METHODS OF PAYMENT
IF YOU CANNOT PAY THE AMOUNT IN FULL PLEASE CONTACT US TO DISCUSS REPAYMENT OPTIONS.
The following methods are available:
By Direct Debit. Download the Direct Debit Mandate form and return it to Finance Team, Kelham Hall or Please contact Customer Access Team on 0845 258 5550 for more information.
By Debit Card via at any time day or night: Telephone 01636 650000 and follow the recorded instructions
Via our website civicaepay and follow the links. (Debit Cards only)
By Debit Card in person at any of the offices below.
By cash or cheque at any Post Office, or at any outlet displaying the Paypoint. (You will also need to produce your plastic payment card.)
Newark and Sherwood Homes, Sycamore Road, Ollerton Telephone 01623 860740
Newark and Sherwood Homes, Eton Avenue, Newark Telephone 01636 655503
Newark and Sherwood Homes or Newark & Sherwood District Council will not be held responsible for cash sent through the post or left at any place, including Cash offices, without obtaining a receipt.
Rent payment methods vary in cost should you wish to receive this information on this or if you have any queries regarding the service please contact the Customer Access Team on 0845 258 5550.
If you are having difficulties regarding your rent account, or any other Housing issues, you may wish to contact any of the following:-
• Housing Benefits – 01636 650000 or e-mail
or visit NSDC website at http://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/
• Sherwood & Newark Citizens Advice Bureau – 01623 861769, 01623 861808 (Mansfield) www.adviceguide.org.uk
• Framework - 0800 066 5358
• North Notts Advice Line 0844 856 3411 Monday to Thursday: 10:00am to 2:00 pm www.adviceguide.org.uk
• National Debtline - 0808 808 4000 available Monday to Friday 9.00am to 9.00pm and Saturday 9.30am. to 1.00pm or via www.nationaldebtline.org it also provides an information pack on dealing with debt.
• Money Advice Centre - 0300 500 5000 or via www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
INCOME MANAGEMENT TEAM
Plastic Rent Cards
If you need a replacement card please contact 0845 258 5550 and you will receive one in the post.
HOW YOUR RENT IS SET
Newark and Sherwood District Council are responsible for working out and setting your rent, however they are required to follow a set formula using national Government guidelines to calculate your rent. This includes a number of elements such as:
• Average rents in the area;
• Average county earnings;
• Number of bedrooms; and
• Relevant property value and the area where it is located.
Your rent is reviewed annually by Newark and Sherwood District Council and you will be notified of any changes which will take effect at the beginning of April each year.
SERVICE AND SUPPORT CHARGES
In some properties tenants must pay for extra services as part of their rent, for example communal heating, water and other service charges. If you are responsible for paying any additional charges for your property, they will be shown on your portion of the Tenancy Agreement, which you signed.
You will receive a rent statement 4 times a year. You can also request for one at any time by ringing the Customer Access Team on 0845 258 5550, details can be posted to your address.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS PAYING YOUR RENT
Newark and Sherwood Homes will always work with you to reach an agreement to help you reduce the amount of rent you owe. Alternative payment plans are available so payments can be made when you receive your income. If you wish to pay fortnightly or monthly, rent should be paid in advance. Contact your Income Management Advisor to discuss your situation if your account goes into arrears, you may also receive a letter to remind you of your missing payment. If the arrears continue to rise, court action may be taken against the tenant. Newark and Sherwood Homes will always work with you to reach an agreement to help you reduce the amount of rent you owe every effort is made by us to prevent it becoming necessary to take Court action to recover arrears and possession of the property.
These are the steps we take to recover arrears and our Income Management Team is always available to answer any questions you have:
ADVICE AND INFORMATION
Rent is due weekly and if your account goes into arrears your Income Management Advisor will send you a letter to remind you of your missing payment.
Rent is charged on a weekly basis; however this does not mean that you have to pay your rent weekly. Alternative payment plans are available so your payments can be made when you receive your income. If you wish to pay fortnightly or monthly, rent should be paid in advance. Contact your Income Management Advisor to discuss your situation if your account goes into arrears, you may also receive a letter to remind you of your missing payment.
A Newark and Sherwood Homes Advisor is available every Wednesday morning at Newark Town Hall from 9am until 12 noon.
