Rent and benefits FAQs
We know that some people will be experiencing some uncertainty around their income and paying their bills during this time. Supporting customers through this difficult time is our priority, and the last thing we want is for anyone to be worrying unnecessarily, so please have a look at the FAQs below, and contact us as soon as you can if you would like to speak to someone.
Important message concerning COVID-19: If you find yourself jobless, on reduced income, or about to become unemployed, please consider URGENTLY apply for Housing Benefit and Council Tax:
To check and calculate your Housing Benefit entitlement and other benefits visit:
How can I pay my rent?
There're lots of different ways to pay your rent. You can find out more on our dedicated web page.
The easiest way to pay will be through direct debit, so if you'd like to set one up please contact us on 01494 476100, by email email@example.com or our web chat.
I am worried about how I'll pay my rent - can you help?
We know that people may be worrying about paying their rent if their hours have reduced, or their income has been affected in any way. We have a team of people who are here to help and advise you. If you're facing financial difficulty, contact us on 01494 476100, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or our web chat.
Can I still pay my rent by cheque?
If you usually pay your rent by cheque, or at your Post Office, we ask that you consider an alternative method such as Standing Order or Direct Debit. This will avoid delays in the money reaching your account, as well as keep you safe by avoiding you having to leave home. You can find more information about this on our pay rent online web page, or give us a call so we can advise you.
Will you be offering tenants a rent break?
Unfortunately not. Your rent will still need to be paid. However, if you're experiencing difficulties in meeting your rent payments, just get in touch and we can talk through either payment plans and/or making a claim for Universal Credit to help pay for your rent.
How can I apply for Universal Credit and would I qualify?
The government has a really helpful page all about Universal Credit, which explains who is eligible and also how to apply. To apply, you'll need to have to hand all your income details, bank account information and also your rent details. We recently wrote to you to let you know about your rent charges and what this will be for April, but if you wanted to confirm this, just drop us a line.
I already receive Universal Credit/Housing Benefit, but can I now get more if my income has changed?
Depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to an increase in your benefits. You can advise Universal Credit of changes to your circumstances by updating your details within your account. Please let us know if you plan on making a claim to increase your benefits as a result of a reduction in your income.
I am already on Universal Credit but I am self-isolating, am I risking a sanction for not going for an appointment at the Job Centre?
The Department for Work and Pensions have put in place special arrangements for people in receipt of benefits who cannot attend reassessments or Job Centre appointments because they're required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus.
Claimants who inform the Department for Work and Pensions in good time that they're staying at home or that they've been diagnosed with coronavirus will not be sanctioned.
For the most up to date information, visit the Department for Work and Pensions dedicated webpage for coronavirus.
If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by coronavirus, contact your work coach as soon as possible using your online journal or via the helpline 0800 328 5644.
I am self-employed, will I still be able to get help?
If you're self-employed or own a small business, the Government has announced that there will be support provided to those who cannot work and earn due to coronavirus. Each case is considered on an individual basis.
For the duration of the outbreak, the requirements of the minimum income floor in Universal Credit will be temporarily relaxed for those directly affected by coronavirus or self-isolating, ensuring claimants who are self-employed will be compensated for losses in income. You should make a claim to Universal Credit straight away. Please let us know if you are making a claim, so we can work with you on how to manage your rent account whilst the claim is being processed.
What happens if I fall into arrears?
We'll work with all our tenants who experience difficulties during this period of time. It'll be important that you get in touch with us and agree with a member of the team how you'll manage your account and any arrears.Whilst we'll not be applying to court to evict anyone for non-payment of rent in line with the government guidance, if you fail to pay arrears, then action could be taken in the future. The important thing is to keep in touch with us so we can work with you on any payment plans and so we can advise you of any benefits you may be entitled to.
How can I find out what other benefits I can apply for?
If you think you may be entitled to benefits, or want to find out more about benefits that might be available you can have a look on www.entitledto.co.uk which has lots of useful information. You can also contact us directly for advice.