Combating Homelessness, Creating Opportunities, Promoting Change

Paying your rent

Paying your rentIncome Recovery OfficersProblems paying rentWelfare reform

One of the main responsibilities as a tenant is to pay your rent and any service charges in full and on time, in line with your tenancy agreement.

You can pay your rent in one of the following ways:

Direct Debit

This is the most convenient way to pay your rent.

Your bank will automatically transfer your correct rent to us on a fixed date and you don’t have to worry about missing a payment. To set up a direct debit please contact us. We can set one up over the phone or by sending you a paper direct debit mandate.

Each month all of our tenants who pay by direct debit are entered into a prize draw and can win a £10 Sainsbury’s voucher.

BHT rent payment card

You can use your BHT rent payment card from Allpay to pay your rent at any Post Office or shop displaying a Pay Point or Pay Zone sign.

If you have lost your card please contact us to order a new one. Payment made in this method take around three working days to reach your rent account.

Standing Order

A standing order is an arrangement you make with your bank to pay BHT a set amount on a regular basis.

Unlike direct debits, you are responsible for altering the amount to be paid to us if your rent or service charges change. You will need your payment reference and BHT’s bank details to set this up with your bank.

Please contact us for further information.

Bank Transfer

You can pay through internet or telephone banking using your payment reference and our bank details.

If you have a chip and pin card you can also pay over the counter at your bank using your payment reference and BHT’s bank details.

Paying in slips (Hastings only)

We can send you payment slips to pay at your local branch of Natwest.

You will need your payment reference and BHT’s bank details. If you would like to discuss your method of payment or need your payment reference, please contact us on 01323 340018.

Income Recovery Officers

Our Income Recovery Officers are able to assist all tenants with any queries relating to rent accounts and benefits.

Please contact Julie Schofield on 01323 340018 or Shirley Campbell on 01424 445354 for advice about your rent account.

Problems paying rent

If you start to experience problems paying your rent please contact us immediately so that we can help you before the debt gets out of hand.

Our Income Recovery and Housing Officers are able to provide advice and support to resolve the situation and can signpost you to specialist debt advice agencies that can help you further. We can also refer you to local foodbanks or other services that can help you in an emergency.

Please do not ignore any letters about your rent as the sooner you contact us, the more help we can offer.

If you have a low income or are not working you may be eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to pay some or all of your rent.

Please contact us for further information about this. We can help you fill out the forms and can assist with application for direct payments of rent to us.

Welfare Reform

Universal Credit

The Government are implementing some major changes to the benefits system.

One of the main changes is the introduction of Universal Credit which is a single benefit for working-age people and replaces the following existing benefits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Tax Credits

To claim Universal Credit you will need access to the internet, an email address and a bank account or post office account. Universal Credit is paid directly to the person claiming the benefit and includes housing costs.

Watch the video below for further information about what you can do now to prepare yourself for Universal Credit:

Hastings is currently a full service area for Universal Credit. If you make a new claim for benefits or have a change in your circumstances and are claiming one of the above benefits you will be asked to apply for Universal Credit. Eastbourne will become a full service area in October 2017 and Brighton in November 2017.

Benefit Cap

The Government has placed a limit on the total amount of benefits any household can receive. From November 2016 the limit is £385 for families and couples and £258 for single people.

The amount includes Housing Benefit, even if it is paid directly to BHT. If your total weekly benefits come to more than the cap, your Housing Benefit will be reduced until your income is at the level of the benefit cap.

If you are affected by the Benefit Cap please contact us for advice. You may be able to get assistance from your local council in the form of a short term discretionary payment to help cover the shortfall.

If you live in Brighton you can call the council’s Benefit Cap Team on 01273 291954, or in Eastbourne or Hastings, please contact their helpline on 0333 3440681.

Under Occupation (known as the Bedroom Tax)

This affects people of working age who are under-occupying a property and claiming Housing Benefit, or the housing costs part of Universal Credit.

If you are considered to be under-occupying you will have a reduction in benefits of 14% for one bed under occupancy or 25% for two bed or more.

If you have any queries or concerns about the changes to benefits please contact us for advice. We are also able to signpost you to support and advice services that can assist you further.

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