Shared Owners – Are you in financial difficulty because of Coronavirus?
We know that this is a worrying time for everyone – and we understand that many of you will be affected financially by the measures that the Government has put into place, but we want you to know that we are here to help! We have put together some FAQs to help if you are in financial difficulty and worried about paying your rent.
If you need further advice and support, including helping you make claims for the benefits you’d be entitled to, call us on 0300 111 1133 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or as soon as you can.
What do I need to do?
If your household income has been reduced, we would recommend that you make a claim for benefits, to include the housing element for your rent. If you are entitled to Universal Credit, you will be able to request an advance payment to give you access to funds straight away but you will need to repay this each month over the next 12 months. The Government has put in place additional measures to ensure that claims are paid without delay and some people who may not have been entitled to benefits before, will now be able to make a claim.
If you already claim Housing Benefit, tax credits or you have recently been made redundant, contact the Money Advice Team as Universal Credit might not the best option for you.
All we ask is that you make a claim for the benefits you are entitled to and pay to us your normal rent once your benefits are in payment. If you have had to wait for your benefits to be paid to you, meaning arrears have built up on your account, we will come to an agreement for this to be repaid at an affordable rate, once things have settled down. Please email the rents team on email@example.com who will be able to help you set up this repayment arrangement. You can also contact them on 0300 111 1133.
What about my rent account?
We know that this is a difficult time for everyone, and we will continue to support you through it – but please keep in touch. We are committed to a ‘no eviction’ approach in line with national guidelines, and therefore we will not take any action for unpaid rent during this time if you are affected by Government measures or the impacts of coronavirus. There will be no interest or additional charges added to your account.
I’m not sure what I am entitled to. Can you help me?
We have a Money Advice Team who can advise you on making a claim for benefits. You can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 0300 111 1133. Alternatively use the online calculator tool to check if you’re eligible to make a claim for benefits during this time.
I’ve heard that mortgage lenders are offering 3 month mortgage payment holidays. Can I have 3 months off from paying my rent?
Mortgage lenders are offering payment holidays for up to 3 months for people whose income has been affected by the coronavirus. This will need to be paid back to lenders, and interest is likely to be added. The Government has introduced additional support which means that you may now be entitled to claim for your rent to be ‘paid’ whilst your income is affected. Please click here to check if you are eligible for help with paying your rent.
I’m already under a payment agreement or court order for my rent. What do I do?
If your income has not been affected by the measures put in place, you will need to carry on paying as you normally do. If your income is affected, and you are now unable to meet these payments, please email or call on 0300 111 1133 to discuss your account. We will assess your current agreement or court order to make sure this is still affordable for you.
I usually pay my rent at the local shop / Post Office and I can’t go there now. What should I do?
There are a number of different payment methods available to you.
- Use your AllPay card to make payment using the AllPay telephone line on 0300 111 1133 or you can pay your rent online
- Use your AllPay card to make payment by downloading the AllPay app for your smart phone
- Pay your rent by bank transfer using your online or telephone banking. Make sure you quote your tenancy number as your payment reference so we can allocate the payment to your rent account.
- Set up a direct debit– contact us on 0300 111 1133 to set up a direct debit.
I usually call your offices to pay my rent using my debit card. What should I do?
You can still call us on 0300 111 1133 to make a payment over the phone using your debit card.
Further support and information
- The Government have provided information and guidance for self-employed people and businesses faced with financial difficulties as well as a dedicated Business Support Helpline who can provide additional advice on tax and benefits.
- Universal Credit guidance for claimants that are self-isolating has been published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). You will not be sanctioned if you do not attend your Job Centre appointments.
We will continue to update our website if anything changes over the coming weeks. We appreciate that situations are changing on a daily basis at the moment, so if your situation changes, please keep in touch with us so that we can support you.