Paying your rent

Your rent is paid in regular instalments on a weekly or monthly basis and usually in advance. There are different methods you can use to pay your rent:

  • Setting up a Standing Order from your bank account gives you control of your payments but make sure you don’t forget to cancel the Standing Order at the end of your tenancy
  • A Direct Debit will give the landlord more control while protecting you against error or fraud;
  • Some landlords may provide a paying in book to pay your rent into their bank account;
  • Paying by cheques is a safer alternative than cash;
  • If you do choose to pay by cash make sure you receive a signed receipt every time you make a payment.

Getting help to pay your rent

If you get Universal Credit (UC) you can apply for extra help with your housing costs by contacting the DWP.

If you don’t receive UC but you may be able to claim Local Housing Allowance. (LHA) is a government benefit for households on low income that can be used to pay some or all of your rent.

If you think you may be entitled to LHA you should seek independent advice. You will need to know how many rooms you and your household are entitled to and the LHA rate for households of that size in the city. To work out how many rooms you are entitled to you will be asked:

  • How many people live with you
  • How many of these people are couples
  • How many are single adults of 16
  • How many are children over 10 years old and their sex

Once you know the number of rooms you are entitled to and the LHA rate for your area you will be able to work out the maximum* you could be entitled to.

*Remember this does not include deductions for income, non-dependent charges and so on.

Usually UC or LHA this will be paid to you and you will need to make arrangements to pay your landlord.

In some circumstances payments can be made directly to a landlord or letting agent. Contact your local Housing Benefit Section or the Department of Work and Pensions for help.

Rent Books

The law says that your landlord must give you a rent book if your Tenancy Agreement says the rent should be paid weekly or if the rent is actually paid weekly. A rent book that is kept up to date is a good way of recording payments especially if the rent is paid in cash and can be used to resolve any disputes.

Can my rent increase?
If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy or and Assured Tenancy your landlord can only increase your rent once a year unless they have your permission to increase it more regularly.

Can I get help with the rent?
If you are struggling to pay your rent there may be benefits available to help if you are unemployed or on a low income.