Changes to rent payments

Release Date: 01-Mar-2013
Starting on 1 April 2013, all new Kirklees Council tenants will need to pay their rent and any service charges by direct debit.
You'll need a bank, building society or credit union account to receive benefits and to pay your rent

You'll need a bank, building society or credit union account to receive benefits and to pay your rent

The change has been introduced because the Government’s arrangements for paying welfare benefits, including Housing Benefit, are changing. These changes mean that we – KNH and the Council – need to make sure we are using the most efficient and effective way to collect rent, as this pays for all the housing services we provide.

Previously, Housing Benefit was paid direct to the council, which reduced the risk of rent arrears, but in future, the government will pay all the welfare benefits claimants are entitled to, as a single payment (known as the Universal Credit) direct into their bank account.

Requiring our tenants to pay by direct debit not only helps protect them from getting behind with their rent, but is also the cheapest and most efficient way to collect rent. Both of these factors help keep rent increases low.

However, we understand that the change may be difficult for some of our tenants. That is why we are working with tenants’ representatives and financial services providers to find practical solutions for all tenants over the next 12 months. We will also make sure that any particularly vulnerable tenants are not unduly affected by this change.

Please note:

• Existing tenants have until 1 April 2014 to make arrangements to pay this way.
• If you are of pension age on full Housing Benefit, you do not need to do anything at this time (unless you have a service charge to pay – such as heating if you live in a retirement living scheme)

For help or advice:

We expect that with the right help and advice, almost all tenants will be able to make this change.

If you need information about bank accounts, help with budgeting, or have other concerns about money, please email us on or call us on 01484 414886 and ask to speak to a KNH money advisor.

You can also get information about available account options from any financial institution, including high street banks, building societies and credit unions.