Rent and Service Charge Questions

Here you can have your rent and service charge questions answered.

Can I check my rent account online?

You can check your rent account online by logging into My Tenancy here: www.mytenancy.co.uk/cgi-bin/netacc.cgi/xxhome.htm

Find out more about how to make an account on My Tenancy here on the ‘My Tenancy’ page here: My Tenancy

My rent is charged weekly but I want to pay monthly, how much do I have to pay?

If your rent is charged weekly but you want to pay monthly you must do the following sum:

weekly rent (times by) 52 = yearly rent (divide by) 12 = monthly rent

An example:

If weekly rent = 123.45

123.45 * 52 = 6419.40 / 12 = 534.95

Yearly rent = 6419.40

Then monthly rent = 534.95

How do I claim Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?/Can I get help with my rent?

This usually depends on your circumstances. If you find that you are finding it difficult to pay your rent visit the following site to see if you might be able to get benefits: www.entitledto.co.uk

entitledto.co.uk will tell you if you are able to get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. It will also tell you about any other benefits you might be able to get.

You can also visit the gov.uk site for more information on:

What should I do if I can’t get/I won’t get enough Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?

Why does my account say I’m in arrears (Arr)?

If your account says you are in arrears you should phone or email us immediately.

You can find all the ways to contact us on our ‘Contact Us’ page here: Contact Us

How do I know what is being paid by Housing Benefit/Universal Credit and what I am supposed to pay?

If you claim Universal Credit

The money for your rent is included in the payments you receive at the end of the month. You must pay your rent to us from any money you receive (e.g. wages, benefits, etc.). Visit our Rent & Service Charges information page on ways to pay your rent here: Ways to Pay

If you don’t think you will be able to keep up with rent payments yourself, you might be able to apply to have your rent paid directly to us (Crown Simmons Housing). You can find out more information about this here:
england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/universal_credit/can_universal_credit_be_paid_direct_to_a_landlord

If you think your Universal Credit payment is wrong, click here for more information on what to do: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/on-universal-credit/universal-credit-payment-errors/

If the amount of Universal Credit you get is not enough to cover all of your rent, remember you will have to pay the difference.

If you cannot pay the difference between the Housing Benefit and rent, please go to What should I do if I can’t get/I won’t get enough Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?”

If you claim Housing Benefit

When you claim Housing Benefit your local council will send you a letter telling you exactly how much Housing Benefit you will get and how often it will be paid.

If the amount of Housing Benefit the council say they are going to pay is less than the amount of rent that Crown Simmons ask for, you must pay the difference; you can find out what this is by looking at your ‘Statement of Account’ on mytenancy.co.uk here: www.mytenancy.co.uk/cgi-bin/netacc.cgi/xxhome.htm

If the amount of Housing Benefit you get is not enough to cover all of your rent, remember you will have to pay the difference.

If you cannot pay the difference between the Housing Benefit and rent, please go to What should I do if I can’t get/I won’t get enough Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?”

If you ever have any questions about your Housing Benefit please contact your local council directly; because Crown Simmons do not process the Housing Benefit claims we may be unable to answer any questions you have.

Common terms councils use in Housing Benefit letters:

    • ‘Weekly Benefit Award’ – This is the amount of Housing Benefit that will be paid to Crown Simmons each week.
    • ‘Weekly Eligible Rent’ – This is the portion of the rent that Crown Simmons ask for that will be looked at by your council to see if you can get Housing Benefit.

If you ever do not understand your Statement of Account, need more information about benefits, or worry that you may not be able to afford to pay your rent, please contact us.

The council sent me a letter saying ‘deductions are going to be made from your Housing Benefit payments’, why are they doing this?

Usually this is because the council have paid you too much Housing Benefit in the past. They may have paid you more Housing Benefit than what you were supposed to get for a number of reasons.

Please contact your council directly if this happens to you, to find your local council click here: www.gov.uk/find-local-council

If you think that you won’t be able to keep up with your current rent as they are taking money off your Housing Benefit, please phone your council immediately as they may be able to lower the amount they take, or provide you with forms for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) to help you cover the cost.

If you think they are doing this unfairly, you can try to appeal their decision (go to “What should I do if the council say I can’t get/they won’t give me enough Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?” for more information on appeals).

Please let us know if this happens to you so that we are kept informed as we may be able to help you.

My Universal Credit has been stopped/I have been sanctioned, what can I do?

If you are receiving Universal Credit and your money is stopped or reduced, this is called being ‘sanctioned’.

If you have been sanctioned, these websites have more information on what you can do:

How can I check if I am up-to-date with my Rent?

You can check if you are up-to-date or if you need to pay rent to Crown Simmons by logging onto mytenancy.co.uk here: www.mytenancy.co.uk/cgi-bin/netacc.cgi/xxhome.htm

If you cannot find this information or if you see you owe rent but cannot pay, please contact us immediately so we can help, you can find all of our contact details on our ‘Contact Us’ page here: Contact Us

What exactly is a Service Charge and what does it pay for?

Your service charge is the money you pay towards the upkeep of your scheme.

The service charge generally pays for the communal cleaning, gardening and health and safety, and 15% goes towards administration fees which cover our management of your home.

Is my Service Charge covered by Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?

