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Former tenant arrears

What is a former tenant?

A former tenant is someone who rented a Tandridge District Council property or garage in the past. They may have left the district, carried out a mutual exchange, purchased a property, transferred to another council property, another organisation, or died. 

What are former tenant arrears?

If you are no longer a council tenant and have left your property owing money on your rent account, this is known as ‘former tenant arrears’.

How can I pay my Former Tenant Arrears?

Over the phone by credit or debit card

During office hours you can make payments using a credit or debit card by calling the Council’s Debt Recovery Unit on 01883 732930 or our Customer Services Team on 01883 722000, to make either a full or partial payment. They may also be able to enter into an agreement with you to repay your debt over a period of time.

By Direct Debit

Direct Debit is the easy way for you to pay your outstanding rent. You can instruct us to collect money from your bank or building society account. 

The direct debit scheme is quick and easy and you do not have to remember when to pay. The scheme is protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. Direct Debit forms are available from your former Management Officer or the council offices.

How can I make sure I have no arrears when I end a tenancy?

When you make a decision to leave the property you must give four weeks notice in writing. If you leave before this time you will be charged rent for the whole four week notice period.

If you claim housing benefit you need to tell the Benefits department the date on which you intend to leave the property.

If you leave the property before the end of the four week notice period, you will only receive your benefit up to the date you move out. You will be expected to pay the difference up to the end of the tenancy.

Please make sure you hand in your keys to the Housing department before midday on the Monday your tenancy is due to end. If the keys are not received by this time you will be charged the weekly rent until the keys are returned.

This means if you hand in your keys on the next day, ie the Tuesday, you will be charged a full week’s rent, not just an extra day.

When you terminate your tenancy you should ensure any rent payments due up to the end of your tenancy are paid. Your Management Officer will be able to tell you how much you should pay.

What happens if a family member dies?

You are required to advise us of the death of the tenant and to give 28 days notice.

A termination form will be sent to you for completion and should be returned with a copy of the death certificate.

Housing Benefit will end on the date of the tenant’s death. Rent and other service charges will continue to be charged for the property until the keys are returned on the Monday the tenancy ends. If the keys are not returned on the due date  the rent and charges  still need to be paid until they are returned.

What happens if my former tenant account is in credit?

If you have given us your new address, we will refund the money to you by cheque or directly to the bank account from which you paid.

If the tenant has died we will refund the money to their representative by cheque or directly to the bank account from which the money was received.

What action can we take to recover former tenant arrears?

If you leave your tenancy with rent arrears and do not give us your new address, we will use an agency to find you.

We will contact you and give you the opportunity to make an arrangement to clear the arrears on your account. If you do not pay these arrears we may take court action to recover the debt. This will incur legal costs.

Can I apply for another council tenancy if I have former tenant arrears?

Any debts you have after ending a tenancy could prevent you being offered a property in the future.

Details of your arrears will be provided in any reference we provide regarding your tenancy and could have a negative effect on your credit rating.