Housing Rent

 

Rent is a weekly charge for your property. Before signing a tenancy agreement for a council property, we will tell you how much the total charge is. Rent pays for housing services such as repairs and maintenance, grounds maintenance, estate cleaning and lighting and housing management.  We also use some of the rent to provide and make improvements to tenants’ homes. You may have to pay extra charges for services.  These might include water and heating.
 

Checking your rent account balance

Text On-line via the internet

Text BALANCE to 07520646606 to get a balance on any of your housing accounts at anytime.

You can check your Rent Account balance on line using our I-Housing system. Follow this link to register or access the system.

If you are a former tenant, please contact the Former Tenants Arrears Team on 01903 737850.

 

Paying your rent

Direct Debit is the most cost effective and easiest method of payment. It is the cheapest way to process tenants’ payments and saves having to remember how much and when to pay. If a mistake is made by the Council or a Bank or Building Society, a full refund is guaranteed. Payment swipe cards are sent to all tenants who do not choose to pay by Direct Debit. These can be used at any Post Office or any shop displaying the PayPoint sign. There are 70 outlets in the Arun district, and the card can be also used anywhere in the country. Please look after your payment swipe card, we will not send you a new one each year. 
If you have lost your payment swipe card please call our help line on 01903 737850 during office hours and we will order you a new card which should arrive 2 days later.
 

Methods of payment

Online by debit or credit card
If you have a payment swipe card, please log into the allpay web site. You will need to have your swipe card to hand and enter the 19 digit number to log in. If you do not have a payment swipe card, please log on to Arun’s payment web page.
 
Telephone by debit or credit card
If you have a payment swipe card please call the 24 hour payment line on 0330 0416497. If you have difficulty using this automated payment line please call 01903 737850 during office hours and we will assist you to make a payment.
 
Direct Debit
Direct Debit is available for you to pay your rent direct from your bank account.  It is the most convenient way to pay once you have set it up. The amount will automatically change whenever there is a change in your rent.  We will write to you to inform you of the change beforehand. 
To set up a direct debit please complete the  Direct Debit Mandate Form.pdf [pdf] 165KB or the Direct Debit Mandate Form.doc [doc] 116KB   or telephone 01903 737850 or visit the Housing Office. If you down load the form you will need to print it and return it by post to the Civic Centre.
 
In Person by Cash or Cheque
You can use the swipe card to pay at a PayPoint outlet or Post Office and present your payment with the card. The outlet will give you a receipt for your payment which you should keep as evidence of payment. Please be advised that some PayPoint outlets may not accept cheques. You can search for a PayPoint outlet or Post Office on line by entering your post code at the allpay website, or view a list of PayPoint outlets in the Arun District Council area.
 
Tenants who may be considering changing their method of payment should contact the Housing Finance Team on 01903 737850.
 

We send out quarterly rent statements to tenants every 13 weeks. Typically these are sent out in July, October, January and April. When you get your statement, please check that all the details are correct. If you disagree with the record of payments or you have any questions with your statement please contact the Housing Finance Team on 01903 737850

Each year in February or March we will send you a rent notification letter. This advises you how much your weekly rent will be for the coming financial year (April to March). If you move into your new home part way through the year we will send you payment information for your new home within two weeks of you moving in. 

 

How your rent is calculated

The Government says that all councils should work out rents in the same way.
 
Your rent will be worked out by a Government formula, using a national average rent and adjusted to reflect three things:
  • The number of bedrooms in your home
  • The average wage in West Sussex
  • The value of your home
  • Inflation
70% of your rent will be based on the number of bedrooms in your home and the average wage in West Sussex and 30% on the value of your home.
 

Rent arrears

If your rent is not paid, the money owed is called rent arrears. Rent must be a priority. If you get into arrears, the consequences of not dealing with them are serious - you could be evicted from your home. It costs you more if you get into arrears because you will have to pay your whole rent plus something towards the arrears, meaning more money to find every week. If the Council has to take you to court there will be court costs of over £100, which will be added on to the arrears. If you claim Housing Benefit and you do not tell them straight away of a change in your circumstances, you may be overpaid, and have to pay this back too.
 
It is our aim for you to remain as a tenant of Arun District Council.  The Rent Arrears Team are here to help, and if you get into difficulty they can work with you to make an arrangement to pay off the arrears which is affordable for you. 
If you are in arrears or worried about paying your rent, contact us as soon as possible on 01903 737850. Your home is at risk if you do not make the rent payments. There are lots of ways we can help if you talk to us as soon as you have a problem with paying. 
 
Please read our Privacy Notice Arrears.
 
 

Housing Rent Frequently Asked Questions.

Why is my rent going up this year when it has decreased over the last four years?

The Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 announced a decrease in Social Housing rents of 1% each year from 2016 for four years.  In line with this legislation, Arun District Council has reduced rents for the last four years.

In October 2019, the Government announced that social housing rents can rise by the consumer price index (CPI) plus 1 per cent from 2020 to 2025. The latest Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government Guidance details this. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/direction-on-the-rent-standard-from-1-april-2020

Arun District Council has increased its rents from April 2020 in line with the revised Government guidance.

When will this rent increase take place?

The increase is effective from Monday 6 April 2020.  We will write to you in February to confirm your new rent.

Are my other charges like heating and water changing too?

Heating and water charges are based on the actual consumption in the past year, and so are likely to  change based on the annual usage and unit costs.

Can I appeal the rent change?

No, the rents are set by a government formula, based on property size and location.

What happens if I don’t pay my rent?

Your tenancy agreement is a contract, which includes the responsibility to pay rent due.  If you experience difficulties paying your rent you should contact us on 01903 737850 as soon as possible, so we can work with you to resolve the problem.  Ultimately, if rent is not paid and you don’t engage with the finance team for a resolution, we will seek possession of the property via the Court.

Will my Housing Benefit be affected by the rent increase?

Housing Benefits have been advised of the new rent levels, and will assess new entitlements accordingly.  If you are in receipt of Universal Credit you will need to notify the DWP that your rent has increased, you can use the letter we send you as proof of the increase.

I have received my rent change letter, what do I need to do?

You need to ensure that any rent due is paid in full and on time. If you have a Bank Standing Order, you need to ensure that you notify your bank of any change in payment in sufficient time for them to be able to pay your April rent.

I have a Direct Debit, what do I need to do?

You need to do nothing, we will recalculate your Direct Debit, based on new rents, charges and benefits, where applicable, and will notify you of the amount we will be taking, before the first payment is due.

Can I choose when to pay?

If you pay by Direct Debit you can choose to pay by weekly payments, taken on a Monday, or by monthly payments, taken on the 1st or 25th of each month. If you pay by Bank Standing Order , on line payments or by using a payment card at a shop or Post Office,  you can choose when to make your payments, but please remember rent is payable regularly and in advance.

How can I check my balance?

Text the word BALANCE to 07520646606 and we will text you your balance.

Alternatively register online for i-Housing which enables Arun District Council tenants to access housing services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you would like to register for i-housing to access these services please complete our eform  https://www1.arun.gov.uk/officeforms/iHousing.ofml with your details and we will email you a password to the email address you provide.