Coronavirus - Paying your rent FAQs

I pay my rent in person at the Post Office, a Pay Zone outlet or Incommunities office and I am self-isolating / it is closed so cannot pay my rent this way, what alternatives are available?

If you are self-isolating or can’t get to your usual payment outlet due to it being closed there are a number of alternative ways you can pay your rent to us, these include:   

By Phone

You can pay your rent any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please ensure you have your debit card and your 11 digit payment reference number to hand. This is on your rent card or on the top of your statement.

  • Call us on 01274 254777 and select OPTION 1 to pay using our automated payment line or stay on the phone if you need to obtain your payment reference number.

Online   

You can pay your rent online any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please ensure you have your debit card and your 11 digit payment reference number to hand. This is on your rent card or on the top of your statement.

Click here to be redirected to our Online Payment page.
 

Direct Debit

Paying by Direct Debit is the easiest way of ensuring your rent is paid on time. The money goes in straight away and there is no danger you will forget to pay. Payments can be made weekly, fortnightly or monthly on a day that suits you. It’s easy – just call the Income Team on 01274 254777.

Telebanking

You can pay your rent over the phone directly from your bank account if your bank offers a telebanking service. You will need to provide your bank with your tenancy reference number from your rent payment card and Incommunities bank details which are: 

Barclays Bank PLC

Account Number: 80498890

Sort Code: 20-12-12

 

You can pay your rent at any Post Office or Payzone outlet anywhere in the country, but be sure to take your rent payment card with you.

This service is provided free of charge.

Post Office and PayZone Logo

 

I have had to self-isolate and can’t work. Can I have a payment break from my rent?

You still need to pay your rent but we realise you may need help from benefits to do this.  You will need to make a claim for Universal Credit at https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit for help to pay your rent for the period that you are away from work.  Call us on 01274 254777 and speak to one of our specialist advisors who will be able to help.  

Please don’t ignore the build up of debt – the longer you ignore the problem the more debt you will get into.

If you are worried about falling into arrears because you cannot pay us in the short term, you can discuss setting up a payment plan with our Income Team as soon as you can. You can contact the team on 01274 254777.   

 

My hours have been reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic and I am worried about having enough money to pay my rent. What can I do?

If you are struggling to budget but still can’t claim benefits call our specialist advisors on 01274 254777 who will offer support in helping you sort your money priorities.

If you are on Housing Benefit let us know by calling us on 01274 254777 and we will help you to make the right claim quickly to Bradford Council to help you get more help towards your rent. Please act quickly, if you can get more help you will usually only get this from the date you claim.

If you are on Universal Credit you will need to tell them of the change of circumstances via your online journal.   

If you are not currently in receipt of any benefits you may need to make a claim for Universal Credit at: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit  for help with living expenses and rent.
 

I receive Tax Credits but I have been told to self-isolate for 14 days, what can I do?

The advice is that you should do a ‘better off’ calculation. Our betteroff website https://incommunitiesbetteroff.entitledto.co.uk/home/start will help you see what you can claim. 

 

I was working part-time / was low paid and in receipt of Housing Benefit and now I have been laid off due to Coronavirus, what do I do now?

Because you will need money to live on, as well as help with your rent, you will probably need to make a fresh claim for Universal Credit at:  https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit However, if you have been working you may still be able to claim contributions based benefits – call us on 01274 254777 for advice.

 

I don’t want to make a claim to Universal Credit, I am on Tax Credits, can’t I just make a claim for Housing Benefit instead?

No. Rules mean you will now have to make a claim for Universal Credit but before you do check our benefits calculator https://incommunitiesbetteroff.entitledto.co.uk/home/start which will tell you if you will be better or worse off.

If the advice is that you will need to make a claim for Universal Credit https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit; new rules are in place to deal with Coronavirus so you won’t have to meet face-to-face in the Jobcentre.

 

I am already on Universal Credit but I am self-isolating, am I risking a sanction for not going for an appointment at the Job Centre?

Firstly, you must let your work coach know by updating your online journal or via the helpline 0800 328 5644.

The Department for Work and Pensions have new special arrangements for people in receipt of benefits who cannot attend jobcentre appointments because they are required to stay at home or are infected by Coronavirus.    

Disabled and sick claimants who cannot attend a reassessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit will continue to receive their payments while their assessment is rearranged. People who need to claim ESA or Universal Credit because of Coronavirus will NOT be required to produce a Fit Note.     

Claimants who inform the Department for Work and Pensions in good time that they are staying at home or that they have been diagnosed with Coronavirus will not be sanctioned.    

Claimants who are staying at home as a result of Coronavirus will have their mandatory work search and work availability requirements removed to account for a period of sickness. 

For the most up to date information visit the Department for Work and Pensions’ dedicated website page for Coronavirus.   

 

I am going to be on Statutory Sick Pay but I will have no income for the first 3 days. How does that work?

Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from the first day of sickness absence, rather than the fourth day, for people who have Coronavirus or have to self-isolate. If you need help to pay your rent you will need to make a claim for Universal Credit at: https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit for help to pay your rent for the period that you are away from work.  Call us on 01274 254777 and speak to one of our specialist advisors who will be able to help.

 

I am self-employed and I cannot work at the moment, what help might I get?

If you are self-employed or own a small business, the Government has announced that there will be support provided to those who cannot work and earn due to Coronavirus. Each case is considered on an individual basis.

For the duration of the outbreak, the requirements of the minimum income floor in Universal Credit will be temporarily relaxed for those directly affected by Coronavirus or self-isolating, ensuring claimants who are self-employed will be compensated for losses in income.

You should make a claim for Universal Credit at:  https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit for help to pay your rent for the period that you are away from work.  Call us on 01274 254777 and speak to one of our specialist advisors who will be able to help if you need advice on what to do.   

 

Is there any help and support available to help me claim benefits?

Yes, there is lots of support available. Incommunities Income Team provide excellent benefits and budgeting advice across the District and have helped thousands of customers claim benefits they are entitled to over the years. We listen, are considerate and will put you at ease as we seek to help. Call us on 01274 254777.

If you prefer to contact other organisations you can get help from:

Citizens Advice  0344 245 1282 (Bradford)  or 0800 144 8 444   (UC helpline run by the CAB)   

Step Change  0800 138 1111