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You may receive a date and time to appear in court because of arrears on your rent account. It could be at any one of the following courts: Aldershot, Portsmouth, Chichester, Winchester or Basingstoke. Check your paperwork to see which one you have to attend.
Do not ignore it, it will not go away. If you haven't already, phone the Housing Association and speak to a member of staff regarding the best way forward.
Contact our Customer Benefits Advisor, who can advise you as to whether you may be entitled to any benefits. If you have multiple debts you may wish to contact the local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), they can help you in your dealings with the Housing Association and any other people that you owe money to.
Approximately 10 days before the date of the court hearing, your Housing Consultant will make an appointment to visit you. They will need to know how much money you have coming in to your household and how much you have to pay out, including any other debts e.g. loans, credit cards, catalogues. You will then have the opportunity to make an agreement to pay off your arrears. Unfortunately because we will have paid for the court hearing, (approximately 150) we will ask the Judge to order you to pay the cost of this, even if an agreement is made or you have paid off your arrears.
We will also ask for a 'Money Judgement' for the arrears so that you will still be liable to pay the arrears even if you leave the property.
Try to attend the court hearing to put your case to the Judge. There will be a member of the Housing Team at court who you can speak to before the hearing.
The Judge will listen to both you and the Housing Association representative. If an agreement has been made prior to the hearing the Judge will probably agree and make an order. This could be a postponed possession order, a suspended possession order or an adjournment on the terms agreed. This means that as long as you keep to the terms of the order nothing else will happen. If you do not, then Drum will apply back to court for either a further hearing to secure a possession order or if a possession order has been suspended then we will apply for a bailiff's appointment.
If there are reasons for not being able to meet the payments, you should contact Drum immediately to discuss this; it may prevent further action being taken. If we do apply for a bailiffs warrant, details will be sent to you of the date and time you are expected to leave your home. When you receive the time and date for you to leave the property, you may wish to contact the CAB who may help you with a request for a 'Stay Hearing'. This is your chance to tell the Judge why you have not paid what you agreed to before, and what you will do in the future. A date and time will be set for the 'Stay Hearing' and it is vital that you attend. The Judge will listen to you and will then decide what they thinks is fair. If they do agree with you the warrant will be suspended on the amount that is agreed to be paid. This agreement must be maintained or we will reapply for the warrant. Drum will ask for the cost of the warrant (/images/untitled-1.gif95 approximately) to be charged to you; again this is normally added on and is not payable until all the arrears have been paid. If the Judge does not suspend the warrant, the eviction will go ahead. In this case you must present yourself to the Housing Needs Team at the local council offices (who will decide whether or not you are intentionally homeless by not paying your rent) and who may try to help you find temporary accommodation.