Rent payments and advice – the services you can expect

Posted by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under About us - our Service Standards, Help in your home - MONEY matters, Help in your home - rent and benefits.

Click-and-pay-circle2-500pxIn addition to the support and help we offer before you become a tenant, you can expect a number of services once you have moved in.

We offer a wide range of payment methods so you can choose the one that’s best for you:

Online
Pay and check your balance 24 hours a day.

Direct Debit
This is the simplest and safest way: choose from four preferred payment dates. To start paying this way complete a Direct Debit mandate and return it to us by post or via any housing office.

Standing order
Print out and fill in this form then post it or take it in person to your bank or building society.

At our payment offices
Pay with a debit card, postal order or cash at payment offices including Gateshead Civic Centre.

Debit card
Pay with a debit card at any payment office or Gateshead Civic Centre.

Phone
Pay with your debit card by phone, 24 hours a day, by calling 0845 149 0002. It’s automated, safe, fast and easy.

Post Office
Use your rent payment card at any UK Post Office.

PayPoint
Take your payment card and cash to anywhere you see the PayPoint sign, including newsagents, supermarkets, convenience stores and garages.

Post
Cheques or postal orders can be sent to any payment offices. Please do not send cash by post.

Salary deduction
If you work for The Gateshead Housing Company or Gateshead Council, your rent can be taken directly out of your salary.

We will contact you within the first week of your tenancy to offer help and advice about your rent and any benefit issues you may have.

If you find you are having difficulty managing the cost of running your home, we can help you to get in touch with specialist debt and money advice agencies.

If we write to you about your rent account, we will explain clearly why we are writing, and will give you a named contact in the Rent and Income Team who you can speak to about any rent queries or concerns.

We will send you a rent statement every 13 weeks that is easy to understand, and give you at least 28 days written notice about any changes to your rent or service charges.

If you fall behind with your rent we will write to you the first week that your payment is overdue requesting you contact us to discuss this.

If you are experiencing difficulty paying your rent or any of your household bills, we can refer you to independent free debt and financial advice services.

If we need to take action for outstanding rent, we will always attempt to visit you first to discuss the matter and will write to you before we take legal action. We will always write to you to tell you the outcome.

Our service standards

We will:

  • Offer a range of ways to pay your rent and service charges
  • Produce clearly written rent letters, including an easy-to-understand statement, which we will send every 13 weeks
  • Give at least 28 days’ notice of changes to rent or service charges
  • Offer help to customers who are having financial difficulty, including help from specialist debt and welfare benefit advice services.

How we measure them

We will:

  • Ask if you are satisfied with the methods of paying rent, and the information on how much to pay
  • Ask if you find our rent letters and statements useful and easy to understand
  • Ask if you are satisfied with the advice available on rent or on debt.
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