Paying my Rent

Paying your rent should be one of your main priorities as it's a key part of the tenancy agreement you have with us. It’s your responsibility to make sure your rent is paid, even if it’s covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

If you’re struggling to pay your rent give us a call on 0345 60 20 540 as soon as you can. We'll work with you to find a solution.

There are plenty of ways that you can pay your rent. Take a look below to find the right payment option for you.

Our app
Direct Debit
PayPoint
Allpay
Universal Credit

With our free app you can securely manage your rent account anytime, anywhere on your smartphone or tablet.

Downloading the app is easy and it’s available to all Midland Heart customers. Search ‘Midland Heart’ on the Apple or Android app store and register for an account.

Once you’ve registered you can:

  • View your rent balance and payment history
  • Make a payment
  • Update your personal details
  • Download your rent statement and proof of rent

Paying by direct debit means your rent goes straight from your bank account and into your rent account.

Setting up your direct debit is really simple. All you have to do is fill out our quick and easy Direct Debit form we’ll sort out the rest! We'll arrange to take the payment from your bank or building society on the date of your choice.

You can cancel your direct debit at any time by contacting your bank or building society but you’ll need to make alternative arrangements with us to pay your rent.

If the amount you need to pay changes, we’ll give you at least 10 working days notice so you can make sure you have enough money in your bank account.

You can use your rent payment swipe card at any convenience store that displays the PayPoint logo.

Don't forget to ask the cashier if the service is free!

 

You can call Allpay’s automated 24 hour telephone service on 0330 041 6497.

You’ll need to use your telephone keypad to key in all the details requested. This includes the 19 digit number on your rent payment card, so make sure you have it to hand.

Calls normally take around two minutes and are charged at the national rate (about 10p per minute).

Universal credit is the Governments latest benefit system which brings together older benefits such as housing benefit, job seekers allowance, tax credits and some other benefits.

I receive Universal Credit

  • If you’re already receiving Universal Credit housing costs will be included in your monthly UC payment.
  • You'll need to make arrangements to pay your rent to us directly.

I’m applying for Universal Credit

  • Let us know if you're in the process of applying for Universal Credit by emailing us on universalcredit@midlandheart.org.uk
  • If you need a rent statement for your application you can request it when you email us.

I'm not sure if I'm getting Universal Credit or other benefits

  • If you receive one large benefit payment each month this is Universal Credit. Housing costs will be included in your monthly UC payment. You'll need to make arrangements to pay your rent to us directly.
  • If you receive several smaller payments at different times of the month you are not receiving Universal credit. This means your rent is probably paid directly to us.
  • You can check your rent statement to see if your rent is being paid directly to us. You can also call us on 0345 60 20 540 and we'll check your account for you.
  • If you would like us to contact you and help you with your benefits please complete this form.

You can view or download your rent statement at any time using our app. You can also request a copy from us.

What should I do if I'm behind on my rent?

If you’re struggling to keep up with your rent you’ll need to call us on 0345 6020 540 to discuss the problem. We can only help you if you tell us you're having issues.

We can refer you to our Money Advice Team who will offer you free, confidential advice about how to manage your finances. They'll look carefully at your personal situation to offer the best way forward for you.

They can even help you to sort out your debts and benefits.

What are arrears?

You'll be in 'arrears' if you've missed one or more rent payments. This means that you owe money to us.

We have a set process that we follow to help you repay your debt. If you still do not pay we'll have to take legal action and you may be evicted from your home.

Have a look below for more information about at the steps we take and what you can do if you are in this position.

  • First Contact

    We'll contact you by letter and telephone to discuss your account with you if there has been a missed rent payment. This also includes missed payments from Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

    We'll help you to repay the debt as quickly as possible. We'll take your personal circumstances and income into account and make an arrangement with you. This is called first contact and is not part of any formal legal action to recover the debt.

    If you're struggling with debt or finding it difficult to budget, it’s always best to speak to us. Call us on 0345 60 20 540 so we can put you in touch with our Money Advisers for independent advice.

    The team may also be able to help you make sure you’re receiving benefits that you’re entitled to.

  • Notice seeking possession

    If you don't respond to the first contact or you don't keep the arrangement we made you'll be served with a Notice of Seeking Possession (NSP).

    This NSP is the first stage of formal legal action and could be the beginning of possession proceedings to repossess your home.

    The notice gives you a total of 28 days to pay all the money you owe.  If you can't afford to do this in one go, we'll make an arrangement with you to clear the arrears as quickly as possible by paying in instalments.

    The NSP is active for 12 months or until you clear your arrears in full. Once the Notice of Seeking Possession is active, we can consider possession proceedings to repossess your home if the agreed payments are not being made to reduce your arrears. 

    If your rent is in arrears because you’re waiting for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to be paid, it'll be your responsibility to resolve this as quickly as possible to prevent further action being taken. 

    If you're struggling with debt or finding it difficult to budget, it’s always best to speak to us. Call us on 0345 60 20 540 so we can put you in touch with our Money Advisers for independent advice.

    The team may also be able to help you make sure you’re receiving benefits that you’re entitled to.

  • Court warning

    If you receive a court warning you'll normally be given seven days to clear your rent account, make an arrangement, or resolve your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit claims.

