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What do you understand by the term Rent arrears?

The term rent arrears refers to the amount of money a tenant owes the landlord that is meant for rent purposes. The rent arrears should be prioritized in order to avoid any consequences that may befall if the agreement between the landlord and the tenant is not adhered to.

Compare and contrast rent and rent arrears?

The term rent refers to the payment made to the owner of the premises for a given period of time one uses the premise. The term is similar to the rent arrears since it still involves payment of a premise for a stipulated time though the payment was not received. The both payments are received by the landlord if they are to be paid. However, the two terms might contradict in that , rent is payable after a specified period of  time while as rent arrears is the liability of the money that has not been received inform of rent.

Write short notes on rent collection method

It is very essential for the Council to have effective and efficient ways in collecting rent from the tenants as this will help them in meeting the present and future plans through the finances collected. The policy set out by the London council renders out services and avail facilities to tenants which will assist them in meeting the rent charges. In paying the rent, correspondences are sent to the tenants before the due date of paying the rent. In paying the rent, tenants may use diverse ways but mostly the payment method is determined by the landlord. The following are some of the ways that the tenants may use in order to clear out the rent arrears. They may pay by use of cash, or use either cheque deposits debit or credit cards and this is transacted at the Exeter city council banking hall. Another payment method may be by use of Exeter city council rent payment card which is carried out at the post office. Use of Direct Debit or standing order is also an effective method in paying rent. In addition payment by post cheque or post order or pay point are also effective methods in rent payment. 

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London city council's primary aim in relation to rent arrears recovery is to maximize its collection of rent income and other charges from its tenants. It is in the best interests of London city council and its tenants that its income is maximized so that the objectives of its Business Plans are met. How would you apply this policy to the principles of rent arrears collection?

This policy is applicable to the principle of rent arrears and collection in that it is the principle or rent arrears to provide a considerable professional endorsement and rental guidance on the ways they can be able to lower and avoid rent arrears. The policy also intertwines to the principle of rent arrears in that it is able to examine the leverage of rent arrears at an early stage and thus provide mechanisms which will prevent cases of any rise in rent arrears. Since the policy is able to take care of other charges from the tenants it therefore becomes compatible with the principled as it is capable of taking a considerate action which is compatible to the amount of the rent arrears. By offering premises to tenants for rental charges the policy is able to provide shelter to many people and thus aid the council in expanding their future objectives.

As a housing officer, you have taken over a patch with high rent arrears. Discuss the tools you will use to reduce the arrears?

In reducing the arrears in U.K a landlord might consider emphasizing to the tenants to us the bankers while paying their rents. This document will in one way or another reduce the anxiety from the landlord of eagerly waiting for cheques which take long before they are processed and reaches to the landlord.  Another tool that the housing officer might consider essential is that he or she should regularly monitor the bank account as this will help him or her ensure that the payments were actually made on time required. Monitoring the account has presently become so efficient in that one can even use the phone or use an internet link. In addition to that, another efficient tool is a prompt action towards the tenant and this is meant to inform the tenant that he or she has a responsibility which ought to fulfill within a given period of time.                                                                            

Immediate steps at the earliest time possible are essential as they ensure that the tenant does not evict the premises without meeting the rent or the payments required. Another vital tool in trying to reduce the arrears is taking a substantial action in enquiring why the rent has not been paid. In this case the landlord should establish valid reasons whether if it is the tenant or the Bank that has not been to the agreed terms and conditions. Either the tenant might have overlooked the landlords account and switched off to other pressing issues being optimistic he or she will recover the foregone rent within a range of set time. Documents used in payment of the rents are very essential and might get lost and therefore the housing officer should be able to look into all these issues.

Some predetermined circumstances may contribute to a tenant missing to adhere to the payment procedure in that he or she may miss to pay rent and when reminded the response might be so quick in remedying the situation but afterward the same problem may reoccur. The landlord should be very insightful and should enquire why payment has not yet been paid. Having a court is very bureaucratic and the landlord should opt to turn to repossessing the properties until the rent is paid. Establishing contacts with the landlord or the tenant is another aspect which should help the housing officer to reduce the arrears. This helps the tenant to be able to explain himself or herself to the landlord before the maturity date expires for payment of the rent.  Another tool that a housing officer could use in reducing the arrears is by allowing the tenants to make smaller rent payments before the rent accumulates to a lump sum. The down payment should not be used as rent payment but instead is meant for security purposes.