Most of the time, yes.

It doesn’t if you live in a property that has communal water/heating/electricity meters. As, although these are listed on the service charge statement (usually as an ‘ineligible charge’), these are not covered by Housing Benefit/Universal Credit and will need to be paid for separately.

Also, always check that the rent Crown Simmons ask for and how much Housing Benefit you get are the same, or make sure that you pay the difference by looking at “How do I know what is being paid by Housing Benefit/Universal Credit and what I am supposed to pay?”.

Is my Council Tax covered by Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?

No. Council Tax is not paid for by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

You may however, be able to get some help with your Council Tax through a ‘Council Tax Reduction’. Find more information about getting help with your Council Tax here: www.gov.uk/apply-council-tax-reduction

Is my electricity, gas or water covered by Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?

No. Electricity, gas and water are completely separate payments that you must pay.

When you move into your home you should check the reading on your electricity and gas meters.

You can choose to change who you buy your electricity or gas from to get a better deal (you can do this online on sites such as uSwitch and Which? Switch).

You may also have a ‘pay as you go’ electricity box, which can be topped up whenever necessary.

Some of our schemes have a boiler, electricity or water meter that everyone shares. The cost of these is split between all of the households who use it and it is managed by Crown Simmons. This means all bills for these will be sent to you by us either in a separate letter or as part of an ‘ineligible charge’ on your service charge statement and you should send payment to us using one of the ways listed on our ‘Ways to Pay’ page here: Ways to Pay

If you find you cannot pay your bills you may be able to use some benefits to help you (including service charges, gas, electricity or water bills). You should contact your Jobcentre Plus with details of who you owe and how much, your customer reference number (for bills) and your National Insurance number.

You can find more information about this here: www.gov.uk/bills-benefits

I’m having trouble paying my bills, what can I do?

If you are having trouble paying your bills (water, electricity or gas), you may be able to get help with payments.

You may be able to use some benefits to help you pay bills (including service charges, gas, electricity or water bills). You should contact your Jobcentre Plus with details of who you owe and how much, your customer reference number (for bills) and your National Insurance number.

You can find more information about this here: www.gov.uk/bills-benefits

If it is only your electricity and gas bills you are struggling with, you might be able to get some help making your home use less gas and electricity. You can find out more about this scheme here: www.gov.uk/energy-grants-calculator

You might also be able to get some money towards heating costs with one or more of the schemes below:

On my ‘Statement of Account’ what does ‘Pre’ mean?

‘Pre’ is short for ‘Prepaid’ which means you’ve paid your rent on time and do not owe us any more money until the next rent payment is due.

If you work irregular hours or by contract and do not always get paid the same wage, you might benefit from ‘rounding up’ what you pay us in rent to the nearest £1, £5 or £10. This means if you do have to miss a payment because you were not paid enough, then you will have already made a saving towards the payment, making it easier to pay off in full.

On my ‘Statement of Account’ what does ‘Arr’ mean?

‘Arr’ is short for ‘Arrears’ which means not enough money has been paid to cover your rent.

If you have been paying your rent each week or month but your statement says you are in arrears please contact us straight away so we can find out what has happened.

My Direct Debit didn’t go through; will it automatically be put through again?

Your Direct Debit (DD) will not be automatically put through again if it does not work the first time. If you notice that a DD has not gone through, you must pay in a different way. Find all the ways you can pay your rent on our ‘Ways to Pay’ page here: Ways to Pay

If your DD payment does not work once then that does not mean it will not work again the next time, so you don’t have to set-up a new DD. Please make sure you have enough money in your account at the time when the DD is due and it should come through to us.

We will try to tell you if we notice your usual DD payment has not worked, however please make sure you keep a close eye on your bank statements. This is so if you do miss a payment because the DD did not come through, then you can make sure you can pay us the rent in a different way and not miss the rent payment and get into ‘arrears’ (owe us more money on top of what you will owe in the next rent payment).

What can I do if I’ve just lost my job but I still need to pay rent?

If you have not claimed benefits before you will have to:

If you are already claiming benefits you should:

 

  • Visit entitledto.co.uk use their ‘benefits calculator’ to see what other benefits you can get here: www.entitledto.co.uk
  • Claim Housing BenefitYou will have to apply directly to your local council to do this as they each have their own forms. You can download and print the forms, or fill them in online by visiting your council’s website. Find your local council by visiting: gov.uk/find-local-councilWhen you give the council all of the information they ask for you must ask for a receipt, copy this and send it to us. If the council contact you again about your Housing Benefit claim, please send us copies of these other letters. This is so we can ensure your claim is being dealt with and try and help if it’s not.
  • Contact us and we can see what we can do to try and help, to contact us click here: Contact Us

What if I already claim benefits but I am still having difficulty paying my rent?

Visit entitledto.co.uk use their ‘benefits calculator’ to see if you can get other benefits here: www.entitledto.co.uk

entitledto.co.uk will tell you if you can get other benefits.

You may be able to use some benefits to help pay your bills (including rent, service charges, gas, electricity or water bills). You should contact your Jobcentre Plus with details of who you owe and how much, your customer reference number (for bills) and your National Insurance number.

You can find more information about this here: www.gov.uk/bills-benefits

You can also:

 

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