Service areas

BGRMO carries out a number of management functions:

  • Anti-social behaviour (residents only)
  • Bulk collection
  • Calculating and issuing service charge accounts
  • Customer service
  • Empty properties re-service under £5 k
  • Estate cleaning and caretaking
  • Estate improvements projects
  • Estate parking management
  • Facilitates mutual exchanges
  • Grounds maintenance
  • Lease compliancy for homeowners
  • Resident involvement activities
  • Stage 1 Complaints
  • Tenancy and estate management
  • Rent and service chargesRent and service charge arrears management
  • Repairs and maintenance under £5k
  • Revenue management

Rent charges explained

You are responsible for making sure that any costs related to living in your home are paid on time.

Lambeth Council sets the rent payable.

Rent

Rent is the money you pay to Lambeth Council to live as a tenant in your council home. All rent payments are due in advance. If you pay monthly, this is also done in advance.

How your rent is calculated

All social landlords across the country set their rents using a single formula. This is called rent restructuring. The formula sets rent levels based on the value of the property, the number of bedrooms and local earnings. On occasions the rent formula is changed by central government.

From 2020, social rents will be adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus one per cent (1%) for five years.

What your rent money pays for

The money Lambeth Council receives is used to look after your home. They are not allowed to spend the money we receive as rent on anything else. If tenants do not pay their rent, we cannot make day-to-day repairs on properties or provide services such as dealing with anti-social behaviour and keeping the estate clean.

Changes to your rent

The amount of rent charged for your property is usually reviewed at the beginning of each year with any change starting in April. The council will tell you at least four weeks before your rent is going to change.

Rent arrears

Rent arrears are what you owe in unpaid rent caused by late or missed or part payment of rent. If you have rent arrears you run the risk of losing your home.

Other charges

You also have to pay some charges, such as heating and your water rates. (These are not covered by Housing Benefit.)

Rechargeable repairs are raised when a tenant requests a repair which is not the responsibility of the RMO. For example, if a tenant locks themselves out and a new lock needs to be fitted or a tenant leaves rubbish to be cleared from a property they have left.  Please see the guidance leaflet "Your right to repair and recharges for repairs"

Checking your rent account

Please contact the RMO office for an up to date rent statement.

Paying your rent

You can choose to pay your rent using any of the methods below:

At the RMO office (cash is not accepted)

Swipe card at the post office or at any retailer displaying the PayPoint

Pay on line at: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/make-a-payment

By using the 24-hour telephone hotline 020 8290 2086.

At the Post Office

Standing Order or Direct Debit through your bank or building society. You can request a standing order form by from the RMO office.

By post; cheques and money orders should be made payable to ‘London Borough of Lambeth' and paid in at

Civic Centre
6 Brixton Hill
London SW2 1EG

You may also book an appointment to visit the civic centre at https://centrebookings.lambeth.gov.uk/

Keeping track of your rent

It's easy to keep up-to-date with your rent payments. A statement is available during office hours and will be delivered the same day it is requested. For an account statement, telephone the estate office on 020 7926 0158.

If you are having difficulties paying your rent, please see our guidance leaflets, "Rent: What happens if I get into rent arrears," and "The court process explained."

Rent: How to deal with rent arrears and other debts

If you are having difficulty paying or you have fallen behind with the rent or service charges, get advice as soon as possible. Even a small amount of arrears can be difficult to pay off, especially if you are on a low income or benefits. If you are waiting to receive Housing Benefit to help pay your rent, you must let us know.

Lots of people have problems paying bills because of money or personal problems. It can happen to anyone. It is important that you let us know if you are having problems so we can help you deal with them.

What to do:

1. Contact the housing office without delay

We may suggest an interview. This will allow us to:

  • Do a financial expenditure assessment, so we can see clearly what your incomings and outgoings are;
  • Give advice on what you can do; and/or
  • Agree a way you can afford to pay what you owe us
  • Refer you to a debt counsellor or for independent debt advice

Details of any actions agreed will be confirmed in writing immediately after the interview.

2. Talk to a debt counsellor

The National Debtline can be reached at www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

Lambeth Council also offer benefit advice service at www.lambeth.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/get-benefits-advice

You may also contact an advisor by telephoning 0800 254 0298 or Live Web Chat: www.onelambethadvice.org.uk

We also have Single Homeless Persons (tenancy support) referral and one to Centre70.

