Rent

  • We will provide full details on how rent and charges are set in a leaflet called Rent Charges Explained which is available from the RMO office.

  • Each year the council will increase rents by no more than is set in the national guidance issued by the government and agreed by the council

  • For details regarding Lambeth’s "mylambeth" service please visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/mylambeth-help

We will help you manage your account by:

  • Ensuring the council sent all council tenants a rent notification letter in advance of the new financial year

  • Sending you each quarter a written statement of your account, within ten days of the end of the quarter; this is done directly by Lambeth Council

  • Sending you a statements of account on request

  • Dealing with phone and in-person queries about accounts on the spot if appropriate, or otherwise by sending you information within five working days

  • Providing guidance to our staff to ensure that confidentiality is maintained on rent accounts particularly when a phone enquiry is made or whilst you are in the RMO office

Help tenants with their rents by:

  • Responding to requests for rent references from outside agencies such as building societies within five working days (where tenants have given authorisation).

  • If they are entitled to Housing Benefit, working out approximately how much this will be before the tenancy starts

  • Helping them to complete Housing Benefits and other forms to claim benefit entitlements

  • Ensuring they have a rent payment card received by postage within two weeks of request or sign-up

  • Providing advice and support if we agree it is likely that they will have problems managing their budget and paying rent

  • By appointment provide time outside normal office hours when tenants in arrears can talk to someone dealing with arrears.

Giving you a choice of ways to pay your rent including:

  • Standing order
  • PayPoint
  • Direct Debit including a choice of five working days on which it can be collected
  • Online
  • By telephone
  • Cheque
  • Cash paid at the cash office

If you get into arrears we will take action when tenants fall behind with rent; we will:

  • Take all reasonable steps to make personal contact with you in the week following the date when two weeks arrears have built up

  • Write to you when two weeks arrears have built up to tell you about ways of getting help with paying rent and with dealing with debt

  • Focus at all times on talking to you throughout the time your account is in arrears as well as writing to you

  • Set out our approach to paying rent and dealing with arrears in the leaflet Rent Charges Explained, available from the RMO office.

We will make repayment agreements to clear arrears which:

  • Take into account your income and spending each week

  • We will confirm in writing any agreement so there is no doubt on what is agreed

  • We will not take any further action for as long as the agreement is fully kept to.

We will ensure tenants are referred to specialist advice on managing debts by referring people to debt advisors with whom we have arrangements

We will only take the steps involved in legal action after giving advance warning, in writing, that will be done; this includes where we:

  • Serve Notice of Seeking Possession

  • Apply for a court hearing to get a Possession Order

  • Apply to have a Possession Order carried out (an eviction)

The RMO will also:

  • Provide a summary of our performance on rent collection each year in the newsletter and at all times on the website

  • Review the ways in which we deliver rent services, and especially the standards above, and tell you how this review will be done.

 

updated 21/2/2018