Paying your rent You ve got nine easy ways to pay

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1 Glasgow Housing Association You and GHA Rent payments Paying your rent You ve got nine easy ways to pay Better homes, better lives

2 You and GHA To stay in a GHA home everyone has to pay rent from day one. We use the money we collect to improve the services we provide like faster repairs and maintenance, more efficient close cleaning and easier rent payment. This booklet details all the ways you can pay your rent. If you need help with rent payments call us on Freephone Need to contact us? Call us 24/7 on Freephone visit your local GHA office write to us at GHA Customer Service Centre, Lipton House, 170 Crown Street, Glasgow G5 9XD you can also visit us online or send an to Page 2 Rent payment Page 1

3 Making rent your priority Your home could be at risk if you fall behind with your rent. As your landlord we ask that you contact us immediately should you be experiencing difficulties with your rent. We can provide helpful advice and assistance to get you back on track. Convenient ways to pay your rent We re always striving to improve our services and make paying your rent as easy and convenient as possible. So now there are nine simple ways for you to keep on top of your rent. All you need to do is decide which suits you best. Direct Debit Claiming Housing Benefit Many of our tenants are eligible for help with their rent through Housing Benefit. You can ask at your local GHA office for Housing Benefit information. Speak to our Welfare Benefits team. They can help make sure you re receiving all the benefits you re entitled to. If you d like to talk to a Welfare Benefits Advisor please contact your local housing office or call us on Freephone or you can also apply directly to the council online at gov.uk by selecting their Online Services option where you can access their Benefit Calculator and eclaim Form. Alternatively you can apply at one of the Council s Revenue and Benefits centres (see list on page 8). Housing Benefit In person Post 9simple ways to pay Online Phone Standing Order PayPoint Post Office Page 2 Rent payment Page 3

4 Direct Debit Direct Debit is an instruction to your bank to pay GHA agreed amounts of money at agreed times. We have a range of payment frequencies for you choose from, either weekly, fortnightly, four weekly or monthly. You ll be given at least 10 days notice of any change to these amounts or dates, and you can cancel the Direct Debit at any time. Your Direct Debit payment will show up in your GHA rent account on the day your payment is due. Sign up for Direct Debit If you pay full rent, simply fill in the form at the back of this booklet and send it back to us in the supplied envelope (or using the Freepost address on the form). When we receive it we ll contact your bank and make the necessary arrangements. If you receive partial Housing Benefit, we plan to make it possible for you to pay the balance of your rent by Direct Debit in the near future. Online We have launched a new-look payment website. This will make it easier and faster for you to pay your rent and other bills. It has some new useful features like: allowing you to make multiple payments so you can pay, for example, your rent and your lock-up fees in one visit showing you the updated balance on your account. Visit and follow the instructions to make your payment quickly and securely. You ll need your GHA rent payment card and your credit or debit card handy to pay online. By post You can send a cheque or Postal Order directly to: GHA, Wheatley House, 25 Cochrane Street, Glasgow G1 1HL Simple Convenient Secure Just complete and return the form and we ll do the rest. You can choose to pay weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly or monthly. Every payment is protected by the Direct Debit guarantee. All cheques or postal orders should clearly identify your rent account number and be made payable to The Glasgow Housing Association Limited. It would be helpful if you write your name and address on the back of the cheque. Never send cash through the post. Payments made by post will usually be processed on the working day they are received by GHA. The payment will show up in your GHA rent account on the next working day. If you ve any questions about the form, Direct Debit in general or if you re applying on behalf of someone else, please call our Customer Service Centre 24/7 on Freephone Page 4 Page 5

5 At your local Post Office You can pay at the Post Office using your GHA rent payment card. Payments made at the Post Office can take three to five working days to show up in your GHA rent account. By PayPoint You can pay your rent in cash at any PayPoint outlet. All you need to do is take your GHA rent payment card and money to anywhere you see the PayPoint sign, including newsagents, supermarkets, convenience stores and garages. Some larger PayPoint outlets, such as the Co-operative stores, will accept other payment methods. If your payment is over 200, your PayPoint agent may have to process more than one transaction due to limits set by the bank. Payments made by PayPoint can take three to five working days to show up in your GHA rent account. By telephone We now have two options when you call. You can either choose to pay by automated (often called touch-tone) payments or by talking to an advisor. Payments made using this method up to 5.30pm Monday to Friday will show up in your GHA rent account the following day. Call us 24/7 on Freephone to pay by debit or credit card. By Standing Order You can pay by Standing Order. However, please remember that you ll need to change the Standing Order amount yourself if your payment amount changes. Direct Debit changes automatically and could be more convenient. Standing Order payments can take up to 3 5 working days to reach your account. The PayPoint logo You can pay your rent anywhere displaying the PayPoint logo. In person If you want to pay your account in person, just drop into our ground-floor shop at 173 Trongate and pay by cash, cheque or with your credit or debit card using our new Chip and Pin facility. The office is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, except public holidays. Payments made using this method will show up in your GHA rent account the next working day. Page 6 Page 7

