FAQs - Paying your Rent

Paying your rent

The health and wellbeing of our residents is our first priority so if you are struggling with your rent payments, please get in touch with us straight away on  rentsteam@tendringdc.gov.uk or 01255 686468 for advice and support.

We often receive queries from residents asking for ways to pay their rent, so we have put a handy list together for you:

•Online using the Tendring District Council website at TDC - Online Payments (e-paycapita.com) quoting your payment reference number.

•Call our 24-hour automated telephone line by dialling 0800 6783046, selecting option 3 and using your payment reference number.

•Bank Transfer/Standing order - send your payment to Tendring District Council, Account No: 225780568 and Sort Code: 30-92-09 quoting your Payment Reference number.

•Set up a Direct Debit by contacting the Housing Rents Team

•Rent Payment Card at any post office or shop displaying the Pay Point sign using cash or debit card.

•Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) - if you are in receipt of Universal Credit, we can request for the rent to come direct to TDC.

If you do not already know your payment reference number, please contact the Rents Team using the details shown above and they will be more than happy to help.

You can request a statement of your account at any time to help you keep track of your rent payments. Below, we have also put together some frequently asked questions to help you understand these statements, how we calculate your rent and where you can access support.

If I pay monthly how will my rent be calculated?  

The figure we use for monthly rent is the weekly charge multiplied by the 48 chargeable weeks of the year, shared over 12 monthly payments. There are 4 rent free weeks in a year.

For instance, if weekly rent is £100:

•£100 x 48 weeks is £4,800

•£4,800 ÷ 12 months is £400.00 per month

If you have any arrears, these will be added into your first few instalments.

However, 365 days in a year does not divide exactly into an even number of weeks (there are actually 52.14 weeks in one year) so every five or six years you will see there are 53 weeks in the rent year. This means that instead of multiplying by 48 and dividing by 12, we multiply by 49 and divide by 12. This will be the case from April 2024.

Your rent and service charge is applied to your account on a weekly basis, so your balance will also change weekly.

How should I pay my rent to ensure that I am in advance?

You will see in your tenancy agreement that rent should be paid in advance (unless agreed otherwise), so you will need to make sure you do this by whichever frequency you choose. Your account should be put into enough credit each time you pay to cover any charges until your next payment.

If your monthly rent is £400.00 per month, each time the monthly payment is made your account should go into credit for that amount. As rent is calculated over the course of a whole year, you may find that in a ‘four-week’ month the credit is exceeded but in a ‘five-week’ month it is not enough. Please make sure you make payments that keep your account in credit all through the year.

My balance is showing as credit, does that mean I can have a refund?

As explained above, the rent should be paid in advance by whichever payment method you have chosen. If your account goes into debit at any time between payments this is not fully in advance and so we will not be able to provide you with a refund.

We would only consider a refund if the credit was higher than the advance payment.

Is the payment I am making enough?  

Your account needs to be in credit all of the time, whatever payment method you use. If you get Housing Benefit (HB) or Universal Credit (UC) this will cover some or all of your rent and may leave a shortfall to pay yourself. If you are not paying enough to cover this shortfall, any credit you have will reduce, and arrears will build up. Even if you receive HB or UC, you need to make sure your account is always in credit, so you may also need to make extra payments.

If you have variable wages or other changes in circumstances that mean your HB or UC fluctuates, please bear in mind that you’ll need to change the amount you pay to make sure your rent is still covered.

Can I change my Direct Debit?

If the frequency of your direct debit payments are not suitable anymore, you can of course change them as long as you are sure you are still paying enough to cover your rent plus any arrears you may have. You may need to make payments a different way before, or while, you are setting up the new direct debit.

If your bank details need to be changed, you will need to cancel the original direct debit and set up a new one in its place. To do this, you will need to complete a new direct debit mandate and return it to 88-90 Pier Avenue, Clacton-On-Sea, Essex, CO15 1TN. We require the original copy to set up the direct debit.

When completing your direct debit mandate, you may notice a section asking for a tenancy number. If you do not know yours, please contact the Rents Team on 01255 686468 or rentsteam@tendringdc.gov.uk .

You can also change the date of your Direct Debit. We currently offer payments on the 1st, 8th, 12th, 20th and 25th. Please contact the Rents Team on 01255 686468 or rentsteam@tendringdc.gov.uk should you wish to change this.

At least 10 days’ notice is required to change a direct debit.

Why has my Rent Management Officer been trying to contact me?

Your Rent Management Officer will try to get in touch if there are any concerns about your account. If you get a letter, phone call, text or email from Rent Management Officer please do respond so that we can work with you to get things resolved – they are here to help and if you have any concerns about paying your rent, please do not hesitate to email rentsteam@tendringdc.gov.uk or call us on  01255 686468. Do not worry in silence if you are finding it difficult to pay your rent, however big or small the amount.

How is my Housing Benefit paid?

Housing Benefit (HB) is always paid weekly directly to us.

Is my Universal Credit paying the full rent?

Universal Credit (UC) is paid monthly but your housing element only comes straight to Tendring District Council in some cases. UC pays in arrears and will only pay the 4 weekly rent amount. Using the earlier calculation for monthly rent, you should be able to work out if the payments we receive cover your full monthly rent and service charge.

If the amount being paid by UC is lower than the rent being charged, it could be because of:

•Receiving other income, such as wages from your job, which may reduce the amount of UC paid.