3. Maximise your income

Are you claiming all the benefits you are entitled to? You can use the online benefits calculator at www.entitledto.co.uk or  www.rightsnet.org.uk to work out if you have entitlement to any benefits. You can also telephone the office on 020 7926 0158.

4. Claim Housing Benefit

Housing benefit can help you pay your rent if you are on a low income. The amount you get will depend on your income, savings and your family circumstances.

You can make a claim on line at www.lambeth.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/apply-for-housing-benefit

For housing benefit and universal credit advice, please visit:

https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/housing-benefit-and-universal-credit

5. Apply for Discretionary Housing Payment

The council has a limited fund from which it can make discretionary housing payments (DHPs). DHPs can be made to people who receive housing benefit but who need extra help with their housing costs. In Lambeth these costs are administered by Lambeth Benefit Service, which considers each request on an individual basis.

You can make a claim for DHP at www.lambeth.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/apply-for-a-discretionary-housing-payment-dhp

6. Check your tax code

Check with the Inland Revenue that your tax code is correct for your circumstances. You can enquire online at www.hmrc.gov.uk

7. Switching suppliers

You may also be able to save money by switching to better deals on a range of goods and services.

Please contact Repower London for specialist advice.

Phone: 020 3674 7519
Email: support@repowering.org.uk
Website: www.repowering.org.uk

You may also compare prices when you buy goods on a website such as https://www.kelkoo.co.uk/ or www.pricerunner.com to make sure you always get the cheapest price.

8. Paying your rent arrears in instalments

If you cannot pay off the whole of what you owe us in one go we can arrange for you to pay by instalments with an agreed amount. This agreement will be on top of your rent each week.

9. Credit Unions

Joining a credit union may also be an option you could consider. Credit unions encourage members to save and give them access to borrowing at reasonable rates of interest. You can usually borrow two or three times what you have saved.

For more information please visit https://creditunion.co.uk/

10. Prioritise your debts

If is often difficult to pay everything you need at once. This is why you need to prioritise your debts. You should pay the most important ones first, and the less important ones in small instalments.

What are priority debts?

  • Debts that you must pay because the result of not paying them would be very serious.
  • Debts that could lead to you losing your home, being evicted, having your gas or electricity cut off or lead to fines, such as
  • Rent or service charges
  • Mortgages or loans secured on your home
  • Gas, electricity etc.
  • Magistrates fines for criminal offences
  • Child support

We will help you manage your debts by:

  • Advising you on which debts are most important.
  • Making sure that we take into account the other debts that you have when you are repaying debts owed to us
  • Suggesting debt counselling and/or Lambeth Tenancy Support Service if you have multiple debts
  • Ending garage and other non-essential services to help you save money.

Housing benefit overpayment

Some tenants have to pay back money to the government for claiming more Housing Benefit than they should this can be costly. However as long as the extra housing benefit was received by accident (rather than on purpose) it may be possible to reduce the amount of instalments.

Useful contacts

Centre 70
46 Knights Hill
West Norwood
London SE27 0JD

Phone: 020 8670 0070
Email: enquiries@centre70.org.uk
Website: www.centre70.org.uk

 

JobCentre Plus

For welfare benefit claims for people of working age, contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus.

Email: www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus

 

Pension Service

For pension credit enquiries and enquiries about other benefits for people of retirement age visit: www.thepensionservice.gov.uk


Community Legal Services

They will direct you to the nearest agency that can help you and will also be able to direct you to free legal advice under the legal aid scheme if you qualify for this help. You can call them on 0845 345 4345 or online at www.clsdirect.org.uk


Age Concern
Third Floor
336 Brixton Road
London SW9 7AA

www.ageuk.org.uk/lambeth/


Lambeth Citizen's Advice Bureau

https://onelambethadvice.org.uk/advice_guide/citizens-advice-bureau/


Lambeth Law Centre
Unit 4 The Co-op Centre
11 Mowll Street
London SW9 6BG

Phone: 020 7840 2000
Email: admin@lambethlawcentre.org

 

Age UK

www.ageuk.org.uk/


Department of Work and Pensions

Website: www.dwp.gov.uk


Disability advice service Lambeth

www.disabilitylambeth.org.uk


We are 336

www.weare336.org.uk


Carers' Hub Lambeth

https://www.carershub.org.uk

 

updated 20/09/2019