From April 2018, the way we charge your rent will change, and you will pay less each week.

Before April 2018, if you paid your rent weekly, we would spread the yearly cost over 50 payments. This gave you two non-charged weeks each year. The two weeks you don’t pay are sometimes known as ‘rent free weeks’.

They aren’t really free - as you’re already paying around £3 or £4 extra every week all year round to cover the cost of the two weeks when you don’t make a payment.

What we are going to do is make your rent lower each week by spreading the yearly cost over 52 payments instead of 50. The rent you pay over the year will be the same, but you’ll pay about £4 or £3 less each week.

*However, you must remember that in 2019, there are 53 rent weeks instead of the usual 52. This happens every seven years.

Why this could be better for you

lf you are of working age and receive Housing Benefit, you will be moving to Universal Credit (UC) in the future. UC is based on your rent spread across 12 equal monthly payments, so 52 weekly rent charges is a better match with what you’ll receive with UC.

Will this affect everyone?

Yes it will affect everyone, as it is your responsibility to pay the rent, but you won’t need to do anything if you:

  • Receive full Housing Benefit at the moment.
  • Pay by Direct Debit – your payments are already spread equally over the year
  • Pay monthly – your payments are spread equally over the year already

What if I still want the non-payment weeks?

If you like having the two weeks when you don’t need to pay, you could still do this by carrying on paying your rent at the old amount and building up a credit each week to cover the weeks you want to miss.

How was this consulted on?

We have discusssed the changes at Get Togethers in October 2016 and October 2017: 

January 2017: We have listened to your views on these changes and have decided not to make any changes in 2017. 

October 2017: We discussed the changes again at the October 2017 Get Togethers and the majority voted in favour. 

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