Payment of rent is non-negotiable and if you fail to pay your rent you are at risk of losing your home. We don't want this to happen and we are here to help you.
If you fall behind on payments you can take these five steps to start tackling your rent arrears immediately.
1. Contact a member of our income team on 0800 358 3783.
2. Explain your situation to one of our income advisors. They will give you free and confidential advice to help assess and manage your payments. If you need one, an appointment can be made to discuss your situation.
3. You will be offered help to work out the benefits you can claim and we can refer you to a debt advice agency. Our staff will adopt a sensitive approach to you, particularly if you are struggling to meet your financial commitments. Payment methods can be tailored to suit your income patterns whether it be weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
4. An agreement will then be made and from that point you will have to pay your weekly rent along with an agreed amount of your arrears.
- paying a small sum regularly is far better and easier to manage than paying larger amounts occasionally
- remember it is important not to miss a payment. If you get into further difficulties please contact your income advisor immediately. If you fail to make the agreed payments we may take court action and you could lose your home.
5. If needed you can obtain free, independent legal advice on your financial situation. Your income advisor can refer you to an independent advisor who can help manage your money, deal with debt, and help you apply for any additional benefits that you might be entitled to. An appointment will be made for you in the area service centre.
The Welfare Reform Act is legislation that was introduced by the government in March 2016 and marked one of the largest changes to the welfare system in more than 60 years.
The Act introduced a wide range of reforms that may affect you. The main elements of the Act are:
- an under-occupation cap on housing benefit for working age households
- a total benefit cap for working age households
- a new type of payment called Universal Credit This is a single streamlined payment that replaces most means-tested benefits.
Under Universal Credit housing costs (currently known as housing benefit) are paid direct to you as the tenant, not to the landlord, so it is your responsibility to pay your rent.
Other changes that may affect you include:
- changes to Disability Living Allowance, through the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment
- a change to the way incapacity benefits are paid.
For more information on what we are doing about the changes or to find out if you are affected, please contact us.