As a landlord, we undertake to offer convenient options for paying rent, to use the rent wisely in managing & maintaining our properties and to act helpfully and responsibly in dealing with those who fall into arrears.
Tenants undertake to pay your rent when due and to contact us immediately you experience any difficulties in paying your rent.
Why Must You Pay Your Rent?
It is vital that you pay the rent that you are due, not only because it is a requirement of your tenancy agreement, but also because it allows the Association to deliver good quality housing and services, such as investment in our properties and repairs. It is a legal requirement of your Tenancy Agreement that rent must be paid in advance on or before the 28th of each month. Your rent is due monthly in advance on or before the 28th day of each month. But you can make as many payments as you wish ie. weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
How Is My Rent Decided?
All rents are reviewed once per year. The rent for each property is determined by the amenities of that property, for example, how many bedrooms it has, if it has a dining room, if it has its own front and back door etc.
The rents charged must cover the Association’s management and maintenance costs. They must not be too expensive for tenants to afford, particularly to people who are in low paid work; and the rents must be broadly similar with other landlords in the area. We also have to put aside some of your rent each year towards future major repairs, for example, kitchen renewals, new windows etc.
The Association starts reviewing all rents in September of each year, with consultation issued to all tenants. The Management Committee then usually make a decision about the rent increase in December or January and tenants are notified in February of any new rent charge which will be applied from 28 March of each year.
Payment Of Rent
Rent is payable in advance before the 28th day of each month.
Rent Card Payments
For tenants’ convenience the Association uses the Allpay card system. This allows tenants to make payments at a number of locations, shops, post offices or anywhere that displays the Pay Zone/Pay Point signs, by telephone or even online.
Direct Debit Payments
Many tenants prefer the convenience of paying their rent by Direct Debit. If you wish to pay by this method then please simply contact our office to arrange. You can request a Direct Debit form from our office.
Chip & PIN Payments
The Association now has a chip & PIN machine available for use at our office. Please advise a member of staff if you would like to pay using this method. It can be used for any type of payment e.g. rent, rechargeable repairs or owners can pay their factoring fees this way.
The Association can accept payments by telephone using our chip & PIN machine. Staff will ask for some information over the telephone but it is a very straightforward process.
If you wish to pay your rent online you should go to www.allpayments.net.
All you need to make an online rent payment is your allpay rent payment card, a debit card and a computer! Allpay have ensured that their website is secure and that the service is as easy to use as possible but if you run into difficulties, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Association can accept payments via the Allpay App. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store and the Android Market to tenants' iOS or Android smartphones. You can store your payment reference number so that you do not have to enter it every time. You can create a 4 digit PIN number to access the App so that you do not have to go through a lengthy log in process every time you use the App.
Cheque & Standing Order Payments
You can also make payment by cheque at the Association’s office or by standing order through your bank. You can request a Standing Order form from our office.
If you have lost your Allpay card please contact the Association to order a replacement.
What If I Have A Problem Paying My Rent?
Gardeen Housing Association knows that some tenants may face money problems, which may affect their ability to pay rent regularly. If this happens you must get in touch with us immediately as experience has shown that the earlier these problems are dealt with the easier it is to resolve.
Our staff will do all that they can to assist any tenant who finds themself in this situation. We will talk to you and discuss your situation in confidence and help set up a payment plan in order to help you pay your rent. It is important to ask for help early in order not to let the arrears get out of hand. Our staff can also give you information and advice on housing benefits. We can also put you in touch with other organisations who can give you advice about any debt that is worrying you, not just your rent.
Please remember it is your responsibility to keep your rent account up to date. Although we take a sympathetic view if people are experiencing difficulty in paying rent, we must still maximise the income we receive and as such we will take action against any tenant who does not pay their rent or maintain arrangements to repay rent arrears. Rent arrears may prevent a transfer, mutual exchange or right to buy application.
If tenants fail to pay their rent or make, and stick to, acceptable repayment arrangements, the Association will have to start court proceedings which could result in arrestment of earnings and eviction. Such action is always a last resort but it may be required if matters are not resolved early.
Help With Rent – Housing Benefit
If you work part-time or have a low paid job you can apply for Housing Benefit. Housing Benefit (HB) is a government subsidy administered by the local authority (Glasgow City Council), which helps people who are on lower incomes to pay their rent. If you qualify for a rebate, you will pay a reduced rent (or perhaps no rent at all) every month. As it is your rent account you are still responsible for ensuring that the rent is paid, even if you qualify for HB.
We keep a supply of HB application forms in our office. We are very keen to see all those who might quality for benefit applying for it. In particular, if you are either in a lower paid job or in receipt of any form of benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions, then you should put in a claim for Housing Benefit. If you are in any doubt as to whether you would qualify for Housing Benefit then you should apply to check.
If you apply for HB, it is important that you submit a fully completed claim, with all information complete. If additional information is requested, you must ensure that this is provided straight away as failure can result in your claim being made ineligible.
If you do not receive Housing Benefit and feel that you may be entitled to this please contact the Association, where staff will be happy to advise you.
Universal Credit (UC) is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now. UC will be paid monthly and will include your rent cost which you will then be responsible for paying to the Association.
UC rollout has begun in Glasgow from 8th June 2015. The UC expansion is for single people with or without housing costs aged between 18 years and 60 years and six months at present.
UC is expected to rollout to couples and families in 2016 and 2017.
If you have any queries about Universal Credit please contact Lyndsay or Clare at our office.