Current Tenancy Arrears
If your rent is not paid, the money owed is called rent arrears. Rent arrears are a serious problem and can lead to you losing your home. Please let us know straight away if you are struggling to pay your rent, we are here to help you.
Our Income Recovery Officers are available to advise you on the next best course of action and they will be able to work out a repayment plan if you are not able to pay your arrears in full.
Please don’t ignore the letters or text messages we send you, our priority is to keep you feeling safe and secure in your home. If you are experiencing financial difficulties the sooner you contact us the faster we can help you. For further information on the support available and for our contact details please visit our Rents page
Former Tenancy Arrears
Former tenant arrears are a debt of unpaid rent or charges, remaining on a rent account, including garage and court cost accounts when a tenancy (or similar agreement) has been terminated.
When you terminate your tenancy, you should ensure that your rent/garage/court costs account is cleared otherwise the Council, or their recovery agents will contact you to recover the debt.
Having outstanding former tenancy arrears may prevent you from being able to join the Council’s housing register and affect any housing references that the Council is asked to provide.
How can I pay my former tenancy arrears?
- Direct Debit – you can set up a Direct Debit by calling us on 0121 737 5148. You’ll need your rent account number, personal bank account number and sort code.
- Online – if you prefer you can pay your rent on the web with your Visa, MasterCard, Solo, Visa Delta, Visa Electron or Maestro Card
- You can pay your former tenancy arrears by credit or debit card over the telephone by calling 0300 456 0514
- You can also use telephone banking. You must quote Sandwell Council’s account number 69624097 and the sort code is 60-15-39. You will also need your rent account number.
- You can pay by cash, cheque (made payable to ‘Sandwell Council’ or postal order at any Post Office.
What if I cannot afford to pay the outstanding balance in full?
If you are unable to pay your former tenancy arrears in full you should contact the Rents Team on 0121 737 5366 to discuss an affordable repayment plan. The repayment plan will be based on your financial circumstances and at a repayment rate you can afford.
What will happen if I do not pay my former tenancy arrears?
- It is important that you clear your rent account following the termination of your tenancy. Former tenancy arrears may prevent you from joining the Council’s housing register and may affect any housing references the Council are asked to provide.
- If you do not engage with us to clear your outstanding debt, then the Council may ask a debt collection agent to recover the money for us.
- If you do not provide your forwarding address, then the Council may use a tracing agency to confirm where you currently live.
- The Council may also take enforcement action to recover the debt. This may mean issuing proceedings in the County Court to obtain a Money Judgement or to enforce an existing Money Judgement. A Money Judgement means the Council can recover the debt by an attachment of earnings if you’re working, a charging order against property you own or by instructing bailiffs.
Former tenancy arrears relating to a deceased tenant
- A person who is named as an executor of the deceased tenant’s will or has been granted probate will be able to terminate the tenancy of a deceased tenant.
- Following the completion of the ‘Tell us Once’ form any Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs that are being paid will come to an end.
- Rent will continue to be charged and arrears will accrue until the tenancy is legally ended.
- Returning the keys does not legally end the tenancy.
- If there are any monies in the estate of the deceased tenant, then the executor of the estate will be expected to use the monies to clear any rent arrears or other charges that are outstanding.
- If there is not an executor of a will and a legal representative cannot be determined, then a Notice to Quit (NTQ) will be served at the property. A copy of this notice will also be served on the Public Trustee. The Public Trustee will administer the estate of the deceased and therefore take on the legal right to end the tenancy.
- If the deceased did not leave behind a will but you are responsible for administering the financial affairs of the deceased, then you will not be liable for any former tenancy debt. However, any money in the estate should be used to clear priority debts such as Rent and Council Tax.
Can I view my former rent account?
Former tenants are able to view their rent account online. Once you have registered you can select “My accounts” and register your housing accounts using your name, date of birth and rent account number.
Once you have registered your account this will show any tenancy you have held with the Council and any outstanding debts that you owe.
You will be able to make payments, seek additional support if you’re suffering financial hardship and will be able to view your rent statement 24/7.
Please don’t ignore the letters or text messages we send you, the sooner you contact us the sooner we will be able to help you, for our contact details please visit our Rents page