6 By Housing Benefit If you receive full Housing Benefit then your rent is paid by Glasgow City Council. If you receive partial Housing Benefit you are responsible for paying the rest. If your circumstances change, for example you find paid employment or someone joins or leaves your household, you must let Glasgow City Council know as it will affect your Housing Benefit. You can call Glasgow City Council on If you would like to speak to someone about Housing Benefit, please contact your nearest Revenue and Benefits centre. Glasgow City Council Revenue and Benefits centres Anniesland 841 Crow Road G13 1YT Maryhill 1 Gairbraid Avenue G20 8YA Springburn 30 Charles Street G21 2PN Easterhouse 1250 Westerhouse Road G34 9AE Parkhead 125 Westmuir Street G31 5EX Govan 780 Govan Road G51 2YL Shawbridge 24/34 Shawbridge Arcade G43 1RT Castlemilk 15 Dougrie Road (by appointment only) City Centre 45 John Street G1 1JE Our commitment to you There are certain standards of service you have a right to expect when you are in contact with our staff and contractors appointed by us. We call these standards our customer service commitments, and the following page details the commitments related to rent collection. We will Tell prospective tenants their likely rent charges, entitlement to Housing Benefit and balance of rent due Help you apply for any Housing Benefit entitlement from Glasgow City Council Consult with you on our proposals for changes to your rent and service charges When At the time we make an offer of accommodation At any time during office hours, on demand Annually We can help you to submit claims for Housing Benefit and we work closely with the Glasgow City Council s Housing Benefit centres to ensure that claims are processed quickly. Our Welfare Benefits service can help to make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to. Your housing officer can give you more information about this. Page 8 Page 9

7 Frequently asked questions Here are some frequently asked questions to do with your rent payments. When does GHA expect me to pay my rent? We have a four-weekly payment period and we have a range of payment frequencies for you choose from, either weekly, fortnightly, four weekly or monthly. You have options to pay to suit your circumstances, however your tenancy agreement requires you to pay 4 weeks rent from day one of your tenancy and then ensure this is paid every 4 weeks. You can get a calendar of these payment dates from your local housing office or by calling us on Freephone If you pay your rent on time you can join Glasgow Gold and get a range of benefits and prizes. Find out more by calling us on Freephone What happens if my personal circumstances change or my family s income changes? If you receive Housing Benefit you must inform Glasgow City Council as soon as you can as changes in circumstances can affect the benefits you are due. You can also call our Customer Service Centre on Freephone for further advice. Frequently asked questions (continued) What if I ve got a problem paying my rent? We understand there are many reasons why people fall behind with their rent but there are also lots of ways we can help you. Please let us know as soon as you have a problem paying your rent because when it comes down to it your home is what really matters. Don t wait until things are beyond your control. We re here to help and the earlier you let us know there s a problem the better it is for you and for us. We can work out repayment plans, provide benefit advice and help you access debt counselling/money advice services. What happens if I get behind with my rent? You should contact us immediately. If you don t, we will contact you to find out why your rent has not been paid. We use a range of ways of getting in touch, to suit your needs. This includes telephone calls and visits in the evening and at weekends, and text messaging. We use interpreters, lip speakers and sign language where customers need this. We will also provide letters in different languages, large print, easy read, Braille or other formats on request. We will ask you about your circumstances and encourage you to make regular payments. Page 10 Page 11

8 Frequently asked questions (continued) If you don t talk to us, or you don t keep the payment arrangement, we will serve a Notice of Proceedings for Recovery of Possession. This is the first stage of legal action. We will continue to try to contact you. We will continue to accept any reasonable offers of repayment during the legal action. But, where arrears continue to rise we will, as a last resort, raise an eviction action. Once a Sheriff has granted decree the eviction must take place. Please remember, paying your rent is not a matter of choice. If you don t pay, you could lose your home. What else will happen if I don t pay my rent? Deducting payments from benefits or wages If you don t keep to your arrangement to pay we may also consider: deducting payments from your benefits taking court action to claim part of your wages. Suspending your application to transfer If you are applying for housing with us or want to transfer to another property and you owe us rent, we may suspend your housing application until you have: made an arrangement to pay the debt kept that arrangement for at least three months continue to make payments. Refusing your Right to Buy If you have rent arrears, or owe rent for a previous address, your Right to Buy application will be refused. Contact us If you re worried about how you re going to pay your rent, call us free and in confidence we re here to help. The number is Freephone Alternatively, you can contact your local housing office where our local staff will be happy to help. Page 12 Page 13

