To help keep our customers secure in their homes while preparing for the continued rollout of Universal Credit, we’re changing the way we calculate direct debits.
From April 2018 to March 2019, we are encouraging all customers to keep their accounts four weeks in credit. This is designed to provide our customers with the peace of mind that there is money available on their account for a rainy day, but you can opt out if you want to.
If you decide to bring your account four weeks into credit, the four rent-free weeks will be removed from your direct debit calculation. By doing this you will see a small increase in your monthly payment amount, but by the end of March 2019 this will leave your rent account four weeks in credit.
The credit will then stay on your account, so if there are changes in your circumstances, such as a claim for Universal Credit, you will still have money available to pay your rent.
Direct debit calculations for rent
- Previous calculation: £94.74 rent per week x 48 = £4,547.52 / 12 = £378.96 per month
- New calculation: £94.74 rent per week x 52 = £4,926.48 / 12 = £410.54 per month
What if I can’t afford the extra?
These changes are voluntary and designed to provide more support for our customers, so we want to make it as easy as possible to get your account four weeks into credit if you choose to.
Our Money Advice team is on hand to provide financial advice and support, including budgeting tips, and they can also arrange for extra payments to be separated over two years.
This would mean that from April 2018 to the end of March 2020, direct debit calculations will remove only two of the rent free weeks.
Got a question about the changes? Take a look at our FAQs.