being set (Outright Possession Order)
- Allow you to stay in your home while you stick to a repayment plan if you owe us rent (Suspended or Postponed Possession Order).
If you do not keep to the terms of the order you could lose your home.
What happens if I am evicted?
Sanctuary has a duty to notify Social Services and the Homeless Persons team within your local authority area to provide assistance. It is your responsibility to request help. You may experience difficulty being re-housed in the future.
You should also be aware that we will continue to pursue all outstanding rent arrears, court costs and any other debts that you incurred during the tenancy. We will consider using reputable debt collection agencies to recover the money which you owe us.