Thank you to those of you paying your rent on time.

You must pay your rent and any other charges on time. This can then use this to improve homes and services.

If you have a weekly tenancy, your payment is due every week on a Monday, but you can choose to pay every two weeks or every month if you prefer providing you pay in advance.

Most tenants’ rent is spread over 48 weeks (except caravan park, mobile home park, key worker, “market rent”, and shared ownership properties) – so, if you pay weekly, some weeks are “rent free”.  If you pay monthly by Direct Debit or Standing Order your payments are calculated so that you pay four weeks’ rent each calendar month. You must therefore maintain payments during months containing “rent free” weeks. If you owe rent arrears you must also maintain your repayment agreement throughout the year.

Paying your rent must be your first priority.

You can pay your rent in the following ways:

  • Direct Debit or Standing Order
  • At a post office or PayPoint outlet, using your rent payment card
  • By phone, using your debit card. Call us on 0345 266 9760 (calls are charged at local rate) during office hours, or call 0800 310 0000 outside office hours, with your rent payment card details
  • In cash at our offices (if you have no other method of payment)
  • By cheque (please make cheques payable to Luminus Group Ltd and write your account number on the back)
  • By bank giro or electronic transfer
  • Via the internet through the Allpay website.

We will send you a rent statement every three months, so you can check your balance and make sure we’ve received all your payments. If your balance has a minus sign, it means you’re in credit and you don’t owe us rent. If, on checking your statement, you think that you have made any payments that are not recorded, please send us proof of payment (e.g. the receipt or a copy of your bank statement) so that we can investigate and resolve any issues. However, please bear in mind that very recent payments will not necessarily be shown on your rent statement until they have cleared.

If you would like a copy of your rent statement or rent payment card, please call 0345 266 9760 or email info@luminus.org.uk, including your name, address and account number.

You can find your rent free weeks on the 2016 - 2018 Rent Payment Calendar.

 

What happens if you don't pay your rent?

If you do not contact us, or you don’t keep to your arrangement with us, we will have to take further action.  We will serve you with a Notice of Seeking Possession. This gives you formal warning that we intend to apply to the County court for an order to evict you from your home. You will then have four weeks to discuss the situation with us before we apply to the court.

In court, the judge can give us:

  • An outright possession order – with a date when you must leave, or
  • A suspended possession order – this is still a possession order but you can stay in your home as long as you keep strictly to the terms of the order, for example, you pay off the rent you owe.

In either case, we will be awarded court costs – adding at least £250 to your debt.

If you would like to discuss your rent, please call us on 0345 266 9760.

 

Struggling to pay your rent?

If you are finding it hard to pay your rent, contact us as soon as possible and we will do what we can to help you get back on track. The earlier you talk to us, the better.  We can usually make an arrangement with you, so that you can pay what you owe by agreed instalments on top of your normal rent. Please see our page 'Support if you are struggling to pay your rent' for more information.

We have a 'firm but fair’ approach to debt. If you miss a payment you don't always have to pay all of your debt in one payment. We can work out a repayment plan that you can afford. However, if you don't pay your rent and reduce your debt, you risk losing your home.

To seek advice and help maximise your income, contact our Income and Benefits Advisor on 0345 266 9760. Please speak to us first before using a debt management company, as their fees can be high and we may be able to give you the help you need for free.

Remember, you need to get in touch with us immediately. The longer you leave it, the worse your debt situation can become.

 

Credit U​nion

You may want to consider joining a credit union. Credit unions help their members to save money, plan for the future, and offer loans at interest rates below those offered by door-step credit agencies. Unlike banks, members mutually benefit as there is no profit for third-party shareholders. Luminus has partnered with Huntingdonshire District Council, local housing associations and debt advice agencies to register a local Huntingdonshire Rainbow Savers Credit Union. Find out more about the Credit Union.

 

Universal Credit

Universal Credit currently applies to new claims from single people in Huntingdonshire. It will be rolled out to everybody currently eligible for Housing Benefit, or for any other means-tested benefit such as Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Income Support. Please see our Welfare Reform leaflet for more information.

In order to receive Universal Credit you will need a bank account. If you do not currently have one, you can find out about setting up a basic bank account on price comparison websites such as www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/basic-bank-accounts.

 

Can you save money by installing a water meter?

If you pay water charges together with your rent, and there are only one or two people in your household, you could save money by switching to a water meter. To find out if you could save money, contact your water company.