How do I set up a direct debit?
Contact your Income Team with your bank details to hand.
Why is my direct debit so high or higher than I calculate it?
A monthly direct debit is calculated by taking your weekly rent, multiplying by 52 weeks of the year and dividing by 12. You may also have an agreement to clear any rent arrears which will be included in your direct debit. If you have any further queries, please contact our Income Team.
Can you stop my direct debit tomorrow or change next week’s payment?
We are unable to stop or change any direct debit with less than 12 working days notice. This is because we have to send information to the banks much earlier than when your direct debit is due and we need to inform you of any changes before they take place as stated in the direct debit guarantee. You can however cancel a direct debit direct at your own bank but they will usually need 3 working days notice. If you do cancel a direct debit with your bank, please let your income officer know.
Why does my rent statement show arrears when I don’t pay my rent; I’m on full housing benefit?
Housing Benefit is usually paid four weeks in arrears. As your rent is charged weekly, your account will be in arrears for at least three weeks in every four. When we send the rent statements, they will state the amount outstanding at the time they are printed without taking into account what Housing Benefit may yet be due. Check the amount outstanding on the same week Housing Benefit is paid and if there is any balance outstanding, please contact our Income Team.
Can I claim benefits if my wages decrease or I’m off sick and only receive statutory sick pay?
If your household income drops significantly, you may be entitled to Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, tax credits and other benefits. Please contact the Housing and Council Tax benefit department at your local council and the Inland Revenue to check. You can also check your entitlement online.
How do I contact housing benefit and why would I need to contact them?
Housing Benefit departments are based at your local council offices, so check the phone book for ‘Housing and Council Tax Benefit’. You will also find the contact details on the last letter you received from the council if you have been claiming either benefit. You would need to contact them for the following reasons:
When the Jobcentre gives me forms for Housing & Council Tax Benefit, do I still need to contact the Housing Benefit department?
If you complete the forms and send these to the Jobcentre, they should forward these to the Housing Benefit department of your local Council. You will need to provide proof of your rent to the Council so we would encourage you to contact your local Council to ensure that your claim for Housing and Council Tax Benefit is logged (in case your forms fail to arrive). You can then arrange to send in any evidence/proof in support of your claim that the Council will need.
I can’t pay my rent; what should I do?
Contact our Income Team straight away. We can offer help and advice as well as making arrangements to clear any arrears you may have. We can also check if you are entitled to any benefits and even get the forms sent out to you.
Why does my statement show arrears?
If you are on Housing Benefit, the payments are received in arrears. Please see the Housing Benefit section for further information. If you are not on Housing Benefit, you have not managed to pay the rent and services charges due. Your rent should be paid in advance, so even if you pay your rent in full after your rent has been charged, your account will fall into arrears. Also, you may have missed payments or paid late. In any case, please contact our Income Team to discuss your account, any queries you may have and to make arrangements to bring your account back up to date.
Why am I being chased for small rent arrears when I know other people owe much, much more?
We will contact anyone who is in arrears, whatever the amount may be. We are a non-profit organisation and need the income from rent payments to be able to continue providing our services. If someone consistently fails to make payments or ensure their rent is paid, they can be subject to further action including home visits, court hearings and ultimately eviction as a very last resort. Other people who have rent arrears may well be subject to this type of action and you would not be aware of it. If you have rent arrears, large or small, you must contact the Income Team to make arrangements to bring your account back up to date.
I’ve received a letter stating a Notice of Seeking Possession is going to be served does this mean I am going to lose my home?
A Notice of Seeking Possession is not an eviction notice nor does it mean you are going to lose your home. This letter gives an appointment when the Income Officer will visit you and explain the details of the Notice. It is important you attend this appointment as the Income Officer will be able to explain the Notice fully and answer any questions you may have. A Notice is normally served due to you having rent arrears. Once the Notice has been served to you, you have approximately 4 weeks to make an arrangement to pay the arrears (in full or in instalments) and keep to the arrangement. If the arrangement is broken, this can result in an application to court. Notices are served regardless of the reasons for arrears - whether they are due to Housing Benefit or non-payment.
Can you evict me even though I have a family?
We start procedures for eviction due to serious rent arrears. We will try to help, offer advice and referrals to appropriate agencies but ultimately, if you persistently fail to pay the rent, you could lose your home. This is regardless of who lives with you or if you have a family.
How long will my refund take to arrive?
Your refund will be processed by the Income Team and will be sent to you in approximately three weeks. The amount is removed from your account, placed on a weekly payment run and then sent to you. Cheques and payments direct into your bank account should be received on a Tuesday. Smaller refunds may be received slightly sooner due to our process of approval for larger amounts. If you think you are entitled to a refund, please contact the Income Team.
How do I find out what my service charges are?
Your services charges are listed either in your tenancy agreement or on an additional page provided with your agreement. You will receive a letter from us each time your rent or service charges change – usually once each year. If you need a copy of your tenancy agreement, please contact our Neighbourhood Team.
Where are your offices?
Our main office is in Norwich and we have another office in Cambridge. Click here to find out more information about visiting our offices.
Why can’t I get through/am I on hold for so long to customer services?
We are sorry if you have experienced delays in your call being answered. We have recently recruited additional members of staff to ensure that there are Customer Service Advisers available to take your calls between the hours of 8.30am-5pm Monday to Friday. Monday morning is historically very busy on the telephones and we would recommend avoiding calling at this time with any non-urgent requests. Don’t forget – you can report repairs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on this website. Click here to report a repair online.
What is the difference between the Rent Team and the Income Team?
The Rents Team deal with payments received, charges, account administration and ensuring your rent account is correct.
The Income Team deal with tenants to ensure payments are made, offer advice, help and referrals, visit you if necessary and assist with Housing Benefit claims.
Why can’t my relative/friend call and talk about my rent account?
Due to the Data Protection Act 1998, we are unable to share information about you or your account with anyone else without your permission. This includes a spouse, partner, child, parent or advocate. We can discuss your account and tenancy with someone else if we have written permission from you or if someone has power of attorney for you and they can provide proof of this.
What does tolerated trespasser mean?
Tolerated Trespasser describes someone who is living at a property without a current tenancy agreement, but who we are allowing to remain there. This usually occurs for the following reasons:
In any case, please seek independent advice from a solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau, particularly if you fall back into arrears or wish to mutually exchange your property.
How long will my rent card take to arrive?
Your rent card should arrive within five working days of your tenancy starting or your request for a replacement card. There are many other methods of payment so if your rent card has not yet arrived and you are due to make a payment, please contact our Income Team to discuss other forms of payment.
Why do I have to pay my rent in advance?
Your tenancy agreement states that your rent should be paid in advance. This is true for most landlords, whether private or social. If you pay your rent in arrears and you have trouble paying in the future, your arrears will be much higher and it will be much harder to clear them. If you pay weekly, your rent should be paid a week in advance, monthly and your rent should be paid monthly in advance etc.
If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit, we understand that this is paid in arrears and we realise you are unable to change this. Therefore, we ask that you pay only one week’s advance rent onto your account, in line with what we ask of a tenant who is paying weekly and not in receipt of housing benefit. This does mean that your account may be up to three weeks in arrears before Housing Benefit is paid.
Your advance payment will stay on your account and will be refunded if you leave Wherry and there are no arrears on your account and no damage to your property.
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