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Rent

We offer lots of different ways to help you keep on top of your rent payments and stay in control of your rent account.

Direct Debit is the simplest and most convenient way to pay your rent.

It is really easy to set up - click here to set a Direct Debit or contact us on 0333 320 4555.

 

Ways to pay your rent

Direct Debit is the simplest and most convenient way to pay your rent.

Payments can be made straight from your building society or bank account. And it means you don’t have to worry about missing a rent payment or paying the correct amount.

It is really easy to set up - click here to set a Direct Debit or contact us on 0333 320 4555.

Once you have set up a mandate with your bank or building society, your rent is automatically collected from your bank account weekly, fortnightly, four weekly or monthly on any day. We will notify you if we need to change the amount or collection date.

You can check your rent balance and recent transactions by logging into your online tenant account.

You can pay by setting up a standing order from your bank or building society account, and they will automatically make your payments.

A standing order differs from a Direct Debit because you must tell your bank or building society to change the amount paid if your rent changes. 

You can arrange a standing order by contacting us on 0333 320 4555 for our bank details.

You can check your rent balance and recent transactions by logging into your online tenant account.

 

You can pay your rent securely online.

You will need your nine or 10-digit tenancy reference number beginning with a ‘4’ or ‘5’.

You can check your rent balance and recent transactions by logging into your online tenant account.

 

Housing Benefit is money you may get from your local council to help you pay your rent. It can be paid straight to us as your landlord.

Universal Credit is money you may get from the Department for Work and Pensions to help pay your rent. It can be paid straight to us as your landlord.

If you do not receive full Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you will still have to pay all or some of your rent by one of the other payment methods.

You can check your rent balance and recent transactions by logging into your online tenant account.

You can pay your rent using our automated telephone line - call 0333 320 4555.

You will need your nine or 10-digit tenancy reference number beginning with a ‘4’ or ‘5’.

You can check your rent balance and recent transactions by logging into your online tenant account.

Other useful information about your rent

Did you know that this financial year that started on 1 April 2024 is a 53-week year?

A typical year is only 52 weeks, but this is not the case in this financial year, as there will be 53 Mondays.

When deciding how much Universal Credit (UC) should be allocated to an individual, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) calculate monthly rent by multiplying a week’s rent by 48, 50 or 52 weeks, dependant on an individual’s tenancy. They would then divide this by 12. This is the case even when there is an extra week in the year.

This means that your monthly UC payments will not cover the monthly rent in 2024. So, you will need to work out the shortfall and pay this.

Example:

WEEK 48 tenancy: Rent £100 per week X 49 weeks charges divided by 12 months = Monthly payment due £408.33

WEEK 50 tenancy: Rent £100 per week X 51 weeks charges divided by 12 months = Monthly payment due £425

WEEK 52 tenancy: Rent £100 per week X 53 weeks charges divided by 12 months = Monthly payment due £441.67

We are here to help so if you are unsure what this means for you please get in touch with us on 0333 320 4555 or email incomecollectionteam@progressgroup.org.uk.

Further information about help and support can be found here: Cost of living hub | Progress Housing Group (progressgroup.org.uk)

Tenancy reference number

The tenancy reference number is a series of numbers found at the top of your statement, just underneath our logo. It’s a good idea to note your tenancy reference number - you might need it when paying your rent or speaking to one of our customer advisors.

You can check your rent balance at any time by logging into your online tenant account.

If you're checking your rent balance and payments online for the first time, you'll need your 9 or 10-digit tenancy reference number.

The dates covered by the statement

Your statement will always show the dates it covers. It will also tell the date it was printed.

Overall view of your balance

At the bottom of the statement, you will see your statement balance – this either tells you whether your account is in credit to Progress Housing Group (up-to-date) or debit to Progress Housing Group (you owe us some money).

Credit or debit

If a balance has "CRE" after it, you’re in credit. If a balance has "ARR" after it, you might need to pay.

Payments and charges

We will list any payments and the dates you made them in the 'Payments' column. In the 'Charges' column, you will see the amount we’ve requested you pay. Details on payments and charges can be found in the 'Description' column. If you pay us service charges or management fees in addition to rent payments, you will see the breakdown of these charges at the end of the statement.

