If you are a resident who has been summoned to Court because of rent arrears (called ‘hearings in possession proceedings’), you can get free legal representationCounty court housing advice and representation schemes
There are specialist advisors available at court to deal with a range of financial queries to help you present information to the judge in support of your case, they aim to provide a free, independent and confidential service.
Headrow will always take all reasonable steps to try to resolve tenancy or rent arrears problems. However, if all else fails, we will apply to the courts to repossess a property.
We have a duty to collect all rent due for our properties, as this income is vital to fund other housing services.
Non-payment of rent is the most common ground for eviction. However, it is possible for tenants to be evicted for breaching any other aspect of their tenancy agreement.The court process for evictions
· Once we have exhausted all other courses of action - see our rent arrears page - we will apply to court
· You will then receive a summons to attend a court hearing (called ‘hearings in possession proceedings’)
· If you receive a summons, you can get free legal representation through certain schemes
· The court may decide to issue you with a ‘possession order’. This contains the terms and conditions that you must satisfy, relating to your arrears, to avoid being evicted
· If you are facing a possession order, it is advisable to seek independent legal advice
· You can contact a solicitor directly, or contact a local advice agency for free advice
· If you do not adhere to the possession order, the court will issue a ‘warrant of possession’ to you. This means that the association has the legal authority to evict you
· The court will tell you the date and time that the bailiff will arrive to evict you
· You may apply for the warrant of possession to be suspended. This application can only be made to the court, not the association. The court will then reconsider your case but may not agree to alter the decision
What happens next - the eviction process
The appointed bailiff will arrive to evict you on the date and time specified by the court. A representative from the association will also be there
The locks of the property will be changed and any of your belongings that are still there will be cleared
You will have to find alternative accommodation for yourself and anyone else who is living with you
The association or other registered social landlords generally have no obligation to re-house those who are evicted for non-payment of rent
The consequences of legal proceedings
* If the association takes legal proceedings you will be liable for court costs
* If recovery proceedings (i.e. if we still need to chase the outstanding debt) result in a county
court judgement against your name, it will affect your ability to get credit or a loan
* A judgement of this kind will remain against your name indefinitely
* If you are evicted for rent arrears, other local authorities or housing associations may have no
obligation to rehouse you, even if you have a family
Can you stop the eviction?
The earlier you take action or get advice the better. Headrow will always try to help somebody to remain in their tenancy, but it is more difficult to make agreements once eviction proceedings have begun. As stated above you may apply for the warrant of possession to be suspended. This application can only be made to the Court, not Headrow.
For further information, help or advise please contact our Income Generation Officer on 0113 2504337 ext: 4106.