Rent arrears and eviction

Part of: Paying your housing rent

If you fall behind with your rent, we follow a standard procedure to chase up payment.

We will write to you if you get into arrears. We also phone, send reminders by text and carry out visits during the day, evenings and weekends. You can tell us if you are having any problems paying your rent and we can help and advise you on what to do next.

We will phone or write to you again if you do not get in touch with us or if you do not pay off your arrears. 

We can recommend an arrangement for you to pay off your arrears in reasonable instalments. You can contact Income Collection (see details below) to discuss this.  

If you break an agreement with us we may serve you with a formal notice. If we have to take you to court you will have to pay our costs and legal fees on top of what you owe.

Ask for a payment plan

If you are in arrears with your rent, you can ask to set up a payment plan.

Request a payment plan

Check that you are receiving the support you are entitled to

There are also things you can do to help manage your finances effectively and make sure you are receiving all of the income you are entitled to. You can:

  • use our benefits and budgeting calculator to find other benefits, ways to save money and budget effectively
  • check if you could be entitled to financial support through a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) if you already get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs but are still unable to afford your rent or are in arrears
  • get help through the Haringey Support Fund if you need emergency support with basic living costs or to pay for essential household items
  • see our Here to Help pages for other support including accessing debt advice 


We must collect the rent in order to pay for the housing services we provide all our tenants. Although we do our best to sort out tenancy or rent problems, we still have to evict tenants every year as a last resort. Even families with children can face the risk of losing their home.

If you are evicted and find yourself homeless, Haringey Council will usually not be obliged to re-house you or anyone who lives with you, so you will have to find your own accommodation. You will also still have to clear your debt with Haringey Council.

If you face eviction, the court will tell you the date and time the bailiff will arrive. Once the bailiff has made sure everyone has left, a housing officer will take possession of the property. We will store any personal belongings you leave behind for a short period, unless they are perishable (for example, food).

Please note that if you are a tenant facing a possession order, you should seek independent legal advice. You can do this by contacting a solicitor or Citizens Advice. See also the section on if you are having trouble paying bills.

Can an eviction be stopped?

Once a court order (also known as a possession order) has been given to you, only the court can change it. If you need to make a request to vary the terms of the order, or to delay an eviction, you will have to make it to the court.

The earlier you take action or get advice the better, it gets harder to make agreements the longer you leave it.

You can apply for the warrant of possession to be suspended, and in this case the court will reconsider your case. This doesn’t mean that they will necessarily agree to change the decision however.

Remember, if you are having trouble paying your rent:

  • tell us about your problems
  • get advice from Citizens Advice if necessary
  • make regular payments, even if they are not for the full amount owed

Contact the income collection team