Rent, Service Charges and Housing Benefit
You will be charged rent for your home and service charges to cover the cost of things like repairs and maintenance, gardening and cleaning. We call these things contractual charges because you have to pay them as part of your tenancy agreement.
We have worked closely with the Local Authority to agree the amounts we should charge for our accommodation. Our charges are higher than market averages because of the type of housing services we provide.
You can apply for housing benefit to help pay your rent and service charges - we can help you with this.
We will give you a rent schedule which will tell you how much your rent and service charges are, how much housing benefit you have been awarded and how much you need to contribute yourself. The schedule will tell you the dates you need to make your payments by. We will amend your Rent Schedule if anything changes.
We review our charges every year.
Ways to pay
There are different ways you can make your payments to.
You can make a payment online through our website by visting our payment page.
You can pay by cash or cheque at our office.
You can set up a standing order with your bank. A standing order is a payment that will automatically come of out of your bank account. It's an easier, safer way to pay and we can help you set it up.
People on a low income may be entitled to housing benefit which is a benefit to help to pay rent and service charges. We can help you apply for housing benefit.
If you already receive housing benefit and you move into one of our properties you will need to let the Local Authority know that you have moved and they will reassess your award - we can help you with this.
If you receive housing benefit and it is paid directly to us for you, we will deduct the amount of benefit from your rent and service charges on your Rent Schedule and tell you how much you need to pay yourself.
When you receive housing benefit you have to let the Local Authority know about any changes in your income or circumstances that might affect your award (like getting a job or a new benefit).
You can find out more about housing benefit in Medway on the Council's website www.medway.gov.uk/housing/housingbenefitcounciltax.aspx.
If you get behind with your payments it is called arrears. If you get into arrears we will:
- contact you to talk about your arrears
- work out a fair and reasonable way to help you pay the arrears off and maintain your other payments
- provide you with support and guidance if you are having difficulties paying your charges
- tell you where you can get more advice from other agencies that may be able to help you
- tell you what could happen if you do not pay your arrears and keep your payments up to date
- seek to recover the arrears in line with our Rent Policy
- take legal action if we cannot reach an agreement with you or if you break an agreement
If you know you are not going to be able to make a payment you should contact us and let us know.
If you have a financial appointee
Sometimes people have financial appointees that deal with their finances for them.
If you have a financial appointee they may deal with your payments and your housing benefit claim for you in which case we will liase directly with them.