Rent restructuring - What is it?
Rent restructuring is a new way of calculating your rent, based on a formula that the Government is encouraging all local authorities and housing associations to use.
Winchester City Council's Rent Restructuring, begun in April 2002, ensures that rents are calculated on a single nationally set formula and eventually all rents will be similar to those of other social landlords in the area.
Why is it being introduced?
The Government believes that there should be a consistent approach towards setting rents by all local authorities and housing associations. It recognises that many different methods of calculating rents are used by Councils and housing associations and that this formula rent will make it easier for tenants to understand their rent.
The new formula takes account of the things that tenants are believed to value most in their home - the number of bedrooms, for example.
How is it being introduced?
The new rents are being phased in, starting in April 2002. The process will be largely complete by 2016.
Rent Restructuring is a separate calculation to the annual inflationary increase.
Any increase or decrease in your rent as a result of the rent restructuring calculation is subject to a maximum change of £104 per year, £2.17 for each week that rent is charged. This is on top of any increase for inflation, as measured by the Retail Prices Index.
The new rent does not include any amounts for services such as scheme managers, caretakers, and grass cutting or door entry systems. Where necessary, these will be charged as a separate item.
Calculating your Rent
The rent calculation formula considers a number of factors:
The average rent for a local authority property nationwide;
The number of bedrooms in the property;
The average earnings of manual workers in Hampshire, compared to the national average;
The market value of the property, compared to the national average for local authority housing.
Any changes to rent levels are notified to all tenants before the start of the new financial year in April.
Rent is charged on a weekly basis with four collection free weeks during the financial year. These fall on or around Spring Bank Holiday, Summer Bank Holiday, Christmas and the end of the March (or Easter when it falls in March).
The Council makes charges in addition to the rent for certain services.
Tenants in a sheltered scheme are charged depending on the level of support provided and facilities at the scheme.
Certain flats with intercom door entry systems incur a small charge for maintenance.
In a small number of properties a charge may be made for heating, water supply or sewage treatment.
Before the start of each financial year every tenant will receive a letter confirming the total weekly rent and charges due on their account less any entitlement to Benefit and where applicable the Supporting People Programme. Any changes to your weekly amount payable through financial year will be confirmed in writing.
A statement showing rent and charges due on your rent account less any entitlement to benefits, and payment you have made will be sent to you at the end of March, June, September and December. When you receive your statement you should check that all your payments and any amount in arrears have been correctly recorded.
Should there be any discrepancies with the information recorded please contact the Rent Accounting Section immediately so the matter can be fully investigated.
Some tenants may be able to apply for Housing Benefit to cover some of their rent. although not all charges are eligible for benefit. Tenants awarded any Housing benefit will be advised of any remaining payments due by the Rent Accounts section.
While rent charges are set in advance for the entire financial year, Housing Benefit depends on tenants current financial circumstances and can be subject to change. The remainder of rent payable by the tenants can therefore alter. Any enquiries regarding a change in the amount of benefit credited to an account should be addressed to the Benefits Section.
Methods of Payment
- Direct Debit
Direct Debit saves you time and hassle and is the most cost effective method for Winchester City Council.
The Direct Debit Guarantee protects everybody who pays by Direct Debit and means that you are always in control of your money. Make sure you keep a copy of the guarantee.
To obtain a Direct Debit mandate either contact the Rent Accounting Section or click here to print a Direct Debit form and once completed send it back to us.
Direct Debits are collected monthly by the Council, and there are currently two collection dates in any one month. Each payment covers the rent for that month. Therefore, in one financial year 4 weeks rent/charges x 12 months = 48 weeks rent/charges collected.
The Council can adjust the amount collected to take into account any change in the amount due, in these circumstances two weeks’ written notification will be given before the adjusted amount is collected.
- Standing Order
For a standing order mandate please contact the Rent Accounting section. You select the standing order payment frequency and amount and arrange direct with your bank. Tenants must either have a clear rent account before starting to pay by standing order, or make an arrangement to clear arrears as part of the regular payment
- Post Office
You can pay your rent at any Post Office throughout the country, providing you have your plastic payment card with you. Post Office counters are generally open between 9am and 5.15pm. Some smaller Post Offices are closed over the lunchtime period. Post Office cashiers cannot give you a balance on your account or advice on rent matters - you should contact the Rent Accounting Section, where the staff will be happy to help.
If you select to pay your rent by this method please remember to take your plastic payment card with you. Payments cannot be accepted without it. Always keep the payment receipt for future reference.
- Cash Office
Payments can be made in person at the Cash Office - this is open at the City Offices in Colebrook Street, Winchester, between 8:45am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday. The Cash Office can accept cash, cheques or debit card payments but not credit cards.
Please remember to take your letter with the calendar on the reverse with you so your payment can be receipted, along with your plastic payment card or a note of your tenancy reference number.
The Handitill is located in the Reception area in City Offices. It is a quick and hassle-free way to pay. Simply complete the details on the envelope provided, place your rent book and payment in the envelope, and drop it into the payment slot on the machine. A confirmation slip will be printed for your records.
- By Post
By Post - never send cash by post. Cheques can be sent by post to the City Offices. Please write your Tenancy Reference Number on the back of the cheque. Receipts are not normally given for this method of payment.
- By Electronic Payment
Via the internet, using our E-Payments System
Via a touch-tone telephone system. Phone Payments 01962 848 512. This is a 24 hour automated service, please have your reference number and debit card ready
(we do not accept credit cards).
|Title||Description||Where on this site?|
|General Information||Who can and cannot claim housing benefit and how to make a claim.|
|Some of the following documents are in pdf format. You can download and install a free PDF reader to enable you to read and print them. Click here to download Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Reader.|
|Rents - Direct Debit Mandate||92KB||
56Kbps Modem: Less than 1 Minute
Broadband : Less than 1 Minute