    If we do take you to court we'll also request that you pay our court costs which will be between £250 and £325 and you'll also be at risk of losing your home.

    If you've received a court warning call us on 0345 60 20 540 so we can work with you to clear the arrears.

    The team may also be able to help you make sure you’re receiving benefits that you’re entitled to.

  • Going to court for possession proceedings

    Possession hearings are held in the County Court and a District Judge will listen to you and our Legal Officer to decide whether it’s reasonable to give you more time to pay off your rent arrears.

    If you've received a court date for a Possession Hearing because of rent arrears you should contact the Rent Payment Team on 0345 60 20 540 immediately.

    They'll be able to offer advice on what you should do to avoid us requesting possession of your home on the day of the hearing.

    What are the options?

    • We can ask the court to set an arrangement to cover the full rent and clear your arrears by agreed instalments so you can keep your home. This is called a Suspended Possession Order.
    • We can ask the court for an Immediate Possession Order if you have failed to make any contact with us and have not made any attempt to reduce your debt.
    • If you've reduced your arrears to less than 4 weeks rent we can ask for the proceedings to be adjourned on the grounds that you clear the remaining debt by instalments as ordered by the District Judge.
    • If you clear the full amount of rent outstanding up to the date of the court hearing and pay the court costs, we can withdraw Possession Proceedings.
  • Missing a rent payment whilst under a court order

    If you've been ordered to reduce your arrears by a court order, and have fallen into difficulty, you should contact us immediately to work out how you can catch up.

    We'll write to you with how much you need to pay. If you can’t pay this in one lump sum, we may be able to give you a little extra time to complete the payment.

    Remember, you always remain responsible for the full rent. If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit stops you’ll need to take all possible steps to get this resolved and keep us updated.

    If you ignore our attempts to contact you about this, and your rent account is not brought up to date, we will ask the County Court to set a date for your eviction.

    If you're struggling with debt or finding it difficult to budget, it’s always best to speak to us. Call us on 0345 60 20 540 so we can put you in touch with our Money Advisers for independent advice.

    The team may also be able to help you make sure you’re receiving benefits that you’re entitled to.

  • Eviction

    If you don’t make payments as ordered by the court, and you have not been able to bring your rent account up to date with the court order instructions, then we will advise the court and the County Court bailiff will set a date to evict you.

    You should contact the Rent Payment Team or our Money Advice Team immediately to discuss what you can do to try to stop this action.

    Even at this late stage it might not be too late to keep your home and turn things around. Call us on 0345 6020 540as soon as you can to see if we can help.  

How is my rent set?

The rent you pay goes back into repairing and maintaining your home, building new homes, and meeting the cost of future improvements such as new kitchens and heating systems. It’s important that we charge a fair price for our rent.

We'll also provide clear information on rent charges, reviews and annual increases so that you fully understand how we calculate your rent. You can also read this document to help you understand your rent review letter.

Please have a look at the information below to help you understand your rent charges.

  • Why am I paying service charges?

    We include service charges as part of your total rent and these are set out in your tenancy agreement. If your home has communal areas that you share with your neighbours your service charges cover things like:

    • Gardening
    • Cleaning halls and stairs
    • Shared lighting
    • Warden services
    • Rangers services
    • Laundry facilities
    • Door-entry systems and fire alarms
    • Cleaning windows

    We have fixed service charges for most of our rented homes. This means that the charges change every year based on a fixed formula (e.g. actual costs or increases in Retail Prices Index).

    We have variable service charges for our owned/shared ownership homes. We issue audited accounts out to residents each year and if the scheme has a surplus or a deficit this is rolled over to the next financial year for the scheme depending on the actual expenditure.

    A surplus means if there is a credit that is passed over to the residents so they pay less for their service charges. If the scheme is running at a deficit, then residents will have to pay more for their service charges.

  • Why has my rent gone up?

    Every year we review the rent that you pay for your home. We use a formula given to all Councils and Housing Associations by the Government.

    After four years of a 1% reduction to your rent, the government has announced that rents will rise by CPI + 1% from April 2020. You can read more about this here.

    The aim of the annual review is to create a fair system for customers regardless of whether they are a council or housing association tenant. Customers should be paying a similar rent to others living in the same size property in the same area.

    The rent review takes into account several factors:

      • The size of the property
      • The valuation of the property
      • The average household income for the county in which you live

    Rent increases

    • The Government sets a maximum increase level for any single year. Most of the rent increases occur in the first week of April.
    • We'll write to you before any increase, giving a calendar month notice of the planned rent increase
  • What if I disagree with my rent increase

     What should I do if I'm behind on my rent?

    If you’re struggling to keep up with your rent you’ll need to call us on 0345 6020 540 to discuss the problem. We can only help you if you tell us you're having issues.

    We can refer you to our Money Advice Team who will offer you free, confidential advice about how to manage your finances. They'll look carefully at your personal situation to offer the best way forward for you.

    They can even help you to sort out your debts and benefits.

    What are arrears?

    You'll be in 'arrears' if you've missed one or more rent payments. This means that you owe money to us.

    We have a set process that we follow to help you repay your debt. If you still do not pay we will have to take legal action and you may be evicted from your home.

    Have a look below for more information about at the steps we take and what you can do if you are in this position.