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Paying your rent

Paying your rent and other charges is a condition of your tenancy. If you do not pay, you will have broken your tenancy agreement with us. We use the rent we collect from all our tenants to repair and improve homes and neighbourhoods. We write to you every year to tell you how much rent you should pay. We charge you rent for your home and any other services which you may use.

Paying your Rent

Your weekly rent payments are due every Monday and must be paid in advance for the week ahead. If you prefer, you can contact us on 01476 406080 to discuss alternatives such as fortnightly or monthly payments.

We will send quarterly rent account statements only to tenants who have fallen behind with their rent payments (are in arrears). All tenants will receive a rent statement at the end of the financial year.  Your statement will show payments made by you, housing benefit payments and other adjustments, and will show the balance of your account. If you have any queries about payments made please contact customer services on 01476 406080.

If you have paid too much rent, you can leave the credit on your account to offset future charges or you can ask for a refund. If you have other debts outstanding with the Council we may transfer all or part of the credit to clear these debts.

pdf icon Important information about rent increases [28kb]

The Rent Free weeks for April and December 2014 are;

and

You can pay your rent:

Problems paying your rent - help available

Please contact customer services on 01476 406080 as soon as possible if you are having difficulties paying your rent. We want to work with you to solve the problem.

How we can help:

We will try to help you by:

What we will do if you don't pay your rent

Legal proceedings could lead to you being evicted from your property. The legal procedure differs for secure and introductory tenants.

Legal Procedure

You should have been given information about claiming Housing and Council Tax Benefit, together with the necessary forms, when you signed up for your tenancy.

You are responsible for providing the information to make payment of Housing and Council Tax Benefit possible. If you need help with this, please contact us on 01476 406080.

If you do not return your application, or do not provide any requested information on time, we may not be able to pay benefit from the start of your tenancy.

Secure Tenants

Our first step towards legal action will be to send you a Notice of Seeking Possession. If you do not make an arrangement to pay the arrears within four weeks of the Notice being served, or if arrangements are broken, we will apply to the County Court for a Possession Order. You will be asked to attend a court hearing, which can lead to:

The court usually grants one of two types of possession order:

Suspended Possession Order

If an agreement to pay your arrears is reached, and you keep to the agreement, no further action will be taken. Breaking the agreement could lead to eviction.

Outright Possession Order

Unless you have cleared your current rent arrears and the court costs by the date in the Court Order we will apply for a bailiff's warrant to evict you.

Eviction

You have the right to apply to the County Court to suspend the eviction if you are a secure tenant. The County Court will set a hearing date.  You will be required to attend the hearing and an Income Recovery Officer from the Council will also attend. The Judge will listen to you and the Council and decide whether the eviction is to go ahead.

Introductory Tenants

An introductory tenancy usually lasts for 12 months. We will monitor your rent account and contact you if you do not pay the rent on time. If you do not clear the rent account or make an arrangement and keep to this, you will be issued with a Notice of Proceedings for Possession.

You have the right to request a review of our decision to serve the Notice. The request must be made within 14 days of the Notice being served.

If you have not asked for a review, or if the review has upheld the decision to issue the Notice, we will apply to the court for possession.

The Court will normally give possession of the property to the Council and if you do not leave by the date in the court order we will apply to the court for a bailiff's warrant to evict you.

Applying for Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is paid by the Council to help you pay your rent. The amount you get depends on your circumstances, who lives with you, the amount of income you receive and the amount of savings you have.

You should have been given information about claiming ,  when you signed up for your tenancy. If you wish to apply for Housing Benefit you should speak to a Benefit Assessor on 01476 406080.  You may be required to provide evidence to support your claim and you will be asked to hand this in to the office as quickly as you can.  If you delay in providing the information we may not be able to pay benefit from the start of your tenancy.

Change of Circumstances

If you are receiving Housing Benefit and your circumstances change you must tell us straight away.  Please call the benefits office on 01476 406080.  The types of changes you must tell us about include:

Please remember that you are responsible for making sure you pay your rent on time.  Housing Benefit may not pay all of your rent so you will need to pay the difference each week.  You can also get independent advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Housing Benefit Fraud

Most people who receive help with their rent and council tax are in genuine need. However, there are people who do not provide us with correct information about their personal circumstances, or fail to tell us of a change in their circumstances.

You are committing benefit fraud when you knowingly give false or misleading information to:

If we find an incorrect payment or fraud of any kind, we will ask you to explain why it happened. Any overpayments will have to be repaid.

If you believe a person to be claiming fraudulently, please call the Fraud Hotline on 01476 406261, email fraud@southkesteven.gov.uk, write to South Kesteven District Council, Benefit Investigations Section, St Peter's Hill, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6PZ, or speak to a member of our benefit investigations team at the main council offices.



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