Paying your rent on time

Your rent is due every Monday; therefore, if you pay monthly, four weekly or fortnightly, you must pay this in advance, not in arrears. If you cannot do this in one lump sum, we can agree with you to pay extra until you are paying in advance as per your preferred payment schedule, i.e. one week, fortnightly, four weeks or one month in advance. This will depend on when you receive your wages or benefits. 

The most convenient way to check your rent balance and recent transactions is by logging into your online tenant account.

If you’re checking your rent balance and payments online for the first time, you’ll need your 9 or 10-digit tenancy reference number.

You’ll find this on your rent statement and letters, or you can speak to a live chat advisor and they will give it to you.

You can also check your rent balance at any time by getting in touch on 0333 320 4555 or on live chat.

Your rent is one of your most important bills because your home is at risk if you do not pay.

If you have problems paying your rent, you should contact us as soon as possible. Rent arrears do not go away. The longer you leave it before contacting us, the more difficult it will become to find a solution.

Our friendly, helpful advisors will discuss your household budget and the debts that you have. We will then agree on a realistic repayment plan so that you can clear your rent arrears.

They can also refer you to our financial specialists, who will be able to check that you are claiming all of the benefits you are entitled to.

We can also give you details of other organisations that may be able to help and support you.

Our aim will always be to help you clear your debt and remain in your home.

We promise to:

  • Be approachable, supportive and always listen to your problems
  • Treat you as an individual and take into account any special needs that you may have
  • Try to increase your income by checking whether there are any other benefits that you can claim
  • Work with you to put your debts in priority order so that you know which need to be paid first
  • Work out realistic repayments with you taking into account your income and outgoings
  • Always treat all information that you give us confidentially.

Managing arrears

Our rent arrears recovery procedure is based on early action, which is firm but fair. If you start to fall into rent arrears, we will contact you to agree on a way of clearing the debt within a reasonable time.

You might make one payment to clear the total debt or regular smaller payments if you are having money problems. The speed at which arrears are cleared depends on your ability to pay. We will not ask anyone to pay off arrears at an unreasonable rate.

It is always better to pay off the debt through an agreement with us rather than by taking out a loan because interest payments may leave you very short of money. If you make the payments agreed upon with us, we will take no further action.

Our service charges are usually based on the estimated costs of providing services, such as communal cleaning, gardening or street lighting. We review these charges once a year.

You will receive one calendar month’s notice in writing of any proposed changes to these charges.

If you live in independent living accommodation, we may charge you for the support services that you receive. This charge covers services like the scheme independent living coordinators and our Progress Lifeline personal alarm service. These costs are not eligible to be paid by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

We review your rent and service charges at the beginning of each year. This is to make sure that we meet our financial obligations, our homes are safe and well maintained, and to ensure high standards of service including service improvements.

We always give at least one month’s notice of these changes. We will write to you in February/March to let you know of any changes. If there are any changes to the amount that you pay, these will apply from April.

If you are an assured tenant, you have the right to appeal against any increase in your rent to the Property Chamber. If you appeal and the Property Chamber assesses the rent to be lower than the one we have set, you will pay the lower amount. If they set it higher than the rent we have set, then you will pay the rent we originally asked for.

Please contact us on 0333 320 4555 for information about rent setting for other types of tenancy agreements. 

If you fail to engage with us and keep to your agreement with us, there may be no alternative but to begin court action to end your tenancy.

The first stage is for us to serve a Notice of Seeking Possession. This does not mean that you have to leave the property immediately. Only a Court Order can end the tenancy. A Notice of Seeking Possession is the first step in our legal proceedings and a warning that if you do not contact us to explain your situation and/or make payments so that the arrears are brought under control during the 28-day period of the notice, we will start court action as soon as it expires.

We will do everything possible to help and support you so you can pay your rent and stay in your home. However, the responsibility for paying rent is with you and not us. Please do not ignore the situation and keep in regular contact with us.

