Paying your rent is an important part of your tenancy commitment and you will need to ensure your payments are up to date. We rely on our tenants to pay their rent on time so that we can run our business and carry out essential repairs and improvements to our homes.
Remember: Rent is a priority debt - you will lose your home if you don’t pay the rent.
Your rent is due weekly in advance on a Monday. If you want to pay monthly, this must be in advance for the coming month e.g. pay on 1st July for the month of July.
To help you know how much you have paid and when, we’ll provide you with a rent statement every 3 months. You may also request a copy of your rent statement at any time and we’ll post this out to you.
Your rent and service charge is reviewed every year, any changes are effective from the first full week in April. We’ll always write to let you know before we make any changes to your rent.
There are lots of ways to pay your rent and service charge:
Through our Website. Click the following link to open Allpay
When you first use this you’ll need to register and will be prompted for your password each time you make a payment
By standing order - Speak to the Rent Manager if you want to know more.
Over the phone by debit/credit card
Call the automated payment service 24 hours a day, on 0844 557 8321 (charged at national rates).
If you are unable to use the automated service, during office hours you can call us on 0121 382 5105 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9.00am - 3.30pm)
Through the allpay app
If you have an Apple or Android phone, you can pay using the Allpay app. You can download the app free of charge from the Apple store or from Google Play. You’ll need your Paypass card and a current bank card to register.
At our office
By cash, cheque, debit or credit card, ask for a receipt and keep it safe.
At a shop
With a PayPoint outlet by cash or debit card - You’ll need to take your rent payment card.
At a Post Office
By cash, cheque or debit or credit card. – You’ll need to take your rent payment card.
You may be able to get benefit to help you pay some or all of your rent. You will need to contact Birmingham City Council’s Benefit Service to check if this is an option for you. If you’re affected by Universal Credit you may be wish to seek further information from the council.
If you receive full or part housing benefit you should ask for this to be paid directly to us. You’ll need to pay any balance or shortfall to us using one of the other ways.
Don’t forget it is your responsibility to make sure your benefit claim is sorted out quickly and you must tell the council of any change in your circumstances or any change to your rent.
When you start to receive Universal Credit, you’ll need to pay your rent to us using one of the methods on these pages.
If you start to struggle to pay your rent then please talk to us straight away. We will help you claim the benefits you may be entitled to and agree a way for you to pay off the rent debt in amounts you can afford. We will also help you get advice for managing any debts you can’t pay.
Paying your rent is one of the most important bills you need to pay so please don’t ignore the problem as it won’t go away and the longer you leave it the worse things will be.
Check out if you are getting all the welfare benefits you are entitled to now. This easy to use benefit calculator will help you check what you can claim.
You can also get help in claiming welfare benefits or managing debts from:
- The Citizens Advice Bureau. The benefits section is able to provide information on benefits and tax credits if you are working or unemployed, sick or disabled, a parent, a young person, an older person or a veteran. The Citizens Advice Bureau can also help with budgeting advice and managing your debts.
- The National Debtline Call free on 0808 808400 from landline or mobile www.nationaldebtline.org.
Follow the link to look at their website, it has lots of information you may find useful. This is a free confidential debt advice service run by the charity Money Advice Trust . Nine out of ten people who get help from the national debtline say they feel more confident in tackling their debts and managing their money
- Stepchange Call free on 0800 138 1111.
This is the UK's leading debt advice charity and has been helping people break free from problem debts for 20 years.
If you are genuinely having difficulty paying the rent, we will provide as much help and advice as we can. If rent is not paid or an acceptable repayment agreement followed we will have to take legal action that could result in you losing your home. This may also affect your credit rating.
We will take the following steps to collect rent debt:
- Send reminder letters if the rent account is in arrears. We expect you to make an arrangement to clear the debt within an acceptable timescale. We will keep in touch with you by telephone, text messages and by visiting you at home.
- Issue a Notice Seeking Possession (NSP) if rent payments are not made and you have not responded to the reminder letter issued to you. The NSP invites you to meet with your Rent Manager to discuss the rent debt - it is important to resolve any problems at this stage as the NSP is the first stage of the legal process to evict you from your home.
- A regular review of any rent debt is carried out by your Rent Manager and if the debt remains un-paid we may ask the County Court for a Possession Order to evict you as well as a Money Judgment Order to recover debts. We will also add any court charges to your debt (currently £250) and you must pay this charge as well as the rent debt as the court decides.
- Should you have a rent debt when you leave your home, you may find it difficult to find another home with the council or another Housing Association. We will continue to pursue tenants who have left their home with rent arrears and other debts and may use a debt collection agency to help us recover these debts.
The local Foodbank
in Birmingham provides emergency food parcels for people experiencing a temporary financial crisis. The foodbank works on a voucher referral system and food vouchers can be obtained from various agencies including money advice organisations and social workers. We hold vouchers for the foodbank in Green Lane Small Heath. Speak to us if you need food
Help with furniture
For people on certain benefits there is help to obtaining recycled furniture. The Furniture Re-use Network, supports over 300 re-use charities, aims to relieve poverty and reduce waste by promoting the re-use of essential household furniture and electrical appliances.
The Ladywood project also provides a local service where furniture is recycled and provides for those on low incomes.
Credit Unions are a great way to save and borrow money at much cheaper rates than doorstep lenders. Have a look at the Birmingham Credit Union website - Citysave www.citysave.org.uk to see how they can help you.
With energy bills on the rise you need to make sure you are getting the best price. My Home Energy Switch is a free, impartial comparison and switching service for social housing tenants.
Ring 0800 0014 706 now to speak to the dedicated customer service team and see how much you can save. Or visit www.myhomeenergyswitch.org.uk
There are lots of grants to help people on low incomes to heat their home. Do you know about these?
Winter Fuel Payment helps older people with their heating bills. You could get between £100 and £300 tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 July 1952. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.
Warm Home Discount Scheme - have a look to see if you qualify.
For winter 2014 to 2015, you could get a £140 discount on your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
Cold Weather Payments are made to people who get certain welfare benefits when the local temperature is either recorded as, or forecast to be, an average of zero degrees Celsius or below over 7 consecutive days. You can get a payment of £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1 November 2014 and 31 March 2015.