The rent you pay is the main source of income for the Association. It is therefore very important that you make your payments regularly. Your rent is due on the 1st of each calendar month.
Payments can be made by any of the following methods:
- By allpay payment card using the following facilities:
- By Debit or Credit Card at any of the Associations Offices, by calling the office on 03451 77 2244
- Using an App on your smart phone or tablet, Install by searching for ‘allpay’ in Google Play or Apple Store (see bottom right hand corner for barcodes)
- By Direct Debit
If you use an allpay card, available outlets where you can pay are provided with your card. These can also be obtained from the allpay website www.allpay.net by selecting the ‘Search Payment Outlet’ option.
You will be sent a statement of your account every year. This will allow you to check all payments. You can also request a rent statement at any time.
You may have a Recharge Account with the Association. This may be for repairs you have been charged for or for legal expenses due. We are happy for you to set up a repayment plan to repay your Recharge Account alongside paying your rent. Please note that failure to maintain your recharge agreement may result in the Association pursuing this debt through Legal Action.
You can make payments to your Recharge Account using the same payment methods as Rent. If paying by allpay card please make sure you use the correct payment card, the Payment Cards are clearly marked RENT or RECHARGE, or your payments may be credited to the wrong account.
Rent Arrears – Early Action
The Association will always take early action to help tenants who get into difficulties with their rent payments. If you find that you can’t afford to pay your rent, contact our staff as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to agree a repayment plan to suit your circumstances. Rent accounts are checked weekly and reminder letters issued as soon as an arrears balance occurs. Do not ignore any letters that you receive – we are here to help.
Our Financial Inclusion Officers can give you help and advice, in confidence, on Housing Benefits, debt issues and managing your money. It is much easier if you get help before your rent arrears get too high.
If you are claiming Universal Credit (UC) you may be entitled to help towards your rent. This is known as the Housing Cost Element and is included in your UC calculation.
To get the Housing Cost Element you must make sure that the correct details of how much rent you are charged every month are entered in your on-line UC account. You must also enter any additional amount you are charged for services such as stair cleaning. You can find out how much this is by checking your most recent rent increase letter or by contacting the office or, if you are a new tenant, your Tenancy Agreement.
Because you live in Scotland you can choose to have your Housing Cost Element sent to your landlord. However it could be some time between having the deduction made from your UC and us actually getting the payment. This means that your account could be in arrears and your Housing Officer may ask you to pay extra so that eventually the account will be up to date.
If you have any questions or need help to manage your online UC claim please contact us at the office and ask to speak with one of our Financial Inclusion Team.
If you are pensionable age or over you may still be entitled to Housing Benefit to help towards your rent payments. If you wish to apply, contact your local council or ask your Housing Officer for help. Applications are now made online or over the telephone. You must apply separately for Housing Benefit even if you are in receipt of other benefits. It is your responsibility to ensure your Housing Benefit is processed.
If you wish your Housing Benefit to be paid directly to the Association, complete the ‘Declaration Form’ included in the application form. Please ensure you supply all the necessary information that the council asks for to support your application. Even if you do not have all the information they need, you should still apply straight away. If you don’t supply the supporting information, your claim could be cancelled and could lead to you getting into rent arrears. If you are unsure what you need to do, contact us straight away for advice.
If you fail to pay your rent or breach a repayment plan, you may leave the Association no option but to start legal action to repossess your home. This is very serious as it could result in the loss of your home. The Association will only ever consider eviction proceedings as a last resort. Our job is to help you to avoid eviction but if you do not keep to your repayment plan then you may be putting your tenancy and re-housing prospects at risk.
Taking legal action costs the Association money. Tenants will be recharged for all legal expenses incurred at each stage of action, from serving a Notice of Proceedings for Recovery of Possession through to Court Enrolment. If we have to take a tenant to Court, a Decree for Repayment and Eviction could be awarded, together with expenses, which can be considerable.
REMEMBER – WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU
- Contact us immediately if you get behind with your rent
- Don’t ignore the problem. It is much easier to sort out if you deal with it early
- Don’t struggle alone with Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
- We want to help you manage your rent payments rather than resort to costly legal action which you will be recharged for and could mean the loss of your home
- We have dedicated officers who will help you, in confidence, with financial issues affecting your household