If you choose not to pay your rent or keep to the agreements you have made, we will take legal action to repossess your home.

Taking legal action can be costly because His Majesty’s Courts Service charges fees. We will always ask the court to pass these charges on to the tenant.

On average, legal fees for possession cases are around £500, a significant debt to be added to any rent arrears.

We will send you an annual rent statement in the post, usually in April. 

Depending on your tenancy agreement and if you are up-to-date with your rent, you may qualify for two or four rent-free weeks every year.

We will notify you of the dates of your rent-free weeks at your tenancy sign-up and in your annual rent review notice.

You will only be entitled to rent-free weeks if your rent payments are up-to date. If your account is in arrears, you should continue paying your rent each week as usual to reduce your arrears.

If you are affected by under-occupancy, then you should contact us. We can help you check whether you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to. 

How does under-occupancy work?

The amount of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you can claim for rent is lowered by:

  • 14% if you have one spare bedroom
  • 25% if you have two spare bedrooms.

How many bedrooms can I get Housing Benefit for?

The amount of bedrooms you can claim Housing Benefit for is as follows:

  • A couple = one bedroom
  • An individual aged 16 or over = one bedroom
  • Two children of the same sex under the age of 16 = one bedroom
  • Two children under the age of 10 (regardless of sex) = one bedroom
  • An additional child = one bedroom
  • An overnight carer for you or your partner = one bedroom.

A child is usually counted as living in the home of the person who receives their Child Benefit.

How it works:

John and his wife Sue have two children, Ben (aged nine) and Helen (aged seven), which means they can claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit housing costs for two bedrooms.

John and Sue live in a three-bedroom house. Before the new under-occupancy rules came in, they had claimed £100 Housing Benefit per week, but under the new rules, there is now a reduction of £14 per week.

Once Ben reaches age 10, they can again claim Housing Benefit/Universal Credit housing costs for three bedrooms.

Is everyone affected?

Not everyone is affected by under-occupancy.

  • If you or your partner have reached the State Pension Credit age, you do not have to pay
  • One extra room is allowed for approved foster carers who foster a child or children
  • Students who are away from home but are away for less than a year are classed as living at home
  • A disabled child who needs their own room isn’t required to share
  • Someone who is in the armed forces who is serving away is considered to be living at home.

What changes when I am switched to Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is replacing other benefits, and people are gradually switching to the new system. There will be even more changes you need to know about when this happens.

  Housing Benefit Universal Credit
Students Parents are not penalised if a student lives away at university  Once moved over to Universal Credit, a student will need to be at home for at least six months a year, or the benefits will be cut
Pensioners If you have reached the State Pension Credit age, including when one member of a couple is over, then you are not affected If you are a couple, then both of you will need to be over State Pension Credit age (if you are already in receipt of Pension Credit when the switch to Universal Credit is made, then you’ll be unaffected)
Lodgers A claimant of Housing Benefit with a lodger is allowed to keep the first £20 of weekly rent Housing Benefit will be cut, but tenants can keep all rental income. Up to £4,250 of the rent is income tax-free per annum

 

 

 

Universal Credit could also affect any other benefits you claim and the way that your benefits are paid. Knowing how Universal Credit will affect you (external web link) is important.

What should I do if I am affected?

If you are affected by under-occupancy, then you should contact us.

We can help you check whether you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to. 

If you need additional information about a wide range of health and community services from trusted local services, please check with your local council.

Our friendly Tenancy Sustainability Team is here to help you make the most of your money and enjoy a worry-free tenancy with us.

Get in touch for help with:

  • Claiming benefits and entitlements
  • Saving energy and reducing bills
  • Affordable contents insurance
  • Savings, bank accounts and low-cost loans
  • Budgeting advice.

Free support and wellbeing advice

We have partnered with Life & Progress, a support and wellbeing service that provides free, independent, confidential information and advice.

You can contact them 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by telephone, email, instant messaging and online. You can contact them on their freephone number 0330 094 8845, and more information is available on their website: Life & Progress.

Please use the following to access their online service:

Username: progressgroup

Password: tenant

How to pay your rent

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