If you have had a letter from us about your rent for 2020/2021, we hope that this information will help with any questions you may have. We also have a Money Advice Team who will be able to help you further, you can find information about this here
Why is my rent account in arrears when I pay by Direct Debit
If you pay by Direct Debit in most cases the payments will have been calculated so that when your last payment is made in March 2020 you will not have any rent arrears. It’s possible that your account may go into arrears during the year dependent on when your payments are due.
Why is my rent account in arrears when I am up to date with my payments
Any letters received show the balance on your account at the date of printing, so if you have made any payments since this date these will not be reflective. Depending on how you pay will also affect when the payment is showing on your account. Payments made at a Post Office or Pay Point outlet take 3 working days to reach your account, and all other methods should be showing the next working day.
Can I request a refund if my rent account is in credit
It depends…..If you pay by Direct Debit the account is unlikely to actually be in credit. Your payments will have been calculated so that when your last payment is made in March 2020 you will have a zero balance. It’s possible that your account may look as though it is in credit during the year dependent on when your payments are due.
If you do not pay by Direct Debit you are required to have credit on your account to ensure you are paying in advance in line with your tenancy agreement and the amount will depend on the frequency of your payments for example weekly payers a week in advance, monthly a month etc.
If the credit is the result of a payment from Universal Credit or Housing Benefit in most cases we will not be able to issue a refund to you.
Where can I find out details of my charges from April 2020
You will receive a Notification of Rent and Other Charges letter between 5th March 2020 and 9th March 2020 and this will give you a full breakdown of your rent and service charges for the next year.
My charges have gone up more than usual why is that
A four year 1% annual reduction to Social Landlord rents comes to an end in March 2020. Following consultation, Stockport Council have approved a rent setting strategy for rent increases over the next 5 year period, 2020-2025. Increases will be limited to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1% for five years from 2020.
I have received a letter about my new rent and service charges from April 2020, but I receive Housing Benefit and it doesn’t mention that
You don’t need to do anything! You will receive another letter in the next couple of weeks which tells you what your housing benefit entitlement will be from April 2020.
I have received a letter about my new rent and service charges from April 2020 but I pay by Direct Debit do I need to do anything
No, you don’t need to do anything if you pay by Direct Debit. Your new payments from April will be calculated automatically and you will receive a further letter before the end of March telling you what your payments will be.
I receive Universal Credit to help with my Housing Costs do I need to do anything
Yes, you will need to update Universal Credit with your new Housing Costs information. You will need to access your online claim on or after 6th April 2020 to do this and update the ‘Where you Live and What it Costs’ section of your claim. Don’t worry we will send you a letter just before which will give you instructions on how to update your Housing Costs or you can come to our office Monday to Friday between 8.30 and 5pm for help reporting this change.
How many Rent Free Weeks are there in 2020 2021 and when are they
There are 4 rent free weeks in 2020/2021 and they are week commencing 6th April 2020, 6th July 2020, 28th December 2020 and 29th March 2021. You will only benefit from the rent free weeks if you have a clear rent account.
If you pay for your rent monthly the calculation will have already taken account of the free weeks (48 charges divided by 12) so you will pay the same amount every month and don’t then pay less on the months when the free weeks occur.
I am going to struggle to pay the new rent and service charges what are my options
We won’t be able to change what you need to pay for your rent and service charges, but we do have a dedicated, expert Money Advice team who can support you if you’re having difficulties. They will complete a full financial assessment and provide advice and support for income maximisation, reducing outgoings where possible. You can contact them Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm on 0161 217 6016, option 3 then option 4, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.