•Your wages being variable. The amount of UC could change because of increased or reduced wages, either from a salary change or because your hours vary.

•The frequency of wages. If, for example, you are paid every four weeks instead of monthly, there could be more or less being paid in the monthly assessment period (MAP).

•Under occupancy, sometimes called ‘bedroom tax.’ UC or HB will be reduced if you have spare bedrooms; a reduction of 14% for one room or 25% for two or more rooms.

•The members of your household changing, particularly any non-dependant (adult) occupants. It’s really important that you let UC and Tendring District Council Housing Rents Team know if there are any changes.

Rent Free Weeks

•There are 4 rent free weeks every year. These usually occur in the first 2 weeks of April, the last week in December and the first week in January.

•Some payment methods will require you to pay throughout the rent free weeks as they have already been accounted for in your monthly payment amounts. If you are unsure if this applies to you, please contact the Rents Team on 01255 686468 or rentsteam@tendringdc.gov.uk.

•If you are in arrears, you may be required to pay through the rent free weeks. Your Rent Management Officer will be in contact should this be the case.

Why do I need to verify my Universal Credit each year?

Every April the rent is subject to change as per your tenancy agreement. It is important you let UC know of any changes as if not, it will cause a shortfall of rent. It is very important for you to update your UC Portal with the correct amount of rent/service charge you are charged weekly. You will also need to advise them of the 4 rent free weeks. You can verify these changes using your online UC journal or contacting your local job centre.

When will my Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) be paid?

An APA means that your Universal Credit (UC) payments are made direct to Tendring District Council. If a direct payment has been agreed by UC there are different schedules for this:

•In some cases Tendring District Council receive live payments – on the same date that you receive your own UC payment.

•There are also two sets of four-weekly payment schedules. These are not in line with claimant pay dates, but at set times to the landlord. If Tendring District Council receive a four-weekly payment, this is still paid to us as a monthly amount, so one schedule for each period will be skipped for claimants. This is to stop UC overpaying, while making sure the rent is covered over the course of the year.

What is a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) and am I entitled to claim?

•DHPs offer short-term financial support to help with housing costs, enabling you time to reschedule your budget or downsize. Universal Credit (UC) or Housing Benefit (HB) will be reduced if you have any bedrooms which are deemed to be ‘spare’ bedrooms. This is classed as under occupancy and known as the ‘bedroom tax’ (certain exemptions apply).

•The reduction will be 14% for one room, and 25% for two or more rooms. To calculate your rent shortfall due to this reduction, divide your weekly rent by 100 (e.g. £120.00 / 100 is 1.2). Multiply this by 14 or 25 (depending on the number of spare rooms) to get the appropriate shortfall figure (e.g. 1.2 x 14 is a £16.80 per week shortfall; 1.2 x 25 is a £30 per week shortfall).

•You can apply for a DHP from your local authority if you don't feel able to cover these costs.

Tendring District Council DHP Information:  Tendring District Council | Discretionary Housing Payments (tendringdc.gov.uk)

If I am struggling to pay my rent or my bills can I get help?

Are you struggling to pay your rent or other bills?

Are you unable to keep your pre-payment meters topped up?

Have you had a change in circumstances such as switching jobs, changing benefits, members of your household moving in or out, sickness or periods of unemployment?

If the answer to any of these is yes, and you are not already being supported by another agency, please ask for help from:

Tendring District Council Rents Team

Email: rentsteam@tendringdc.gov.uk

Contact Number: 01255 686468

Tendring District Council Fuel Poverty Officer

Email: fuelpoverty@tendringdc.gov.uk

Citizens Advice Tendring

Website: Tendring (cabtendring.org)

Consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133

Help to Claim Line – UC: 0800 144 8444

Mental Health Hub: 01255 225027

National Advice line: 0800 144 8848

Peabody  

Website: Peabody housing association – creating foundations for life - Peabody

Contact Number: 01206 773000

Areas Covered: All of Tendring

Services Offered: Food parcel deliveries, Welfare checks, Benefit help, Signposting.

Day Time Location
Monday 10:00-12:00 SOS BUS – Harwich – Kingsway, Dovercourt, Harwich – CO12 3JR
Monday 09:30-11:00 Embrace Salvation Army, 103 Old Rd, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1HN
Tuesday 10:00-12:00 Foundry Court, Colchester Road, Manningtree
Wednesday 10:00-12:00 Harwich Job Centre, 164 - 168 High St, Harwich CO12 3AT
Thursday 09:30-11:00 Enfold Baptist Church, Pier Ave, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1NJ
Thursday 11:00-13:00 Trinity Church, 84D Pier Ave, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1NJ
Friday 10:00-12:00 SOS BUS – Clacton – Opposite McDonalds in Pier Avenue Clacton on Sea, CO15 1QN
Friday 10:00-12:00 The Walton Community Centre, Standley Road, Walton on the Naze, CO148PT
Friday 14:00-16:30 Clacton Job Centre Plus, 55 Station Rd, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 1RS

National Debt Line

Website: Debt advice | Free debt advice | National Debtline | National Debtline

Contact Number: 0808 808 4000

StepChange Debt Charity

Website: StepChange Debt Charity - Free Expert Debt Advice.

Contact Number: 0800 138 1111

DWP Debt Management Team

Website: Benefit overpayments: How to make a repayment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Contact Number: 0800 916 0647

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