Paying your rent and managing debt

Your Tenancy Agreement is a legal contract between you and Port St Mary Commissioners. It sets out your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and ours as your landlord. You have been given your own copy to keep. When you sign your Tenancy Agreement, you agree to keep to the rules that govern the way you live in your home which means that, amongst other things, you agree to pay your rent and any other associated charges on time.

Your rent is payable weekly in advance on Mondays, but you may pay every two weeks or monthly if you prefer, as long as your account is paid in advance. You can pay your rent from your bank account by direct debit or by post, or in person at the Town Hall. If you are on Income Support, you can also arrange to pay your rent directly from your benefits. Contact the Housing Officer or the Department of Health and Social Care for advice on this method of payment.

To make sure that your rent account runs smoothly, you should:

  • Pay your rent when it is due;
  • Let us know if you go away for any length of time;
  • Contact us immediately if you have a problem paying your rent; and
  • Tell the Housing Officer about any changes in circumstances which may affect the amount

   of rent you pay, e.g. new lodgers

It is most important that you contact us as soon as you can if you are having problems in paying your rent.   We will arrange to discuss the matter with you in private and will be able to suggest the best methods of clearing any arrears.

Remember that arrears can start off small when the occasional payment is missed but they build up quickly. If your account remains in arrears or if you are a persistent late payer, we will have to take action to recover the rent you owe us.

Please Remember, if you are having difficulties paying your rent:

  • Speak to the Housing Officer
  • Get advice, for example, from Citizen’s Advice or the Debt Counselling Service; and
  • Make regular weekly payments, no matter how small they are

If you find yourself in arrears, or are having problems in making your rent payments, we will always be sympathetic to your position, and you should contact us for help and advice as quickly as possible. If you do not pay your rent, you will be sent a number of letters requesting that you clear your arrears and reminding you of your obligation to keep your payments up to date. We will also try to contact you in person or by telephone.

If we receive no response to our efforts to contact you, and you do not make arrangements to clear your arrears, or they continue to increase we will have no alternative but to take legal action against you and you will be in danger of losing your home.

In addition, any legal costs incurred whilst pursuing our claim against you may also be charged to you.

REMEMBER: Ask for help before your debt gets too large. We will work with you to help resolve your financial difficulties so that, if at all possible, you do not have to leave your home.

If you are having problems keeping up with your rent or other payments or debts, you should get help as quickly as possible. The Office of Fair Trading has a Debt Counselling Service and can be contacted on 686510. The Citizens Advice Service is also available to help and can be contacted on 813466.

If you need help with existing benefits or need to find out if you can claim Income Support or other benefits, please contact Social Services on 685656.

Family support and the Duty Social Worker can be accessed by telephoning 686179.

Don’t ignore the problem. The sooner you get help the easier it will be to sort things out.


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