Paying and viewing rent - shared owners
As a shared owner, you pay rent on the share of the property we own. So, it you have bought 25%, you will pay rent on 75% of the property’s value. You will be informed of the monthly rent that you need to pay in advance.
Service charges are your share of the cost of managing, providing services and carrying out repairs to the communal parts of your block or estate. As a shared owner, the amount you pay does not depend on the proportion of equity you own.
Your lease will set out the basis of assessment of the rent and the method by which any future increases will be calculated. Different housing associations use different approaches. Some may link it to movements in the Retail Price Index (RPI), others may have a fixed percentage increase each year. You should make sure that you understand how your rent may increase from year to year before you complete the purchase.
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 your rent and viewing your account
Your rent is due on the first of each month. You can view your rent account and all transactions at any time by logging in to your account on our website.
We send out printed rent statements four times a year in January, April, July and October.
Paying by Direct Debit
The easiest way for you to pay is by Direct Debit. You can set up a direct debit over the phone with your income officer. 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 goes up. They can also help you to budget your expenses.
If you start to pay your rent by Direct Debit and pay for a minimum of three consecutive months, we will automatically enter you into a quarterly draw to win £250.
Other ways to pay
You can also pay your rent:
- online at www.allpayments.net
- at a PayPoint or Payzone store using an Octavia swipe card with cash or a credit card
- by debit or credit card over the phone – call your income officer or our customer services team
- by text - register online in the mobile payments section of www.allpayments.net
- by standing order – contact our customer services team for a form which you will need to give to your bank
- by housing benefit – these payments are usually paid to us automatically by the housing benefit office, although this will change under the new Universal Credit system which will see housing benefits paid directly to the tenant. You will then be responsible for paying the money to Octavia to cover your rent.
- by cheque – write your address and tenancy number on the back of the cheque and post it to us.
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 instalments on account.
We collect service charges in line with the clauses laid out in your lease. 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 bills for all yearly service charges using estimates of costs. Our financial year runs from April to March. You will receive an estimate of the following year’s charges in March each year.
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 one month. 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 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 officer to make an appointment.
Difficulties with rent or service charge payment
If you are having difficulties paying your rent or service charge please contact the home ownership team or seek independent advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB). Find out more about our money and debt advice services here.
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 a future repayment.