Rent and benefits - FAQs

Rent and benefits - FAQs

My income has reduced, what benefits can I claim?

Most working age people should claim:

  • Universal Credit - for help to pay your living and housing costs
  • New Style Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance - for help to pay living cost (able to work or sick), the claim is assessed on National Insurance contributions
  • Council Tax Support - for help to pay your council tax bill
  • Already claiming benefits - inform each benefit office about the changes to your income  

Type of Benefit

How to make a new claim or report a change of circumstance

Universal Credit

Online visit:

By Telephone: 0800 328 5644

New Style

Jobseekers Allowance

Online visit:

By Telephone: 0800 055 6688

New Style

Employment and Support Allowance

Online visit:

By Telephone: 0800 328 5644


Council Tax Support


Existing Benefits claimants

Check your recent letter for contact details and how to report a change of circumstance

What information do I need to make a claim for Universal Credit?

Refer to for information you need to gather before you start making your online Universal Credit claim.

Will Octavia be taking legal action against residents who don’t pay their rent? 

Taking legal action is always our last resort. If we do not receive the rent for a resident we will make multiple attempts to contact them to try and find out why they haven’t paid. We will offer them support, advice and assistance to try and help them get to a position where they can pay their rent and their other bills. As long as a resident responds to us and follows our advice, we will not take legal action against them.

The government’s guidance can be found here.

My benefit payments have stopped or my claim has been cancelled, what should I do?

Universal Credit - log into your online claim and check if you have any outstanding to-do-items that may have caused the suspension / cancellation of your claim. Write a note in your journal for your work coach, asking him/her to explain why your payments have stopped or your claim has been cancelled.  

Other Benefits - contact the benefit office by email (if possible) or telephone and ask the benefit office to explain why your payments have stopped or your claim has been cancelled.

Benefit Support - contact your Income Account Manager and ask him/her to make a referral to our Financial Inclusion who have nearly 30 years’ experience of delivering benefit advice (new and existing claims), budgeting and money advice, and are best placed to help. You have one month to challenge a benefit decision, so the sooner you contact the better chance we have of putting the matter right.

If I can’t pay my rent what should I do?

If you can’t pay your rent you should contact your Income Account Manager immediately, who will go through your situation with you and advise you on what you need to do. Your Income Account Manager may refer you to our Financial Inclusion team who can assist you with maximising your income, benefits (new and existing claims), budgeting, and managing payment of your essential bills.

It is really important that you contact us and let us know what is going on so we can help you. The sooner you seek help and advice, the sooner your situation will improve.

In addition, we can advise you to seek independent, impartial and free debt advice from:

Is Octavia offering a rent free period?

We rely on our rents to offer services such as maintenance and day to day repairs so we are unable to offer a rent free period.

I usually pay my rent at the post office but I can’t leave my home because I am unwell. What should I do?

We have a number of ways that you can pay your rent, these are:

  • By allpay - call 0330 041 6497, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will need your allpay reference number (you can find this on your allpay rent card) and your debit/credit card to hand.
  • Calling our Contact Team - call 020 8354 5500, you will need your debit/credit card to hand.
  • By bank transfer - you can set this up at your bank or online with the following details:

Sort Code: 40-06.09
Account Number: 00724556
Account Name: Octavia Housing

Please ensure that you include your tenancy reference number with the payment so our finance team can post the payment onto your rent account.