Release Date: 04-Oct-2013
From April 2014, a number of benefits that are currently paid separately, including Housing Benefit, will be brought together into a single payment called Universal Credit.
If you are a working age tenant then the payment for your rent will be included in the overall benefit payment you will receive.
Unviersal Credit will be paid into tenants' bank accounts and they will need to make sure rent is paid
This will be paid directly into your bank account and you will need to start paying rent yourself – it will no longer be paid automatically to your rent account. It may take a few years to move everyone over to the new benefit but you need to be ready for the change.
To help make sure we’re all ready for Universal Credit, from April 2014, we’re requiring tenants to pay their rent by direct debit.
Changes to the benefits system mean that 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 benefits directly into tenants’ bank accounts.
Direct debit not only helps you keep up to date with your rent, but is also the cheapest and most efficient way to collect rent.
Other benefits include:
• They’re quick and easy to set up from the comfort of your own home
• You can pay on any day of the month
• You can make changes to your payment date or amount more easily – over the phone, in person or when one of our staff visits you at home
• You’re protected by the direct debit guarantee – if there’s a mistake, you’ll get a full and immediate refund
To find out more or to make arrangements to pay your rent by direct debit, please call us on 01484 414886.
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.
We will also make sure that any particularly vulnerable tenants are not unduly affected by this change.
If you need information about bank accounts, help with budgeting, or have other concerns about money, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01484 414886 and ask to speak to a KNH money advisor. This is a free and confidential service and we can visit you at home.