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Housing Rents

Housing Rent

Flintshire County Council owns and manages approximately 7,500 properties and 1,750 garages. These are mainly concentrated in estates with a mixture of houses, flats and bungalows with more being built each year, There are also some sheltered schemes for older people. When you sign a tenancy agreement for a council property you are signing on the agreement that you make regular payments in regards to your rent. 





Rent is always added to the rent account on a Monday 

You will be issued with a Tenancy Charge letter when you commence a tenancy and every April thereafter with a breakdown of rent and other charges. You can request a replacement tenancy charge letter by visiting your local connects centre or by contacting income advisor
Tel: 01352 703838.
A statement of your rent account will be sent to you every 3 months and on request, showing an up to date account balance. 

Each year the rent is reviewed for all council tenants. The rent you pay is used to pay for the services to maintain your home, carry out repairs and undertake property improvements as part of the Council's priority to modernise council homes.

The way in which the council calculate rent increases is determined by a Welsh Government formula. You will receive written notification at least for weeks prior to a change in your basic rent taking affect. 

The council operates a two non- collection weeks which is shown on  your tenancy charge letter. If you are behind with your rent or other changes the non- collection weeks do not apply and you must pay any rent or other charges during these weeks. 

The council have a dedicated Income team which is responsible for the collection of outstanding rent arrears owed to the council. You may receive a call from your income officer to introduce themselves and confirm your method of payment. We ask that is you have any issues with paying your rent that you contact your income officer as soon as possible to make arrangements and any support you may need. To find out who your income officer is, their name and contact details can be found on your tenancy charge letter or contact an income advisor

Tel: Income Advisor- 01352 703838.

If you are a joint tenant ( more than one person signed the tenancy agreement) you are jointly responsible for all rent or other charges owed to the council. 

Should you find yourself in rent arrears it is important that you contact us as soon as possible or when your receive your first letter from ourselves or further action may be taken if your arrears become unsatisfactory. 

If you wish to terminate your tenancy, your are required to complete a termination form which can be collected from your local connects centre, printing of our Termination form or by contacting your housing officer which will send one via email or post. 

Tenancy Agreement Policy

When you accept a tenancy with a council property you will be issued with a tenancy agreement, the tenancy agreement sets out both your obligations as a tenant and those of Flintshire County Council as a landlord. This agreement is a legally binding contract between yourself and Flintshire County Council.   

Rent and other Charges  

Your rent is used to pay for the housing services you receive. It is important that everyone pays their rent regularly and on time so that so that we can afford to provide high quality services. This section tells you about your obligations to pay your rent. 

Our Obligations:

 1. If we collect the gas charge, electricity charge, tenancy support charges, water and sewerage charges, septic tank charge, contents insurance, or the concessionary TV licence and other services as part of your total rent we will pay them to the appropriate organisations. 

2. We will give you at least 4 weeks notice in writing if we increase or decrease the rent.

3. We may increase or decrease other changes which are included in the rent with less notice than four weeks. 

4. You will be told in writing at least one week before any change to these charges. 

5. We will provide you with an up to date rent statement four times a year and when ever you ask for one. 

6. You may also be required to pay service charges. These are charges which are not covered by rent. Examples of services that may be covered are cleaning of communal areas, gardening and other services in communal areas. If there is a service charge it will be identified clearly on the tenancy details form. 

Your Obligations 

1. You must pay your rent and any other charges regularly and on time, Rent is due weekly in advance on a monday. 

2. Your rent may include charges for gas, electricity, water and sewerage, septic tank, contents insurance, or the concessionary TV licence and other service, if it does not you must pay for them directly. 

3. You agree that, if support services are included as a condition of occupancy, you will accept, pay for and make use of the agreed support services provided by us on your behalf. 

4. You must pay any rent arrears due in accordance with any agreement entered into with us. This also applies to any arrears accrued from a previous tenancy you have held with us. 

For all other terms and conditions please see our Neighbourhood Housing

Paying your rent

 There are several ways to pay your rent. 

Pay Online

You can Pay Online with most credit and debit cards .

Internet/Telephone Banking

You can make payments via our automatic payment system 01352 704470, This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A receipt number will be given at the end for your records. 

Alternatively you can pay by standing order or Internet banking. Simple quote the councils bank details- Sort Code: 54-10-10, Account: 72521775 and quote your tenancy reference number as shown on your tenancy statement letter.

Direct Debit 

You may wish to pay your rent by direct debit, when paying by direct debit your are covered by the guarantee which can be found on the back of the direct debit form. You can choose your payments to be taken weekly, on a Monday or monthly with either 2nd or 15th. 

Please note: There is a 1.45% handling fee for payments made by credit card.

Flintshire Connects Centres

We welcome payments via cash or card via our connects centres. When you make a payments please have your rent card to hand as you will need this for your rent account reference number or to scan your bar code into the payment machine. You will be given a recept for your payment. 

Your local connects centre can be found below. 

Flintshire Connects 

Non-Collection Weeks

 The council operates a scheme of offering two non- payment weeks of rent and for 2017-18 theses will be on the week commencing 25th December 2017 and 26th March 2018. If your rent account if in arrears it is important that you continue to make payment even during these two non-collection weeks. 

Payments must still be made if your account is in Arrears during theses non- collection periods.  

Housing benefit & Rent

 If you are entitled to housing benefit please make a claim as soon as possible and inform your income officer that you have done so as this may impact on your arrears during this period. 

