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If you’re struggling to pay your rent, or are experiencing financial difficulty in any way, we might be able to help you out. Our dedicated Money Matters service are here to help and we have a range of helpful resources for you on our hub here.

Since April 2020, all social housing and affordable rents have increased by CPI*+1% Before April 2020 most of you received a 1% rent decrease for the previous 4 years.

Due to this, your new rental charges are only slightly higher than they were five years ago. (For example, someone paying £80 a week in 2016, will be charged £81.12 a week this year).

However, we still understand that times are tough and we remain committed to investing in your homes and providing a range of additional support services for you, ensuring you receive the very best value from the rent you pay for your home.

If you are struggling to pay your rent we have a team of specialist advisors working in our Money Matters team who can advise you and may be able to help you access additional help or benefits that you might be entitled to. Find out more about the service and how to use it here.

*CPI stands for Consumer Price Index (3.1% in September 2021)

The Government’s "rent setting formula" is designed to make sure that the rents set by social landlords like us are fair and consistent for you.

Between April 2016 and April 2019, all social housing rents were reduced by 1%. However, from April 2020, all social housing and affordable rents increased by a maximum of CPI + 1%.

Your rent and service charges are reviewed annually in April. We will give you one month’s notice in writing before increasing your charges.

If you think we have made a mistake in setting your rent, let us know and we will review it. If you do not agree with the rent increase you can ask for it to be reviewed by a tribunal. The information we send you with your rent increase will tell you how to do this.

There are plenty of ways to pay your rent - take a look at them below and see which suits you best.

Online
You can pay your rent online anytime at via bank transfer (you don’t need a payment card to do this).

Our account details are:
Account name: Connect Housing Association Ltd
Bank: Yorkshire Bank PLC
Account number: 11374158
Sort code: 05-00-20

By phone/standing order
You can use your rent payment card, debit or credit card to pay your rent over the phone or set up a standing order. Call us on: 0300 5000 600 to set either of these options up. You can also call the automated Allpay service on 0330 041 6497.

At a Paypoint location
With a rent payment card, you can pay your rent at the counter of any post office, supermarket, local shop or petrol station displaying the PayPoint logo.

By smartphone app
If you have a rent payment card, you can use the free rent app to make a payment. You can download the app from the Apple App Store, Windows Phone Store and Google Play.

By post
Make cheques payable to Connect Housing Association Ltd, write your name and address on the back and send to:

Connect Housing, 21 Bond St, Dewsbury WF13 1AX.

Please do not send cash through the post.

More options to pay with a rent payment card
If you need a payment card just call us on 0300 5000 600 and we will arrange for one to be sent to you.

If you have received a letter from us it will show how much your new rent is and when you need to pay it.

You'll need to make sure you amend your payments. Here's how:

Standing order
Contact your bank and give them the details of your new payment amount. It's important you do this yourself as we cannot do any banking on your behalf.

Direct debit
You don’t need to do anything. In the next couple of weeks, a letter will be sent to you from Allpay confirming the new payment amount. If you are in rent arrears, this new amount will include payments towards this.

Housing benefit
You will need to advise your Housing Benefit Office of this change. If your Housing Benefit is being paid directly to Connect Housing, we will notify them of this change.

Universal credit
See in below for more details.

Don't forget...
If you already have an arrangement with us to repay any outstanding amounts (for rent or other things such as repairs or court costs), please remember to include that agreed amount when you are working out how much you need to pay each week or month. If in doubt, please call us on 0300 5000 600.

If you need to make a new claim for benefits you will need to claim Universal Credit.

In order to do this, you will need to have an email address and be able to access the internet. We know these things can get a bit confusing and that not all of us have access to the internet or an email address.

That's why our Money Matters Team are there to help you make your claim. You can find out more information and how to contact them here.

How to renew your claim

You will need to confirm your new housing costs through your online journal. You will only be able to do this during the assessment period that your rent change occurs and must do it by the end of the assessment period.

DWP will add a 'Confirm your housing costs' to-do to your online journal on:

  • 1 April 2022 if you pay rent monthly.
  • 4 April 2022 for all other rent frequencies.

You will be required to complete the todo by the end of your assessment period, to ensure you get the correct housing payment.

Note: You must not use the 'Change of circumstances' to-do to report your annual rent change.

Click here for screenshots of what to expect when you log in to your Universal Credit Journal.

Here is a summary of our rent collection policy. It is regularly reviewed in light of external factors like COVID.

Paying rent on time
Here's some useful information to help you with paying rent on time:

  • Rent is due on each Monday or the 1st of the month (depends whether you pay weekly or monthly).
  • Your rent statement should never show in arrears if your rent is paid on time.
  • If you are in arrears, you will be asked to increase your current payments until you eventually pay ‘on time’.

How we contact you

  • If we need to contact you we will do this by email or text.
  • We will only send you letters in the post when we feel there is a need to.
  • If we need to see you in person we may ask you to attend an appointment at our office. If COVID restrictions apply we will only do this if it is safe to do so and abide by any special rules.
  • We will continue to visit those of you who need help from our Money Matters team. Find more about them on page 11.

Your responsibilities

  • If you have outstanding issues with Housing Benefit or DWP you will be expected to resolve these by speaking to them directly.
  • If you tell us about any vulnerabilities that mean you are unable to liaise with relevant services, we will ensure you receive support from our Money Matters team.

Refunds of credit balances

  • If your account is in credit we will only refund it if it means your account will not show in arrears.
  • If your rent is paid by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit this means your account will need to be in credit by one month.

Paying your rent

  • We ask that you pay rent by Standing order or Direct Debit where possible. If you cannot pay your rent, please speak to us immediately.
  • We will try to help you maximise your income so that you can pay your rent by referring you to our Money Matters team.

At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, we made a commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all our tenants and want to reassure you that this is still a priority.

During the pandemic our priorities have been to:

  1. Keep people secure in their homes
  2. Help people get the support they need
  3. Act compassionately and quickly where people are struggling

We know that some of you will have faced challenging situations since the start of the pandemic which may have affected your finances and your ability to pay your rent.

If you are unable to keep up with your rent payments please contact us immediately. Do not wait for us to contact you as by that time it may be too late.

It is important that you talk to us so that we can understand your situation. Our staff will listen, advise, or refer you to our Money Matters Team.

We are here to support you if you are struggling to pay your rent and will not evict anyone who is affected financially because of the pandemic. However, you must make sure you keep in contact with us and work with us to get your payments back on track as soon as possible.

Evicting someone from their home is a last resort but we do reserve the right to take this course of action if we feel you are not working with us to maintain your payments. The income we receive through rent payments enables us to continue delivering services, investing your homes and neighbourhoods.

Copyright © Connect Housing

Connect Housing Association Limited is a charitable association registered in England and Wales under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Company No. IP17445R) and with the Regulator of Social Housing (No. L2285).

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