The housing officer may also advice the tenant to seek for help from the various housing help agencies. The help agencies may include the social services Department which is owned by the local authority and also the housing advice centre. If the tenants' situation is not likely to improve in the new future, then the landlord will have no otherwise but to repossess the tenant's property. Maintaining a good intimacy with tenant is another way a housing officer should improve on as this will entice the tenant pay the rent on time and also in case of vacating from the premises he or she does it voluntarily. Another essential tool that a housing officer to reduce cases of arrears is by applying the debt recovery procedure whereby the officer uses the small claim court. Doing away with litigation can also help in reducing the arrears whereby the housing officer decides to write off small debts (Lorna Fox, et al, 2011).

A tenant on housing benefit has been sent a notice of seeking possession. Advice her on her next action

Before a tenant is evicted from the premises He or she may seek help from the legal authority. Upon receiving a notice seeking possession, a tenant may either as the warrant to be suspended or set aside. If a tenant gives reason for the delay of the payment beyond reasonable doubt then a court may agree on suspending the warrant for a given period of time until the tenant is able to make the payments. In order for the warrant to be acceptable one is to prove beyond reasonable doubts to the judge that for sure the warrant needs to be suspended. It is very important to seek for warrant of suspension if one is capable of doing even if it's the same day one has received a notice of suspension. The second action a tenant might seek for is setting aside a warrant of possession. This primarily means that it is as though the warrant did not hold any legal meaning but this is applicable before one is evicted or after eviction. A warrant of possession is only issued under the following circumstances;

Only if the warrant was binding before the possession order was valid, also in cases where the eviction had not been issued and the third reason is if the landlords' information is contrary to the information given on the housing benefit. If the tenant realizes that he or she will not be able to raise the required amount of rent he or she will be compelled to evict from the premises. It is therefore paying the rent or avoiding paying the rent that the tenant is set free. In addition the tenant might also advance some loans from the bank in order to pay the rent.  

Analyze the procedural and legal requirements governing rent arrears.

In governing the arrears, U.K government has laid down a protocol for governing its rent arrears and this depends the registered social landlords are either private registered under social housing or just private registered providers. Private registered providers of social housing are merely meant to cater for the rent arrears. This type of protocol is only meant to cater for short leases, while the later merges the interest of both the landlord and the tenant.                       

The protocol ensures that rent is paid with immediate effect and also any difficulty between the two parties is resolved with immediate effect. The following consist of the procedural method in requesting for the payment of the rent. In the first instance, the landlord should have an initial contact with the tenant asking him or her if he or she is able to pay the rent. Secondly, the landlord and the tenant should discuss on the considerate amount of money that the tenant should pay to clear the arrears.                    

The third procedure involves the landlord providing the rent statements which have been prepared on quarterly basis and this helps in portraying a comprehensible format and indicates the rent owing against the amount received. These copies are then provided to the tenant in order for him to make the payments. The fourth procedure involves the tenant reading the statements and in cases where the tenant is unable to read the landlord should always be ready to offer some guidance.  If the tenant is able to meet and adhere to the stipulations, then the landlord arranges for the payment of the rent using the tenants' benefit which is provided by the department of work and pensions.

After the payments are made the landlord should always avail himself or herself in order to help the tenant in case of any rising issue. Also according to the proceedings followed in possessing it is regarded as unfair if the properties can be repossessed and yet the tenant had presented his claims, if the tenant finds it hard to claim for the services offered by the tenant and yet he is receiving money for the premises, the tenant is at liberty to forward him and sue him for negligence. If still the tenant is not able to make payments, a statutory notice is forwarded to the tenant who serves as a reminder that payment ought to be made aid. If the tenant adheres and responds by paying both the rent and the arrears, then the court proceedings are postponed.

