Wealden District Council
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Paying My Council Rent And Service Charges

This section is information on your rent and service charges.

How is my rent set?

The rent you pay for your home is calculated using a national guidelines which is used by all local authorities.

To work out how much rent you will pay a range of information is used including:

  • value of the property
  • local economic indicators
  • number of bedrooms

In line with the government’s temporary amendment to the policy on rents for social housing and the council’s budget approvals, your rent for 2023-24 will increase by 7%.

How is my rent spent?

  • to pay for repairs and maintenance
  • to repay money borrowed to build or modernise Council homes
  • to pay for managing the housing service

Ways To Pay My Council Rent & Service Charge

You are responsible for paying your rent in full and on time. Your rent is due every Monday and is payable over 48 weeks in the year.

If you pay your rent monthly by direct debit or another means you need to pay 4 weeks rent every calendar month.

Rent calendar 2024 – 2025

Rent calendar 2024 – 2025

Rent statements

At the beginning of April, July, October and January we will send a statement to each current tenant to show the transactions that have taken place during the previous quarter, and the balance at the end of that period.

Housing Benefits

Housing Benefit/Universal Credit can help you pay your rent. It is an income related benefit which means the money you have coming in and your savings are used to work out any award. The people who live with you are also taken into account, as is the amount of rent you pay.

How can I check my rent account details?

To request a statement of your account contact the Housing Department using the contact information at the bottom of this page for the statement to be posted to you.

You can also check your own balance by visiting the Access Your Tenancy Information.

What happens if I over-pay my rent?

Contact the Housing Department so we can check your account details. In certain circumstances we will refund the over payment, this is usually done by Bacs direct into your bank account. Requests for rent refunds can be made in writing to the Housing Department or by emailing using the contact information at the bottom of this page.

Service charges – what do they cover?

Some Wealden tenants pay a “service charge” within their rent. This is to pay for any other services like heating, caretaking, communal lighting, gardening, lifts, window cleaning and door entry. We review the service charges each year and you will be informed of any changes.

What happens if I have difficulties paying my rent?

The best way of preventing a build-up of debt is to contact us as soon as you are having difficulties and cannot afford to pay your rent. We will discuss the situation and agree a repayment plan.

By not paying your rent you are in breach of your tenancy agreement and are at risk of losing your home. For more information see our Rent Collection And Arrears Recovery Standard.

What happens if I do not keep to my rent agreement?

If you make an arrangement to clear your rent arrears and fail to keep to an agreement to pay off your arrears we will take action to recover possession of the property.

If you are a secure tenant or a flexible fixed term secure tenant you will be served with a Notice of Seeking Possession. This will advise you that the Council will commence court proceedings if you fail to make satisfactory payments or clear the account.

If you are a non-secure tenant and fail to meet your rent responsibilities you will be served with a Notice to Quit.

If your are an introductory tenant you will be serviced with a Notice of Intention to Seek Possession.

What happens if I am given notice to attend court?

If the rent arrears are not cleared or reduced to our satisfaction we can apply to the court for a Possession Order. You should seek legal advice and attend the hearing.

If agreement is reached on paying the arrears by installments and you keep to the agreement the court may grant us a suspended Possession Order. You may be liable for the costs of the court hearing.

Can I be evicted for rent arrears?

If you persistently fall into rent arrears and do not keep to agreements to pay the arrears we can apply to the court for a warrant to evict you. We can do this if you break the terms of a suspended Possession Order or if the court gives us an immediate Possession Order.

If you have lost your home through rent arrears you may be classed as being intentionally homeless. This could mean that you would not be re housed, you would only receive housing for a temporary period.

Former tenant arrears

Former tenant arrears refer to unpaid debts left on a property after the tenant has vacated. These arrears typically include outstanding rent and service charges. They may also encompass other charges, such as court costs, if legal action has been taken. Our council must address these arrears efficiently to maintain the quality of housing services provided to current and future tenants.

Responsibilities of former tenants

Former tenants are responsible for settling any outstanding balances from their tenancy. These include:

  • unpaid rent;
  • service charges;
  • costs for repairs or damages

that are not attributed to normal wear and tear.

All housing debts are expected and must be cleared before the tenancy ends. Former tenants should contact the Housing Income Team to agree on an affordable payment plan.

Failure to cover these debts can lead to:

  • court action;
  • negatively impact the credit status;
  • hinder the ability to secure a new council or housing association property.

Wealden Council approach to arrears recovery

According to our values and policies, we handle personal circumstances with confidentiality and provide appropriate support. Former tenants with arrears can request a private call or meeting to discuss debt procedures. After considering each case, we agree on a manageable repayment plan. It allows the debt to be paid over an extended period through regular instalments.

To facilitate the repayment process, we offer several payment options:

  1. Direct Debit

Regular payments can be set up through direct debit arrangements after completing instruction form and sending it to us.

  1. Online payment

It’s an easy and quick way to pay on wealden.gov.uk by clicking “Pay online” – “Pay your Housing Rent”.

  1. Internet banking

Another convenient method of payment is a bank transfer to the Council account through your bank website or mobile app.

  1. Payment via the phone

You can pay securely via our phone system by a customer service representative.

By using any of these options or a combination of them, you can effectively settle your debts. Whichever payment method you choose, have your 6-digit rent referral number with you to ensure money is credited to your account.

If you find yourself with an outstanding balance on your rent account after ending your tenancy, it is advisable to contact us promptly. Taking this step can help you avoid any further actions or complications.

Consequences of non-payment

If arrears are not addressed, the Council will take necessary actions to recover the debt. They may include:

  • following a specific legal procedure to pursue arrears;
  • categorising the debt and taking appropriate steps;
  • referral to debt collection agencies;
  • legal action leading to a County Court Judgment (CCJ).

It is in the best interest of former tenants to settle these arrears to avoid such outcomes.

Assistance and debt advice

The Council offers support and guidance to former tenants who may be struggling. If you are facing financial hardship, please get in touch with our Housing Income Team to discuss possible arrangements.

Telephone: 01323 443322

Email: rents@wealden.gov.uk

Address: Wealden District Council, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2AX

Our dedicated professionals are here to help you navigate your financial obligations and find feasible solutions.

Additional resources

For independent financial advice, former tenants may also consider contacting:

Citizens Advice Wealden: 0808 2787811, 0800 1448848

National Debtline: 0808 8084000

Debt Advice Foundation: 0800 0434050

These organisations provide free, confidential advice to individuals facing debt issues.

By working together, we can manage rent arrears efficiently and continue to provide high-quality housing services for all residents.

Useful links

Rent Arrears. What Next If You Can’t Pay? StepChange

How to deal with rent arrears – Shelter England

Help with rent – arrears, increases and if you’re struggling to pay | MoneyHelper