Paying your rent
Alternative ways of paying rent
We would like to reassure you that the health and wellbeing of our residents and colleagues is our first priority. If you are struggling with your rent payments, please get in touch with us straight away on 0800 085 1171 for advice and support. You'll also find lots of information on support with the cost of living on our money advice page.
As well as the options to visit PayPoint outlets or Post Offices, we often receive queries from residents asking for other ways to pay their rent, so we've put a handy list together for you:
We'll regularly send you a statement to help you keep track of your rent payments. Below, we've also put together some frequently asked questions to help you understand these statements, how we calculate your rent and where you can access support.
The figure we use for monthly rent is the weekly charge multiplied by the 52 chargeable weeks of the year, shared over 12 monthly payments.
For instance, if weekly rent is £100:
However, 365 days in a year doesn’t divide exactly into an even number of weeks (there are actually 52.14 weeks in one year) so every five or six years you’ll see there are 53 weeks in the rent year. This means that instead of multiplying by 52 and dividing by 12, we multiply by 53 and divide by 12. This will be the case from April 2024.
For other frequencies of rent payment such as fortnightly (every two weeks) or four weekly (every four weeks), the weekly figure is multiplied by the number of weeks needed.
Your rent and service charge is applied to your account on a weekly basis, so your balance will also change weekly.
You’ll see in your tenancy agreement that rent should be paid in advance, so you’ll need to make sure you do this by whichever frequency you choose. Your account should be put into enough credit each time you pay to cover any charges until your next payment.
If your monthly rent is £433.33 per month, each time the monthly payment is made your account should go into credit for that amount, or thereabouts. As rent is calculated over the course of a whole year, you may find that in a ‘four-week’ month the credit is exceeded but in a ‘five-week’ month it is not enough. Please make sure you make payments that keep your account in credit all through the year.
As explained above, the rent should be paid in advance by whichever payment frequency you’ve chosen. If your account goes into debit at any time between payments this is not fully in advance and so we will not be able to provide you with a refund.
We would only consider a refund if the credit was higher than the advance payment.
Your account needs to be in credit all of the time, whatever frequency you pay over. If you get Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC) this will cover some of your rent, with a shortfall to pay yourself. If you’re not paying enough to cover this shortfall, any credit you have will reduce, and arrears will build up. Even if you receive HB or UC, you need to make sure your account is always in credit, so you may also need to make extra payments.
If you have variable wages or other changes in circumstances that mean your HB or UC fluctuates, please bear in mind that you’ll need to change the amount you pay to make sure your rent is still covered.
If the frequency of your direct debit payments aren’t suitable anymore, you can of course change them as long as you’re sure you’re still paying enough to cover your rent plus any arrears you may have. You may need to make payments a different way before, or while, you’re setting up the new direct debit.
If your bank details need to be changed, you’ll need to cancel the original direct debit and set up a new one in its place.
Ten days’ notice is needed to change a direct debit, so if you would like to change your details, please call us on 0800 085 1171.
Your Income Officer will try to get in touch if there are any concerns at all about your account. If you get a letter, phone call, text or email from your Income Officer please do respond so that we can work with you to get things resolved - they’re here to help. And if you have any concerns about paying your rent, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 085 1171. Don’t worry in silence if you’re finding it difficult to pay your rent, however big or small the amount.
Housing Benefit (HB) is usually paid every four weeks. It can sometimes be paid weekly or fortnightly, but this is much less common. You can ask to have your HB paid straight to Castles & Coasts, and we recommend this.
Universal Credit (UC) is paid monthly but your housing element only comes straight to Castles & Coasts in some cases. Using the earlier calculation for monthly rent, you should be able to work out if the payments we receive cover your full monthly rent and service charge.
If the amount being paid by UC is lower than the rent being charged, it could be because of:
Housing costs that may not have been updated at the start of the new financial year. This can cause a shortfall of the difference. It is very important for you to update your UC Portal with the correct amount of rent/service charge you are charged with weekly.
An APA means that you’re Universal Credit (UC) payments are made direct to Castles & Coasts. If a direct payment has been agreed by UC there are different schedules for this:
DHPs offer financial support to help with housing costs. Universal Credit (UC) or Housing Benefit (HB) will be reduced if you have any bedrooms which are deemed to be ‘spare’ bedrooms. This is classed as under occupancy and known as the ‘bedroom tax’ (certain exemptions apply).
The reduction will be 14% for one room, and 25% for two or more rooms. To calculate your rent shortfall due to this reduction, divide your weekly rent by 100 (e.g. £120.00 / 100 is 1.2). Multiply this by 14 or 25 (depending on the number of spare rooms) to get the appropriate shortfall figure (e.g. 1.2 x 14 is a £16.80 per week shortfall; 1.2 x 25 is a £30 per week shortfall).
You can apply for a DHP from your local authority if you don't feel able to cover these costs.
Are you struggling to pay your rent or other bills?
Are you unable to keep your pre-payment meters topped up?
Have you had a change in circumstances such as switching jobs, changing benefits, members of your household moving in or out, sickness or periods of unemployment?
If the answer to any of these is yes, and you’re not already being supported by another agency, please ask for help from our Financial Inclusion Team as soon as you can by calling 0800 085 1171.