9 How to complete the Direct Debit mandate Fill in your bank details here Fill in the name shown on your bank card The simplest way to pay Paying by Direct Debit really is simple, convenient and secure send us your completed Direct Debit form using the Freepost envelope supplied with this leaflet and we ll do the rest. Fill in your bank account number and sort code This is the number on your rent card How often do you want to pay your rent? Sign your name and date the mandate here Page 14 Start paying by Direct Debit Page 15

10 Please fill in the whole form using a ball point pen and send it to: The Glasgow Housing Association Limited Please fill in the whole form using a ball point pen and send it to: Direct Debit Team The Glasgow Housing Association Limited Granite Direct House Debit Team 177 Granite Trongate House Glasgow 177 Trongate G1 5HF Glasgow G1 5HF Name and full postal address of your bank or building society To:The Manager Bank/Building Society Name and full postal address of your bank or building society To:The Manager Bank/Building Society Address Address Instruction to your bank or building Instruction societ y to to pay your by bank Direct or building Debit societ y to pay by Direct Debit Service user Number Service user Number Reference Reference Post Code Post Code Name(s) Name(s) of Account of Account Holder(s Holder(s Instruction Instruction to your to your Bank Bank or Building or Building Society Society Please Please pay pay The The Glasgow Glasgow Housing Housing Association Association Limited Limited Direct Debits Direct Debits from from the the account account detailed detailed in this in Instruction this Instruction subject subject to the safeguards to the safeguards assured assured by the by the Direct Direct Debit Debit Guarantee. Guarantee. I understand I understand that this that this Instruction may may remain remain with The with Glasgow The Glasgow Housing Housing Association Association Limited Limited and, and, if so, if details so, details will be will passed be passed electronically electronically to my Bank/Building to my Bank/Building Society Society Bank/Building Bank/Building Society Society account account number number Signature(s) Branch Sort Code Branch Sort Code Date Date B anks and building soc ieties may not accep t Direc t Debit ins tructions for so me types of accou nt B anks and building soc ieties may not accep t Direc t Debit ins tructions for so me types of accou nt This is not part of the instruction to your bank or building Society This is not part of the instruction to your bank or building Society Rent Reference Number Rent Reference Number P roperty Address P roperty Address Please tick the appropriate box to select your payment frequency: Weekly Fortnightly Please tick the appropriate 4 weekly box to Or select monthly your on payment 1st frequency: 8th 15th 22nd 28th Weekly Fortnightly 4 weekly Or monthly on 1st 8th 15th 22nd 28th Rent Payment Arrangement Rent THE GLASGOW HOUSING Payment ASSOCIATION Arrangement LIMITED, 177 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HF is a charity registered in Scotland, No: SCO34054 THE GLASGOW HOUSING ASSOCIATION LIMITED, 177 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HF is a charity registered in Scotland, No: SCO34054 This guarantee should be detached and retained by the Payer. The Direct Debit Guarantee This guarantee should be detached and retained by the Payer. The Direct Debit Guarantee This Guarantee is offered by all Banks and Building Societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit The Glasgow Housing Association Limited will not ify you 10 working days in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request The Glasgow Housing Association Limited to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request This Guarantee is offered by all Banks and Building Societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by The Glasgow Housing Association Limited or your bank or building If there society are you any are changes entitled to to the a full amount, and immediate date or refund frequency of the of amount your Direct paid from Debit your The bank Glasgow or building Housing society Association Limited will not ify you - 10 If you working receive days a refund in advance you are of not your entitled account to, you being must debited pay back or as when otherwise The Glasgow agreed. Housing If you Association request The Limited Glasgow asks Housing you t o Association You can cancel Limited a Direct to collect Debit a at payment, any time confirmation by simply contacting of the amount your bank and or building date will society. be given Written to you confirmation the time may of be the request If an required. error is made Please in also the notif payment y us. of your Direct Debit, by The Glasgow Housing Association Limited or your bank or building society you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society - If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when The Glasgow Housing Association Limited asks you t o You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written confirmation may be required. Please also notif y us. Page 16 Page 17

11 Would you like more information? Freephone: Visit: The Glasgow Housing Association Limited is a not-for-profit housing association registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965, registered no. 2572R(S). It is also recognised by HM Revenue and Customs as a Scottish charity (SC034054) and is registered with The Scottish Housing Regulator under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 as a registered social landlord, no VAT registration no Registered office: Wheatley House, 25 Cochrane Street, Glasgow G1 1HL GHALFRENT/MAY14/100702

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