Paying Your Rent
Knowes Housing Association is a non profit making registered charity. Most of our revenue income comes from rents and any surplus income each year is invested in our repairs and maintenance programme. It is therefore essential that arrears are kept to a minimum.
It is the aim of Knowes Housing Association to act to prevent rent arrears building up. We will recover any arrears fairly and effectively in accordance with our policy.
The objective of the Association's policy is to minimise loss of rental income by prompt, effective management, recovery and control of arrears and to provide a service to tenants whereby they are given advice and assistance to maximise their income and minimise their debt, particularly in relation to rent arrears.
Having Difficulty Paying Your Rent?
There are many reasons why you should avoid falling behind with your rent:
- You may not be allowed to transfer to another Association property
- You may not be allowed to exchange houses with another tenant
- You will not receive a satisfactory reference from the Association if you want to move to another tenancy with a different landlord, or take out a mortgage or loan on a property
- You may lose your home
We are aware however that people can at times experience difficulties that result in problems making rent payments, and we are here to help.
What Should I Do If I Have Rent Arrears?
Contact us and agree a suitable repayment agreement.
Contact your Housing Officer immediately if you are having difficulties paying your rent. Your Housing Officer can arrange for you to repay your arrears by instalments over a period of time. The repayment arrangement will take account of your household income and any other financial commitments you may have. Your instalment payments can be made on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
If you are facing difficulties paying your rent, either because your income is low or you have had to stop work you may be entitled to receive Housing Benefit towards your rent.
If you think that you may be entitled, you should complete a Housing Benefit application form also available from our office and return it to either ourselves or the Council Offices at Rosebery Place, Clydebank. Our staff can help you complete a form.
It is worthwhile making an application even if you are unsure whether you are eligible. The amount of Housing Benefit you will get will depend on your income and your family circumstances.
On the 1st April 2013 the Welfare Reform Act came into force, as part of the Act the Government reduced the level of Housing Benefit you receive if you are of working age and are under occupying your home. This means if you live in a home that is too big for you your Housing Benefit will be reduced by up to 14% of the weekly rent for that property if you have one extra bedroom that isn't needed, and up to 25% if you have two extra bedrooms. These reductions, depending in your circumstances, could mean you lose a large amount of housing benefit.
Click here to find out how much money you could lose - Directgov Benefits adviser
Or Click here for Knowes Information Leaflet - Welfare Reform Information
During November 2016 the Government introduced a benefit cap. Any families whose total income/benefits add up to over £20,000 per year will be affected and may lose some benefit entitlement.
Universal Credit (UC)
The Government continues to move many benefit recipients on to Universal Credit resulting in the way in which they receive their Personal benefits as well as their housing costs. This means that when you receive your UC payment this will include money that must be used to pay your rent. You have an option when claiming for UC to have the rent element paid directly to us. For advice on this or any other concerns you may have around UC please contact your Housing Officer or Housing Assistant.
Welfare Rights Advice - Debt Counselling
Knowes Housing Association work in partnership with all other registered Social Landlords within West Dunbartonshire, and Clydebank Independant Resource Centre who provide welfare benefits advice and debt counselling.
The Welfare Rights Officer can offer you advice and assistance to maximise your income, apply for Housing Benefit or appeal against a Housing Benefit decision which you disagree with. Your Housing Officer can refer you to this service or you can contact the Welfare Rights Officer directly, either at Independent Resource Centre, 627 Dumbarton Road or phone 0141 951 4040. Four surgeries are held within Faifley, one on a Monday and Wednesday 10am-2pm held at Knowes Housing Association, the other two are held at Faifley Housing Association on a Tuesday and Thursday between 10am and 2pm.
Rent Arrears – Legal Action
If you don’t contact us about missed rent payments or don’t keep to your repayment arrangement, you will have serious rent arrears. The Association will then take legal action against your tenancy. This means we will ask the Sheriff Court for an order which makes you pay back the rent arrears and may also allow us to evict you from your home.
Ways To Pay Your Rent
Rent is due monthly in advance. You can pay your rent and/or arrears in whichever of the following ways suit you best:
- Credit or Debit cards either by phoning or in person
- Bank Standing Order
- Cheque by post
- Cash or cheque at our office
- Housing Benefit
- UC direct payments
- Deductions from your passported benefit in respect of rent arrears.
However, where rent arrears are at a high level, we may insist that payment is made in a particular way.