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Explaining your rent

Statements

You can view your rent statement online this shows what rent you have been charged and what payments you have made. It is important that you look through this properly and contact the Customer Payment and Debt Team on 023 8083 3388 or email cpd.general@southampton.gov.uk if you have any queries.

Summary of your rent

Depending on what type of property you live in your rent may include a heating charge and/or a support charge as well as the basic rent charge.

Heating charge

You will need to pay a heating charge if you live in a flat where we control the heating system. This heating charge forms part of your rent and to help with budgeting, the costs are spread over the year. This means that you must pay your heating charge even if it is the summer time when your heating is not switched on.

If you receive benefits to cover your full rent you will still be responsible for paying the weekly heating charge to heat your home. This forms part of your rent and you need to ensure that this is paid regularly. You will be advised how much your heating charge is when you sign up for your tenancy.

Support charges

In all of our housing designated for people over the age of 50 and housing complexes for people over 60, there may be an additional service charge. Our housing office and support staff will be able to explain these charges in more detail to you and answer any questions you have.

Paying your rent

Your tenancy agreement states how much rent you will pay each week. You need to ensure that you pay your rent regularly. You must pay in advance if you wish to pay anything other than weekly. Regardless of the benefits you receive you are responsible for paying your rent and must avoid getting behind with payments.

The amount of rent you are charged will change each year, usually in April. We will give you four weeks written notice of any change in the amount of rent charged for your home.

Set up your online rent account

You can manage your rent account online. Once you have registered, you can see your transactions, check your balance and pay your rent.

Registration is quick and easy and all you will need is your payment reference number handy; this will start with D(14), I(15) , F(16) or H(18).

If you need help with your online rent account please call the Customer Payment and Debt Team on 023 8083 3388 or email cpd.general@southampton.gov.uk

Make an online payment

You can pay your rent with a credit or debit card by visiting our website.

To use this service you will need to know your rent reference number.

Direct Debit

The best way to pay your rent is by direct debit and this can be done weekly on a Friday or monthly on the first day of each month. Most banks and building societies will let you pay your rent this way providing you have the right type of account. You must make sure there is enough money in your account to pay your direct debit, otherwise your rent will not be paid and you may be charged a fee by your bank.

Standing order

This is an arrangement between you and your bank. You will need the rent payment reference number which is on your rent statement, together with our bank details:

Bank: Lloyds Bank
Sort code: 30-00-00
Account number: 00332526
Your rent payment reference number: D(14), H(18), I(15), F(16) followed by six digits for example:

If D123456 use 14123456
If H123456 use 18123456
If I123456 use 15123456
If F123456 use 16123456

Telephone

Call our 24-hour automated phone line on 023 8083 3001 and follow the instructions.

Struggling to pay your rent

We can help, if for whatever reason you find yourself struggling to pay your rent it is important you contact our Customer Payment and Debt Team as soon as possible so they are aware of your situation and can advise you on your options, call 023 8083 3388 or email cpd.general@southampton.gov.uk

Financial support and debt advice

If you are having money problems and are struggling to pay your rent or other bills talk to our Welfare Rights & Money Advice Team who can offer advice and assistance.

They can help you to

  • claim any benefits you may be entitled to
  • draw up a budget so you can see exactly what your financial position is
  • explain which debts should be paid first and why they are so important
  • negotiate affordable repayments with your creditors and respond to court action

For a copy of the ‘Dealing with Debt’ self-help magazine which provides step by step information to help you sort out your money problems email us at welfarerights.advice@southampton.gov.uk or call 023 8083 2339 alternatively you can take a look at our online debt toolkit

For more information on claiming benefits visit www.turn2us.org.uk