Rent charges 2018/19

Your questions answered

We have put together this information to tell you how we decide how much rent you should pay. Please read this page and if you have any more questions please email info@greensquaregroup.com or call us on 01249 465465. 

I receive Housing Benefit or housing costs through Universal Credit – does this apply to me?

By law, we must tell you if we change your rent. If you get Housing Benefit, we will tell the council about your new rent charge. You will also need to inform them by sending a copy of your rent review letter.  

Your local council will recalculate the housing benefit you get now, and tell you the new amount in writing. We cannot tell you what this will be, so if you have any queries, please contact your local council (see below).

If you are receiving Universal Credit, you will need to advise the Universal Credit Service Centre by calling 0800 328 5644. It is important you do this as soon as possible to ensure you receive the correct housing costs. They will not accept this information from your landlord.

How do you decide what my new rent will be?

There has been a change in the way annual rent charges are calculated. In recent years, your rent has been calculated based on the retail or consumer price index plus either 0.5% or 1%.  However as set out in the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, the government announced that rents would be reduced by at least 1% over a four year period.  

This reduction did not apply to sheltered or supported accommodation for 2016/17, but is being applied from 2017/18.

What can I do if I disagree with my rent charge?

If you are an assured tenant and you disagree with the individual rent set for your home, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) – administered by HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Full contact details for each area are online at: www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber.

If you want to appeal, you should seek advice from a law centre or Citizens Advice.

I pay my rent by direct debit, what do I need to do?

Nothing. We will tell your bank or building society if the payment has changed, and you will receive confirmation in writing from Allpay, our direct debit supplier. This will confirm what your new direct debit amount will be, subject to the usual direct debit guarantee.

Why pay by direct debit?

Paying by direct debit takes the worry and time out of paying your rent yourself - it couldn’t be easier.

If you would like to start paying by direct debit, please contact our customer services team on 01249 465465.

I pay my rent by bank standing order, what do I need to do?

If you pay by standing order, you will have received a mandate from us. It is your responsibility to contact your bank to advise of the change in payments.

If you have access to internet banking, you can change the payments online. Please give your bank seven days’ notice to set up or change the standing order.

If you would like to start paying by direct debit, we will be able to change these payments for you, directly with your bank. If you would like to pay by this method, please call us on 01249 465465.

Where to get help and advice

Many people do not claim the benefits they are entitled to. Even a small amount of extra money can make a big difference – so it pays to spend a little time finding out about what you can claim.

For more information about benefits in general you can visit the Department for Work and Pensions website at www.dwp.gov.uk for clear and straightforward information on what you may be entitled to and how to claim.

National debt and money advice:

Citizens Advice
www.citizensadvice.org.uk
(for details of your local Citizens Advice)
Phone: 03444 111 444

Money Advice Service
www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Phone: 0300 500 5000

Step Change
www.stepchange.org
Phone: 0800 138 1111

National Debtline
www.nationaldebtline.org
Phone: 0808 808 4000

 

Housing and council tax benefit teams and contact details are:

Aylesbury Vale District Council
66 High Street, Aylesbury HP20 1SD
Telephone: 01296 585618
Email: benefits@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk

Cheltenham Borough Council
Municipal Offices, Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 9SA
Telephone: 01242 264341
Email: benefitsandmoneyadvice@cheltenham.gov.uk

Cherwell District Council 
PO Box 27, Banbury OX15 4BH
Telephone: 01295 227022
Email: customer.service@cherwell-dc.gov.uk

Gloucester City Council
Herbert Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester GL1 2EQ
Telephone: 01452 396483
Email: benefits@gloucester.gov.uk

Oxford City Council
109 St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1DS
Telephone: 01865 249811
Email: benefits@oxford.gov.uk

South Oxfordshire District Council (Capita)
PO Box 870, Erith, DA8 1UN
Telephone: 0345 302 2313
Email: sodc.benefits@secure.capita.co.uk

Stroud District Council
Ebley Mill, Ebley Wharf, Stroud GL5 4UB
Telephone: 01453 754054
Email: benefit.services@stroud.gov.uk

Swindon Borough Council
www.swindon.gov.uk
Telephone: 0345 3022316
Email: swindon.customerservices@capita.co.uk

Tewkesbury Borough Council
Public Services Centre,Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury GL20 5TT
Telephone01684 272035
Email: 01684 272035

Vale of White Horse District Council (Capita)
PO Box 880, Erith, DA8 1UN
Telephone: 0345 302 2315
Email: vowh.benefits@secure.capita.co.uk

West Oxfordshire District Council
Town Centre Shop, 3 Welch Way, Witney OX28 6JH
Telephone: 01993 861030
Email: housing@westoxon.gov.uk 

Wiltshire Council
www.wiltshire.gov.uk/counciltaxhousingandbenefits
Freephone: 0300 456 0110
Email: benefits@wiltshire.gov.uk