Your rent

Your rent payments help to fund the services we provide to all Phoenix residents. It is important you keep up with your rent.

Follow the links below to find out more about your rent, what to do if you're struggling to keep up with payments, and action we take against those who don't pay their rent.

If you're struggling to pay

Your payments help us fund the services we provide to all Phoenix residents. 

If you are having difficulties making a payment, please contact us as soon as possible. We will support residents in clearing any debts owed, and will welcome and recognise genuine efforts to pay them back.

You can also visit the Lewisham Plus Credit Union branch at The Green Man for information about savings accounts and secure loans.

We don’t want people to lose their homes or be struggling to pay. However, we will take legal action if people don’t accept our help.

Good reasons not to get into arrears

  • If you are evicted from your home for rent arrears, the council will not normally re-house you.
  • You may have trouble getting credit such as loans and hire purchase.
  • A possession order always carries a money judgment (this affects your credit rating) for the amount of arrears, plus court costs.
  • You will not normally be able to get a transfer (move to another home) or mutual exchange (swap homes with someone else).

If you do get into arrears

If you have rent arrears, we will take action to recover the amount owing.

You will receive a letter asking you to contact us. Do not ignore this letter but get in touch as soon as possible.

We will make reasonable and realistic arrangements for you to pay back your rent. That includes ensuring you are claiming all those benefits to which you are entitled. 

We will visit you at home if you cannot get to the office if you are unwell, elderly or disabled.

Legal proceedings

If you do not accept our support and remain in rent arrears, we will take legal action by serving a notice of seeking possession. 

If this happens, and you don’t arrange to pay the arrears within four weeks, we will apply to the court for a possession order.

A court hearing will be arranged for your case, which you should attend.

If we take a tenant to court for not paying rent, we may ask for one of the following:

  • a suspended possesion order
  • an outright possession order 

A money judgment will be requested if either of the above is awarded.

Possession order

If we are owed a large amount of rent, we will also ask the court for a possession order on your home.

The court can make a suspended possession order. This means that you will only be able to keep your home if you agree to the terms for repaying the rent owed as set by the court.

The court can choose to make an outright possession order. This means that your tenancy will end and you will lose your home.

If an outright possession order is given and Phoenix decides to enforce the order, the court bailiff will arrange to repossess your home.

Money judgment

A money judgment will be requested if either of the possession orders are awarded. Phoenix will ask the court for a money judgment to clear the debt owed. If the court awards the money judgment, you have to repay the debt and meet Phoenix’s court costs.

Having a money judgment against you can also affect your chances of getting credit because details of money judgments are openly available to financial organisations. This means that you may not be able to buy goods on credit from catalogue companies, get a loan from a bank or other company or get a credit card.


If you are evicted because you owe rent, you may be considered to have made yourself intentionally homeless.

If this is the case, neither Phoenix nor the council have any obligation to provide you with accommodation. It is then likely you will have to find your own accommodation in the private sector.