Rents

Calculating your Rent

Rents managed by the Housing Department fall into a number of categories:

For properties built by the Council before 2013, or converted into dwelling accommodation from common rooms in sheltered accommodation:

Council tenants who have been tenants of Winchester City Council since 2007 have rents set according to a national formula.

Council tenants who lived in their current properties before 2007 may have a slightly lower rent based partly on a formula used by the Council before 2002. The rent for that property will change when the property is re-let. This includes tenants moving to a new property as a result of a mutual exchange.

For properties built since 2013:

As per national policy, rents are based on 70% of an estimate of the rent for a similar property locally in the private sector.

Council Tenants on higher incomes – National “Pay to Stay” Policy:
A supplement to the above rents may apply, with effect from April 2017, where the household income (as defined by legislation) exceeds £30,000 per year.

Please note: for Council tenants, rents are charged weekly. Since April 2015 there have been NO rent free weeks.

Ex-tenants who have bought flats under the Right to Buy (and anyone who later buys the lease of the flat):


An annual Ground Rent applies.
For flats sold before 1985, Ground Rent may be £25.
For flats sold since 1985, national legislation fixes the Ground Rent at £10
Where the lease has been extended by 90 years through the process set out in the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, the Ground Rent is one peppercorn (ie nil).

Charges

You receive information each year about your annual service charge. It is difficult to include full details in the letter to show how these charges are calculated. The document below `Your service charges explained’ presents further information to explain the charges and show how they are calculated.

Please let us know if you still have questions so that we can update this information for the benefit of others.

Rent Statements

Rent Statements are no longer normally sent out by post unless specially requested, because of postage and printing costs.
Details of rent account transactions are available by clicking this link: My Council House

Housing Benefit

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, in advance.
    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.
     
  • Handitill
    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).