Renfrewshire Council

Court summons and Court orders

What you should do if you get a court summons about your rent, what you should do, what will happen in court, if you want to appeal.

If a Notice of Proceedings for Recovery of Possession (NPRP) is served on you and you don't make arrangements to pay off the debt, you'll receive a court summons. 

A court summons is a document that tells you to attend court on a certain date because you owe the council a debt due to the non-payment of your rent. This means that you will have to explain to a sheriff why you have not paid your rent.

Non-payment or irregular payment of rent is a breach of your tenancy agreement, so the council are legally entitled to recover the money and seek possession of your home.

Sheriff Court orders are registered with certain credit reference agencies and this may make it difficult for you to get credit from finance or banking organisations in the future.

What you should do

If you get a court summons:

  • Don't ignore a court summons or be afraid to ask for help.
  • Contact Advice Works, the independent money advice service.
  • Ask for advice from your solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.
  • Ask for advice from your Neighbourhood Services Team. This team is responsible for recovery of rent arrears and provide support and advice to tenants who want to keep their tenancy. You can ask for a private interview or home visit. Call on the Freephone number 0800 085 9126.
  • Clear your debt in full to avoid going to court. You can pay your rent now using our online payments service.
  • You will need to clear any court costs as well.
  • Make a firm commitment to repay your debt.
  • Make an agreement with your Neighbourhood Services Team or Court Officer before the court date to repay the debt over a period of time. This agreement will be produced at court.
  • Attend court to outline why you are in debt.

What will happen in court

  • The sheriff can order you to repay your debt over a period of time but allow you to continue living at your home as long as you make payments. This means that the sheriff has given you a last chance to pay your debt on a regular weekly basis. If you default on this, you could be evicted.
  • The sheriff can grant a 'Decree for recovery of possession'. This means the council can apply to evict you from your home.
  • The sheriff can adjourn the case to another date.

If you want to appeal

You have a right to appeal the decision of the court. For further information, contact a solicitor, Advice Works or the Citizens Advice Bureau. For more information on rent arrears and recovery of possession, please see the links in the right hand menu.