Rent and benefits
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 applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction:
To check and calculate your Housing Benefit entitlement and other benefits visit:
Ways to pay your 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or our web chat.
Paying 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.
Worrying about paying your rent
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 email@example.com or our web chat.
Unfortunately we're not offering a rent break. 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.
Applying for Universal Credit
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.
Increase in benefits
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.
Job Centre appointments
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.
Help for the self-employed
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.
Income Support Scheme
If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by COVID-19, find out if you can use the Income Support Scheme to claim a grant of up to £6,570.
If you have any questions or if you'd like to discuss this with someone, we'll be happy to help. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Falling 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.
Other benefits available
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.