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Paying your rent

About paying your rent

Paying your rent allows you to live in your home and get the housing services we provide. If you live in a flat, sheltered unit or temporary accommodation you may be required to pay a service charge to cover the cost of the communal heating, lighting or other services.

How can I pay my rent and service charges?

The easiest ways to pay are by debit or credit card using our online (opens new window) service.

You can also pay by:

Payments for other services in the Council can be made via our 24 hour secure Internet payments service.

What should I do if I can't pay?

If you can't pay your rent or fall behind you must contact us as soon as possible. You should also seek financial advice and find out if there are any benefits you are entitled to. This can be through our partnership with DIAL (opens new window) at a locally-based office, or independent advice from Citizens Advice Bureau (opens new window) and MoneyHelper (opens new window). They all offer general information and contact details on their websites, and can give advice on the phone.

The Rent Team is responsible for making sure you pay your rent on time and for taking action to recover any unpaid rent. You should read our Rent Income and Arrears Policy (PDF) [268KB] (opens new window)  to find out more.

The rental charge is due in advance of the week it falls due, as per the tenancy agreement, and the Rent Team is encouraging tenants to work towards this by paying an additional small affordable amount to meet the terms.

How is Universal Credit informed of my change in rent charge?

Your rent charge changes on the first Monday each April. It is your responsibility to inform Universal Credit of this change. To do this you need to report it as a change of circumstances using your journal on or after the date your rent charge changes.

What should I do if I am waiting for my Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to be paid?

If you are in arrears because you are waiting for your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to be paid you must let us know.

It is your responsibility to ensure any top-up payments are made on time and that you do not fall into arrears with your rent. You can use our benefit calculator (opens new window) to work out how much Housing Benefit you are likely to be entitled to.

If you get Universal Credit, you will be told how much you should pay towards your rent and will need to make sure your weekly charges are covered, as stated in your tenancy agreement.   

How do you decide what rent and service charges I should pay?

The amount you pay is determined by the size and type of property you live in, and on how much we need to spend on services for all our tenants during the year.

The Government provides direction to social landlords each year regarding the maximum amount that they can increase the rent by.

Housing will set its budget for the year and this is presented to Full Council. Our tenants are then informed of the new charges at least four weeks prior to the change taking effect.

What is my rent account number?

The account number used to make rent payments starts with '190' and is ten digits long. You will find this number on one of our letters.

Alternatively contact the Rent Team:

How much do I need to pay?

Your rent is due in advance in accordance with your tenancy agreement, therefore please pay enough to keep your account in credit at all times.

How much do I owe on my rent account?

The amount of arrears on your rent account is shown on your: 

  • reminder letter (excluding the rent charges due for the week in which the letter is sent)
  • rent transaction statement

You can also obtain this information by contacting the Rent Team:

When do I have to pay my rent and service charges?

Your rent and service changes are due every Monday for the week ahead. You can pay them weekly, fortnightly, monthly or four-weekly - as long as it is in advance.

You will get two rent-free weeks every year. If you are in arrears you will need to continue paying through the rent-free weeks.

What are former tenant arrears?

You may have former tenant arrears if you have moved out of Council accommodation or moved to another Council property without paying all your rent or other housing related charges owing. You must pay back all the debt you owe.

If you are having trouble paying all your debt at once you should contact us to organise a payment plan. 

What can I do if I am being charged for a spare bedroom?

If you are worried about being able to pay your rent you could:

  • Talk to us about moving to a smaller home or taking in a lodger
  • Make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to
  • Try to find paid work to increase your income
  • Apply for discretionary housing payment and continue to pay the rent

What can I do if my benefits have been capped?

If you are affected by the benefit cap and find you are starting to struggle paying your rent or priority bills you can:

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