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Arrears and Evictions


The council provides a "firm but fair" service to any council tenant in West Lothian who falls into arrears with rent payments.


Having difficulty in paying your rent?

We know that people can find themselves in rent arrears for all kinds of reasons. We understand that it can be difficult facing up to your problems.  If you have any problems paying your rent, please get in touch with your Housing Officer immediately, even if it is only a temporary difficulty you are having.


West Lothian Council Advice Shop offers free independent advice about debts, benefits, housing and other income maximisation.

Advice Shop, Bathgate Partnership Centre, South Bridge Street, Bathgate, EH48 1TS
Phone: 01506 283000


Citizens Advice Bureau West Lothian, Shiel House, Craigshill, Livingston EH54 5EH
Phone: 01506 432977


To get a Benefit or Financial Health Check ? Contact Ian or Michelle
Phone: 01506 776366 or 01506 776848

(please have your Rent payment Card to hand)

  • Over the Telephone using your Debit Card/Credit Card- Phone 01506 775050 or your local Area Housing Office on 01506 280000
  • Telephone Touchtone Payments ? 01506 282407
  • Online:
  • By Direct Debit (forms available at your local Area Housing Office or CIS Office)
  • Rent Payment Card at your Local Council office or at the Post Office

What will happen if I ignore my arrears?

We will do everything in our powers to help you stay in your home, but we have no legal obligation to house you if you refuse to pay arrears.

We will make every effort to help you deal with your rent arrears. If our attempts to reach an agreement with you fail, or if you break an agreement to pay arrears, we may need to consider further action. This may involve:

  • Deducting payments from your Department of Working Pensions benefits
  • Taking court action to evict you from your home
  • A bank or wage arrestment


For full and detailed information on all tenancy related issues and most frequently asked questions - including those mentioned here, please refer to the Tenant Handbook 2013 within the 'Downloadable Documents' section at the bottom of this page.

updated 02/10/2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Click a question to see the answer.

Can I obtain an exchange if I have rent arrears?

Yes, you can still apply for an exchange if you have arrears, as long as you've made regular payments for at least the last three months, and your arrears are reducing.

If my rent is not paid in advance does this mean I am in arrears?

Yes, if your rent is not paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly in advance (depending on how regularly you normally pay), you are considered to be in arrears with your rent.

What action can the Council take to recover former tenant arrears?

If you ignore your arrears, and fail to respond to our arrears reminder letters, your debt will be passed to our Sheriff Officers for recovery. The Council may also take legal action against you to recover the debt, which will lead to additional legal costs. If the Council takes legal action against you, your wages or bank account could be arrested. This will also be disclosed in any reference the Council provides in respect of your tenancy, and could have an adverse effect on your credit rating.

What is a Notice of Proceedings for Recovery of Possession.

A Notice of Proceedings for Recovery of Possession is a warning that the Housing Association or Council may take Court action against you to recover your home. It does not mean you have to move out. It does not affect your right to stay in the home. It does not affect your duty to pay your rent. It is the first step in the legal process which could lead to you being evicted if you don't pay your rent or if you break one of the conditions of your lease.
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