MAKING AN AGREEMENT
Should you be unable to clear all the arrears at once, please contact an Income Management Advisor immediately. The Advisor will, after discussing your existing financial situation, agree an affordable amount for you to pay regularly each week so that the arrears are cleared gradually, (although this may not be appropriate in some circumstances). This agreed amount will be in addition to any current rent that you are due to pay. The Advisor will also give you guidance as to whether you may be entitled to any additional help with paying your rent or direct you to another agency. We may also be able to visit you in your own home to do a financial assessment and help you with your budget or debit assistance.
If your arrears repayment agreement is not maintained and your arrears increase or a debt remains unpaid further action will be taken. You will be contacted again by letter, by phone, or home visit to give you a further opportunity to sort out the problem. If you still fail to reduce the debt you will be warned by letter that we intend to serve a notice to end your tenancy.
GIVING YOU NOTICE OF LEGAL ACTION
If a tenant fails to pay rent or breaches any aspect of their tenancy agreement Newark and Sherwood Homes on behalf of the Council has the right to evict the tenant by applying to the Court to repossess the property. Before we make an application for possession of your home we have to serve the correct notice to end your tenancy. This is a formal warning that we intend to take you to Court for non-payment of rent.
You still have time to prevent this by contacting your Income Management Advisor and making an agreement to clear the debt.
COMMENCING LEGAL ACTION
Once a Court hearing has been asked for you will be sent a summons by the Court office letting you know the date and time of the hearing. At the hearing the Court will grant a Possession Order if the Court agrees that a rent debt is owed, this is usually suspended if you make an agreement to pay your rent plus an amount to clear the arrears.
If you fail to make payments as ordered by the Court where a Possession Order is suspended, or if you fail to clear the debt owed, Newark and Sherwood Homes will write and advise you that it intends to apply for a warrant for possession of your home.
Please be assured that Newark and Sherwood Homes always try to avoid taking legal action whenever possible. You should let us know of any circumstances which may affect your ability to pay your rent. If you are receiving Housing Benefit you must tell the Housing Benefits Section at Newark and Sherwood District Council of any changes in your financial circumstances, family composition, and employment details of any family member if they change, as this could mean that you are receiving the wrong entitlement.
If you talk to your Income Management Advisor, they will give advice to avoid your arrears increasing. The Council’s Housing Benefits Section will also be pleased to assist you with any queries you may have about your correct entitlement.
Newark and Sherwood Homes is committed to early intervention and have implemented prevention measures in order to aid financial inclusion. We do not want you to lose your home. So please help us to make sure this doesn't happen, by sharing your problems as soon as they arise and co-operate in any agreement made.
ARREARS AT THE END OF TENANCY
If you already owe rent to the Council or other arrears as a result of a previous tenancy, you must repay these arrears as a condition of your current tenancy. When a person leaves a Council tenancy they become known as a “former tenant”. If there are arrears at the end of the tenancy Newark and Sherwood Homes on behalf of the Council will continue to pursue these, will discuss repayment terms with the tenant, and could, if payment is not made, summons the former tenant to Court to get an order for payment or the debt is sent to a debt collecting agency.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
FORMER TENANT ARREARS
What are former tenant arrears?
When a person leaves a Council property they become known as a ‘former tenant’ and any money left outstanding from Rent Arrears are known as former tenant arrears and must be repaid.
If a tenancy has been terminated because a Council tenant has passed away or gone into permanent care this is also classed as former tenant arrears and payment of rent is required until the termination date. If Housing Benefit was in payment, this will cease the Monday after death or from the date the tenant is moved into permanent care. See http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/caring/adultsocialcare/
What do I owe?
The first step is to call our Customer Access Team on 0845 258 5550 who can confirm the amount outstanding, supply rent statements and offer assistance with any queries you may have regarding the debt.
How can I pay?
• Direct Debit
• Paypoint with a Rent Card
• At a Post Office
• Debit Card over the phone
What if I can’t pay?
Newark and Sherwood Homes Rent Recovery Assistants are available to assist with help and advice on setting up affordable and realistic repayment plans to clear the arrears.
We can refer you to other agencies such as Citizens Advice Bureau and Framework for further assistance and advice. Please contact on 0845 258 5550 for further details.
What will happen if I don’t pay?
- Legal action may be taken
- You may lose your right for relocation or exchange
- You may be in breach of your current tenancy
- Your home may be at risk if you have signed a special conditions agreement to repay your Former Tenancy debt
- Your Debt will be passed to a Debt Collection Agency for recovery which will incur extra costs and may affect your credit rating