Housing Service - Eviction Policy - Section 8
8.1 The Council will ensure that all reasonable steps will be taken to remove the need for court action to recover possession of a property. This will include early, regular and sustained intervention when appropriate, to avoid the escalation of a situation.
8.2 The Council will follow an escalation policy based on preventative measures that is proportionate to the level of the situation.
8.3 The Council's approach to rent arrears aims to establish a culture of early and direct face-to-face contact with tenants and shift the focus of rent arrears recovery to prevention and support. In all situations where the Council feels that it is reasonable to recover possession of a property, the Council will ensure that reasonable preventative measures have been taken to avoid eviction. These measures include offering comprehensive advice and information about sourcing welfare benefit advice; assistance with applying for and renewing claims for Housing Benefit; rent and service charges; insisting on the completion of a housing benefit application or the payment of rent in advance when a tenant signs their tenancy; and visits made to all new tenants within the first six weeks to assess how well they are settling in, with follow up visits continuing for as long as help is needed.
8.4 The Council is committed to using all the legal remedies that are available to it which are considered to be effective and reasonable. In each case, action will be considered in the light of the individual household circumstances and evictions will only be carried out as a last resort.
8.5 Where there is a risk of abuse, violence and/or danger to neighbours, staff or the person who is being evicted, the Council will act quickly and appropriately to ensure the risk is minimised.