Paying rent and service charges - leaseholders

If you need financial advice or support due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), please view our guidance here 

As a leaseholder, owning 100% of your property, your lease may require you to pay ground rent. In some cases this will be paid annually or monthly with your service charges. You will be informed of the monthly rent that you need to pay in advance if appropriate.

Service charges are your share of the cost of managing, providing services and carrying out repairs to the communal parts of your block or scheme. As with ground rent, some are charged annually and some are charged monthly. Please refer to your lease agreement to clarify how you are required to pay.

Your ground rent

Your lease will set out the basis of assessment of the rent and the method by which any future increases will be calculated.

Payment of rent is a condition of your lease and if you do not pay the amount due you will have to pay late payment fees or interest charges. If you continually fail to pay the rent, then we may decide to apply for possession or forfeiture. This is a very serious step and will result in you losing your home including any equity/deposit that you put into the property.

Paying and viewing your ground rent

If you pay your service charge every month, your ground rent will be collected within your monthly direct debit.

Your ground rent is due on the date specified in your lease. You can view your rent account and all transactions at any time through our mobile app, My Octavia.

Paying by direct debit

The easiest way for you to pay your rent is by Direct Debit. You can set up a Direct Debit over the phone with our contact team or your income account manager. Once it has been set up, your rent will be automatically paid from your bank account without you having to do anything. Your rent account will be credited on the same day that the payment leaves your bank account.

Direct Debits are easy to manage as you do not have to tell your bank if your rent or service charges change. They can also help you to budget your weekly and monthly expenses.

If you start to pay your rent by Direct Debit, we will automatically enter you into a quarterly draw to win £250.

Other ways to pay

You can also pay your rent:

  • Using My Octavia, our mobile app
  • At a PayPoint or Payzone store using an Octavia swipe card with cash or a debit/credit card.
  • By allpay - call 033 0041 6497 with your allpay reference number and debit/credit card. Allpay is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • By debit or credit card over the phone – call our customer contact team.
  • By recurring card payment - call our customer contact team.
  • By standing order: you can set this up at your bank with the following details - Sort Code: 40-06-09, Account 00724556, Bank Address: Octavia Housing, HSBC, 90 Baker Street, London, W1U 6AX. Please ensure that you include your tenancy reference number with the payment so our finance team can post the payment onto your rent account.
  • By housing benefit – at present these payments are usually paid directly to us by the housing benefit office.
  • By Universal Credit - under this system, payments will usually be made to you and you will need to make the payments to us.
  • By cheque – write your address and tenancy number on the back of the cheque and post it to us.
  • By bank transfer: you can set this up at your bank with the following details - Sort Code: 40-06-09, Account 00724556, Bank Address: Octavia Housing, HSBC, 90 Baker Street, London, W1U 6AX. Please ensure that you include your tenancy reference number with the payment so our finance team can post the payment onto your rent account.

Housing benefit

If you receive other benefits, work part-time, or have a low income then you may be able to claim housing benefit from your local council to help you pay all or some of your rent (if only part of your rent is paid by housing benefit, you are responsible for paying the difference). The rules about who can claim are complicated but your Octavia income account manager will be able to give you advice.

To claim housing benefit you need to complete a housing benefit claim form. Most councils will ask you to complete this online. You can also get a claim form from your local council housing benefit office. You will need to inform the housing benefit office of any change in your circumstances (for example if your income changes, you start a job, or you have a child) and provide them with any paperwork about your claim on time.

Universal Credit 

Universal Credit is a benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income or unemployed. It combines six existing means-tested benefits including Housing Benefit. People on Universal Credit will receive a single monthly payment for their living and housing expenses. They will then have to make a payment to Octavia for their rent. Please see the Welfare Reform and Money Advice section of our website here for more information. 

Paying your service charge

Your lease will determine the way you are billed for your service charges. There are two types of billing, either annually in arrears or by monthly instalments on account.

We collect service charges in line with the clauses laid out in your lease.

If you pay annually in arrears, you will receive one demand and statement of expenditure. This is due for payment within 28 days. If you do not pay within this time, we will charge you a late payment fee. The demand is usually sent out before the end of September each year.

If you pay monthly, we will collect an estimated amount each month. At the start of the financial year we do not know what repairs will be needed or costs will be incurred in your building or estate. For this reason, we include an estimate of your service charge to help with the cost of possible repairs and regular contracts (for example for cleaning the shared areas). For most of our leases, we send out an estimate of costs in February as our financial year runs from April to March.

Once the financial year has ended, we will work out how much we actually spent providing services to your property and to the estate in the previous financial year and send you details of the charges. If the amount is higher than the estimate we sent to you, you must pay the difference within 28 days. If the amount is lower, a credit will be put on your account. If you do not owe us other money, we will refund this credit to you on request. 

You have the right to inspect the costs included in the service-charge accounts. We will usually arrange for access at our head office. We may charge you if you want to make a copy of any invoices. You will need to contact your income account manager to make an appointment.

Difficulties with rent or service charge payment

If you are having difficulties paying your rent or service charge, please contact your income account manager.

It is always better to tell us in advance if you have any problems as we can direct you to specialist advisers or in special circumstances, come to an agreement on future repayment.

My Octavia app

Pay rent and view your statement at any time via your mobile app account

020 8354 5500

Ask for the homeownership team

Contact us online

If you do not have a My Octavia account you can contact us online here