Write short notes on the following...a) Particulars of claim b) Notice of seeking possession c) Notice to quit d) Claim form for possession of property e) Postponed possession order

Particulars of claim refer to the statements that the defendant presents to the court of law seeking justice from the plaintiff. Notice of seeking permission refers to the amount of time in which the tenant is given in order to have cleared the rent. The notice of seeking permission is offered by the landlord to the tenants. A notice to quit refers to the notice in writing form in which the tenant might addresses to the landlord on his willingful act of vacating from the premises. Claim form possession form of property refers to the form in which the tenant fills and forwards it to the council which will offer the tenant an opportunity in claiming to repossess his or her property provided that he or she gives reasons beyond reasonable doubt that he was not in a better position to clear up the debt and that he had informed the landlord in time.

Compare and contrast Postponed Possession order and Suspended Possession order

Comparison between postponed possession order and suspended possession order

Both of these orders have the same provision whereby if a tenant is issued with either of two possession orders he or she is given a chance of living in the house provided that one pays the rent as stipulated and settles the arrears that were outstanding.

Differences between postponed possession order and the suspended possession orders

A landlord can take a warrant of possession without necessarily informing the tenant in case the latter fails to have paid the agreed amount either to settle arrears or regular payment. In this case the landlord can easily obtain the warrant of possession from a court of law while it is different in postponed possession order whereby a landlord follows a lengthy procedure before obtaining the warrant of possession. And it is also mandatory for the landlord to inform the tenant about the possible eviction 14days prior from its happening. 

You have been asked to educate your tenants on rent arrears, draw an action plan to aid their understanding.

Tenants  should understand that  paying rent and clearing the debts is their responsibility which should be a priority before any other thing is budgeted for and should therefore be very prompt in paying this debts. They should be very strategic on the time period in which they are supposed to pay the rents. If they find it difficult and the time for making the payment is almost expiring they should communicate with the landlord and give reasons for not paying on time. In addition, tenants should be well aware of their rights as tenants and the privilege they enjoy even when they have not cleared their arrears. Despite of them enjoying all this rights, they should also be aware that landlords own the premises and in whatever circumstance they can be evicted from the premise whether they seek legal assistance or not, hence respect should prevail between the two parties.

Your case was thrown out of court due to technicality, explain what you think could have gone wrong.

The case could have been thrown out may be because I was not able to prove to the judge beyond reasonable doubt why I had not cleared my rent arrears, and though I tried convincing him the reasons were not material enough.

Borough city council has just offered you employment as a housing officer and you have been given a target to reduce the rent arrears in your patch a) Describe a stage by stage recovery plan b) What arrears range would you deal with first and why?

-Make the tenants aware of the roles the roles they are obliged to play as far as rent payment is done and in the appropriate time to avoid any arrear.

-Educate the tenants on the number of ways that can be used to pay rent.

-assisting the tenants to learn about housing and also helping them acquire it.

-give them the awareness on other types of benefits that min d about the welfare of tenants.

-educate those tenants who have rent arrears on the best ways of handling their issues and preventing such occurrences in future.

b) What arrears range would you deal with first and why? One should first of all tackle cases that involve former tenancy arrears which refer to the arrears that are left by tenants who vacate a house after being issued with a possession order or on realizing possible eviction due to the outstanding. This would be necessary since depending on the amount of money that is in arrears it would be uneconomical not follow the tenants. This implies that those tenants who live with such arrears should be followed so as to pay the debt.

Discuss in detail the role of court papers in rent arrears recovery

The court papers are very essential as far as rent arrears recovery is concerned in the sense that they create legal platform for procedure to be executed to have so meaning and weight. The relationship between the landlord and the tenant is maintained due to the legality of the process.

Analyze the court proceedings after serving (NOSP) Notice of Seeking Possession. Use this analysis to highlight the key drivers that are likely to affect the tenant in future.

Notice of seeking possession is a notice applied by a landlord so as to give to a tenant in an event where the tenant has rent arrears. This notice is to inform the tenant that the landlord might require the tenant to vacate the premise if they do not settle the arrears. All the court proceedings that are subjected to tenant have a number of effects on the future life of the tenant since in case of an eviction the tenant will always be on the losing end if such a scenario happens again. This may include eviction from the building, conviction, injury, payment of a fine or serving of a term sentence in jail. This has an insinuation that the tenants ought to be very careful and oblige by the regulation concerning laws of contract and use of the premises so as to avoid rent arrears.

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