Housing Benefits Application form

Housing benefits/Housing costs do not cover water and sewerage charges, heating, insurance, some alarm charges or garage rent, these must be paid by yourself. Failure to meet your rent may impact on any insurances you have with the council and therefore void any insurance your have with Flintshire county council. 

Changes in your circumstances.

If you have a changes in your circumstances, you must contact housing benefits as soon as possible as this will affect the amount of assistance your receive towards your rent and may include and overpayment. If in doubt, contact housing benefit 01352 704848 or www.flintshire.gov.uk/Benefits

Universal Credit & Rent

 The benefit system is changing and many benefits are being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit. Universal Credit changes - www.gov.uk/Universal Credit.

Housing benefit is currently paid direct to your rent account whereas Universal credit including housing costs will be paid direct to your bank account. It is your responsibility to pay the housing cost element to your rent account. You can make payments online via our online payment system

More information about Universal Credit is available at www.gov.uk.co.uk/universalcredit/overview

 

Rent Arrears

 If you fail to pay your rent and therefore fall into arrears your income officer is required to follow the arrears procedure, it is important that you contact your income officer as soon as you are aware of any difficulty paying your rent. If you contact your income officer as soon as possible your income officer may be able to offer support or referrals to tenants who are struggling to pay their rent. Failure to contact or failed arrangements can result in court proceedings where further costs are applied. 

The rent arrears procedure means that tenants will receive: 

Week 1 in arrears- First reminder letter 
Week 2 in arrears- Second reminder letter
Week 3 in arrears- Telephone call from your income Officer
Week 4 in arrears- Notice of seeking possession

Four weeks after serving the notice, is a tenant has not cleared or reduced their arrears , we will then consider commencing court action. 

THE COUNCIL HAVE NO LEGAL DUTY TO ASSIST YOU IF YOU BECOME HOMELESS DUE TO RENT ARREARS. 

Notice:

Serving a notice is the first step of the council's legal action to repossess your home.
There are two types of notices:-

Secure Tenant- Will receive a notice of seeking possession.

Following the notice, you have 28 days to make an arrangement for repaying the arrears. The notice is valid for a 12 month period, the council can apply anytime with the 12 month period to the county court for an order to evict your from your home. 

If you pay your rent in full during the 12 month period the notice will no longer exist. 

Introductory tenant- Notice of proceeding for possession. 

You have 14 days in which to apply for a review of the council's decision to evict you. If you apply for a review the review panel will decide whether your tenancy is to continue. If the decision is made to end your tenancy, the council will apply to the county court for an order to evict and your will lose your home. 

The council will apply to court 28 days following the issue of the notice of proceedings. If you pay your rent in full during the 28 day period the notice will no longer exist. 

Court Hearing

A court hearing is the second stage of the legal process. You will be notified in writing from the council informing you of the date of the court hearing. It is important you attend as it is your opportunity to discuss the reason for non-payment with the judge. 

Secure Tenants

The council will ask for a possession order to evict you from your home. However, the court may decide to postpone or suspend the order if you keep to the terms of the order and you will be allowed to remain in your home. You will be required to pay the court costs. 

Introductory Tenants

 The council will ask for a possession order to evict you from your home. This is a mandatory (fixed) order which means the court will give the possession order outright.

If full payment including court costs is made prior to the court hearting the court order will be dismissed. 

Eviction

Secure Tenants

If the court order is not kept the council will apply for a warrant to evict you from your home. Following an eviction you will still be liable for the rent arrears and court costs. 

Introductory Tenants 

As the possession order is a mandatory or fixed order you will receive details of the procedure and the eviction date. You should contact the housing options team for advice and assistance:-

Tel: 01352 703777 or Housing Options Team

If you require any help and support during this time please contact your income officer as soon as possible who can direct you to the support you require.  

Housing Support

 Debt Advice

Being in debt can be stressful and scary and support may be required to help you control any debt issues you may have, There are many options and support for debt advice,

Citizens Advice Flintshire- www.flintshirecab.org 
Tel: 03440772020
Alternatively you can ask your income officer to refer you for support. 

Shelter Cymru- www.sheltercymru.org.uk

Budgeting

Credit unions offer a convieniant way to save and the opportunity to access low cost loans and a range of other benefits. 

www.allflintshirecreditunion.co.uk 

Water & Sewer Charges

Water rates which include sewerage are included in some council properties however, should you wish to opt out and prefer a water meter to be installed you will need to contact the water company direct and arrange for this to be done so. You will also need to contact an income advisor to inform us of this change, proof of a water meter at the property must be provided before costs can be removed.

The Council collect water/Sewer charges on behalf of Welsh Water & Dee Valley Water for certain properties.

For more information see our Welsh Water leaflet,

There is also help available for low income households if you are struggling to pay your water bills.

www.dwrcymru.com/HelpU 

www.deevallleywater.com

Contact Details

 If you wish to speak to us about any rent enquiries you may contact your income officer which can be found on your rent statement. 

Tel: 01352 703838
Email: Rents@Flintshire.gov.uk

To subscribe to our Council online newsletter "Your Council", send your email address to communication@flintshire.gov.uk.

Data Protection

 Your personal information will be held and used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purpose of administering Rent. 

We may lawfully disclose information to other public sector agencies to prevent or detect benefit fraud, other crimes and to protect public funds. 

We may also use rents information about you to help you access our services more easily, promote the more efficient delivery of services or help us to recover money owed. 

You may need to contact us for any number of reasons e.g you are moving, you want more information or you want to make a payment. 

 

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