Rent and Universal Credit
My income has reduced / I have been made unemployed, what benefits can I claim?
People of working age should claim:
- Universal Credit - to help pay your housing and living costs; and
- Council Tax Support - to help pay your council tax bill.
Claiming Universal Credit:
- Online - www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-universal-credit
- Phone - 0800 328 5644
Claiming Council Tax Support:
- Online - www.gov.uk/find-local-council
- Phone - phone numbers vary, refer to your council bill
What information do I need to make a claim for Universal Credit?
Refer to www.gov.uk/universal-credit/how-to-claim for the information you need to gather before you start making your online Universal Credit claim.
I’m experiencing lengthy delays in being able to complete the identification section of my new Universal Credit claim.
The government is aware of the delays and are in the process of redeploying staff from other parts of the business to cope with the surge in new Universal Credit claims.
I can’t get through to Jobcentre Plus to book my Universal Credit first interview.
The current demand for first interview appointments is huge, however they are being completed by telephone. Immediately record an entry in your journal:
- asking your work coach to contact you directly to book your first appointment; and
- with the date and time of each phone call you make to try and book your appointment.
The government has announced that no one will be evicted for the next 3 months, does this mean that I don’t have to pay my rent for the next 3 months?
There is no freeze on rent payments, your rent will still be charged for the next 3 months as usual, so you need to ensure that your rent is paid on time. The government’s guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak
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.
If I can’t pay my rent what should I do?
If you can’t pay your rent you should contact your Income Officer immediately. Your Income Officer will go through your situation with you and advise you on what you need to do.
In addition, we advise you to seek independent, impartial and free debt advice from:
- your local Citizen’s Advice - www.citizensadvice.org.uk;
- step change - www.stepchange.org;
- National Debtline - www.nationaldebtline.org; or
- Citizen’s Advice via Octavia - contact your Income Officer on 020 8354 5500
I usually pay my rent at the post office but I can’t leave my home because I am self-isolating. 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 and your debit/credit card to hand.
- Using My Octavia, our mobile app. You will need your allpay reference number 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
Bank Address: HSBC, 90 Baker Street, London, W1U 6AX
Transfers and mutual exchanges
Can I still apply for a housing transfer, bid and view properties?
We are still accepting transfer applications from eligible households (those living in overcrowded conditions or with medical priority). Residents can bid for properties available via the Locata choiced-based lettings scheme. If your bid is successful and you are shortlisted to view a property, you will be sent a virtual viewing of the property, which is a video recording. Virtual viewings will usually be sent via WhatsApp to your mobile number or by an email link to YouTube.
Can I still mutual exchange?
We are accepting and processing mutual exchange applications. In order to keep you safe and successfully complete an exchange, you will be required to meet a Lettings Officer and sign the relevant paperwork in an open space with your exchange partner.
The flat next door is empty. When will this be let?
Properties will be let once the repair works in the property are completed, and an eligible person/household accepts the offer of accommodation.
Parking and permits
How can I get a parking permit?
Call our Contact Team on 020 8354 5500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be able to assist if your property is based where we provide a controlled parking service. We are able to issue you a permit if you are eligible and if there are spaces available.
Please note not all our schemes have parking spaces.
I have recently lost my job and unable to pay to renew my parking permit. What should I do?
Call our Contact Team on 020 8354 5500.
If you have recently lost your job due to Coronavirus and have made a claim for Universal Credit we can discuss the options available to you.
My permit expired recently and I am unable to return back to the UK. I am worried I will recieve a parking fine. What should I do?
Please contact our Contact Team on 020 8345 5500 or send an email to email@example.com so we can assist you.
Communal services – cleaning, rubbish & outside spaces
Are you still providing cleaning services to communal areas?
We are striving to provide normal cleaning services where staffing levels allow. Our staff are paying extra attention to areas such as door handles, door plates, lift panels and hand rails.
Do your cleaning staff have PPE?
Our cleaning staff are issued with PPE to protect themselves while they work, including masks and gloves.
Will the window cleaning still happen?
Our window cleaning services have been temporarily suspended as it is not considered essential. We will review this regularly in line with official advice.
One of my neighbours has been diagnosed with Coronavirus – will you be providing extra cleaning to the communal areas?
We will continue to provide normal cleaning services where staffing levels allow. We urge residents to follow official advice regarding isolation and social distancing to keep themselves safe.
Will grounds maintenance work continue?
Our contractors are continuing to provide our grounds maintenance service to our schemes. This will be regularly reviewed in line offical guidance and staffing levels.
Can we still use the communal gardens?
These spaces should be used in line with official Government and NHS guidance on social distancing. Where children are using these areas, they should be supervised to ensure that social distancing is applied at all times.
Can children use the playground / play equipment?
The use of playgrounds and play equipment is currently not allowed.
Will the rubbish still be collected from our scheme?
Local authorities are responsible for the collection of refuse and recycling, and will be facing difficulties and disruption to services.
We ask you to support your local refuse and recycling teams by securely bagging rubbish and placing bags in the correct bins. We request that you do not dispose of bulky items during this period as local collections are limited and/or disrupted, and bulky items can present a fire risk.
The rubbish hasn’t been collected, who should I call?
Local authorities are responsible for the collection of refuse and recycling. To report a missed collection, please contact your local authority directly.