Coronavirus – managing council homes and estates
We’re putting plans in place to ensure that we can continue to safely manage the 30,000 homes across the Council’s estates and street properties during the coronavirus outbreak – from making sure tenants suffering financially don’t face eviction to keeping our estates as clean and hygienic as possible.
Help paying your rent
If you are having difficulty paying your rent, please contact the Income Services Team as quickly as possible by phone or via email using the contact details on this page.
- help you claim for any additional benefits
- reach an acceptable arrangement with you to clear any rent arrears
- offer you additional support and advice from our Financial Inclusion Officers who can help you with maximising your income, prioritising your rent and service charge payments as well as other priority bills, resolving issues with your other priority debts, controlling and reducing your arrears and reducing your money problems and worries
- refer you to Tenancy Support and Independent Money Advice services for additional help and support
Failing to pay your rent
If you do not pay your rent or fail to keep to an arrangement to repay the money you owe, we will issue you with a written notice and start to take legal action, which could result in losing your home.
Falling behind with your rent payments may lead to the following problems:
- you will have to pay the court costs
- you will have to pay us the money you owe.
- you may lose your home and another social housing landlord may refuse to rehouse you on the grounds that you have made yourself ‘intentionally homeless’
- you will not be able to rent a parking space or garage from us
- you will not be considered for a transfer to another home
- you may have trouble in getting credit such as a loan or mortgage
You are at risk of losing your home if you do not pay your rent.
What you can expect from us
Our service standards explain the service you can expect from us when you have problems paying rent.
Our approach is to:
- offer you a wide range of ways to pay rent
- offer financial incentives and a choice of dates to pay rent by direct debit
- provide tenants with information about when rent is due and where and how it can be paid
- provide a rent statement, on request, from any Neighbourhood Housing Office
- provide advice and assistance on debt management, housing benefit and other welfare benefits or refer a tenant to other agencies, if specialist advice is needed
- provide advice and assistance on completing a housing benefit application and about other benefits and grants which tenants might be able to claim
- ensure Housing Benefit payments are credited to the rent account on time
Our service standards:
- we will aim to collect 100% of rent due
- we will set up a rent account and provide a rent payment card for new tenants within three days of the tenancy date
- we will not increase rents by more than the rate of inflation, plus half a percent, plus £2.00 per week (in line with government guidance)
We will also:
- inform tenants of any rent increase at least four weeks before this must be paid
- write to you each year (in January or February) to confirm the rent and other charges for the coming year
- send a rent statement to all tenants every three months, within ten working days of the end of each quarter
- provide a breakdown of the gross rent within ten working days of receiving a request
- respond to balance queries and requests for replacement rent cards within three working days
- process all refunds of rent credit within three days of receiving a written request to do so
- notify Housing Benefit within five working day of any change in a tenant’s circumstances or rent
- reply in writing to a request for rent and tenancy references from lending institutions within five working days