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Direct Debit changes – Frequently Asked Questions

This page explains changes to Direct Debit calculations for 2018/19, if you’re looking for rent increase/decrease information we have other FAQs available

If you can’t find an answer to your question get in touch.

Included on this page:

How are Direct Debit payments calculated?

Direct Debits are automatically calculated to take an equal amount each month. In a full year this will be 12 equal monthly payments. If you receive part Housing Benefit this is taken into account before the Direct Debit is calculated.

The calculation may be different if your tenancy starts part-way through the year, or if there are arrears, but this will be explained to you.

Why has my Direct Debit increased?

To help customers to prepare for Universal Credit and support you to keep your tenancy secure, we are encouraging everyone to pay a little extra towards their rent. 

If you decide to pay extra, your Direct Debit amount will cover 52 weeks rent, putting your account four weeks into credit. Keeping your account four weeks in credit will support customers if there are changes in circumstances.

What if I can’t afford the extra?

We want to make it as easy as possible to get your account four weeks into credit.

Should customers prefer to spread the payments over two years, by building up two weeks of credit in 2018/19 and two further weeks in 2019/20, this can be arranged.

Our Money Advice team is always available to offer advice and support to any customers with financial concerns, including budgeting advice and help with applying for additional funding.

Is there an option to not pay extra?

Yes – but we want to make it as easy as possible to get your account four weeks into credit so you can:

  1. manage your finances better;
  2. make sure your tenancy agreement conditions are met.

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.

Will you evict customers who can’t pay the extra amount?

No – eviction is always the last resort and not something we consider lightly. Our Money Advisors will do all they can to support customers who may be facing financial difficulties.

Does this apply to all customers?

Having a rent account four weeks in credit will support all customers, whether paying by direct debit, online, directly or through a standing order. We will work with all customers to support them to make this change.

I’m not on Universal Credit, should I still pay extra?

We encourage all of our customers to pay a little extra towards their rent. Being four weeks in credit will not only help customers claiming Universal Credit, it will provide you with a safety net should your circumstances change.

Will I know if my Direct Debit changes?

Yes, if your Direct Debit is changed we will write to you with the new monthly amount. Your Direct Debit may change if the amount of Housing Benefit you receive alters or you fall in to arrears; if the amount you need to pay changes regularly then you must always check you are paying all of your rent.

  • Last updated: 28/02/2018

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