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If you’re struggling to pay your rent or experiencing financial difficulty in any way, our dedicated Money Matters service can help.

From 1 April 2024, most rents will increase by 7.7%.

This increase is in line with guidance from the Regulator of Social Housing.

We know this may not come as good news; please rest assured that we have not taken this decision lightly. Our priority is to keep homes in good, safe condition, while providing as much support to residents as we can. Unfortunately, due to increased costs, it’s become clear that if we don’t increase rent by this amount, we won’t be able to provide that same level of service going forwards.

When can you expect your rent to go up?
If your rent is due to increase, it will do so on 1 April 2024. We will give you one month's notice beforehand.

Does your service charge impact your rent?
If you have a service charge included in your gross rent, this is to pay for certain services we deliver like gardening and cleaning. It’s calculated separately to your rent and doesn’t fall under the government's rent setting rules. Due to this, the overall increase of your rent and service charge may amount to more than 7.7%.

What do you do if you think we have made a mistake?
If you think we’ve made a mistake in setting your rent, let us know and we will review it. If you don’t 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 notification will tell you how to do this.

What if you are struggling to pay your rent?
If you’re struggling to pay your rent we might be able to help. Our Money Matters advisors can support you with benefits, job applications, and finding other financial help you might be entitled to.

Since April 2020, the Government has required all social landlords to set rent increases at no more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) +1%.

This year, guidance from the Regulator of Social Housing also confirmed that the previous, temporary 7% cap on rent increases will not be extended past March 31, 2024.

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

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 connecthousing.org.uk/payrent.

You can also pay by 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 Allpay app to make a payment. You can download the app from the Apple App Store or 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.

To do this, you will need to have an email address and access to 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 your Universal Credit assessment period and must do it before the end of the period.

DWP will add a 'Confirm your housing costs' message to your online journal’s to-do list on: 1 April 2024

To make sure you get the correct housing payment, you will have to complete the ‘to-do’ and confirm your housing costs by the end of your assessment period.

You will need to confirm your rent and service charge amounts separately. If you are charged a service charge, this will be listed separately on your letter and on the schedule of services attached to your letter. Please report only the ‘eligible’ service charge amount to DWP.

If you are unsure of what to do when you receive your annual rent change letter, please contact our Money Matters team on 0300 5000 600 and a member of staff will talk you through it.

Here is a summary of our rent collection policy.

Paying rent on time

  • Rent is due on each Monday, or the 1st of the month if you have a monthly tenancy.
  • If you aren't paying your rent when it’s due, or you are in arrears, we will ask you to increase your current payments until you eventually pay ‘on time’.

How we contact you

  • We may contact you in a variety of ways, including phone, email, text, letter or home visit.
  • We will continue to engage with those who are already receiving support from our Money Matters service. Find more about the team on page 11.

Your responsibilities

  • If you have outstanding issues with Housing Benefit or DWP that are impacting your rent payments, please resolve these by speaking to them directly.
  • If you tell us about any issues that mean you're unable to contact them, our Money Matters team can provide you some support.

Refunds of credit balances

  • If your account is in credit, for weekly tenancies, we will only refund any credit in excess of one week and, for monthly tenancies, we will only refund any credit in excess of one month.
  • This rule applies even if your rent is paid by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Paying your rent

  • Please pay rent by Standing Order or Direct Debit where possible. If you can’t 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.

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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