Paying your rent from April 2024 – steps you need to take if your benefits go towards your rent.

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If you receive any benefits that go towards your rent there are some important steps you need to take in April

Universal Credit

Universal Credit will add a ‘Confirm your housing costs’ in your ‘to-do’ section of your Universal Credit account on 1 April 2024.  Your account will include details of your Universal Credit assessment period.

You must complete the ‘to do’ before the end of your assessment period in April 2024 or you will miss out on the money you are due.

Brighter Places will be verifying claims throughout April and May. Please do not worry if you have not had your costs confirmed by us. We will contact you if there are any issues with your claim.

If you don’t have an online account, call the UC helpline on 0800 328 5644. Make sure you have the rent letter we sent to you in February to hand.

How to confirm housing costs:

Go to your to-do list and select ‘Confirm your housing costs.’

Do not use the ‘Change of circumstances’ to-.do, to report your rent change.

Step 1

The first question is the date of the change.

  • Select YES if your costs have changed.
  • Select NO if they have stayed the same.

Then press ‘Continue’

Step 2 

You will now be asked about how often you are charged for your rent, and how much your rent costs. If you have a service charge as well as rent, this is the amount for the rent only. Service charges come later. The portal will remember what was last reported as your rent amount and the frequency.

Enter the amount of your weekly rent. For example, if your total amount was £150 per week (£100 for the rent and £50 for service charges) you would type £100.

Press ‘Continue’

Step 3

Finally, you will be asked if you have a service charge and how much that charge is. You will also be asked to confirm the frequency of the service charge.

  • For example, if your total rent is £150, (£100 for rent, £50 for service charges) you would type £50 in this box.

Press ‘Continue’

You may be asked for a breakdown of the service charges.  You can find this on your rent and service charge letter that we sent you recently.

Please make sure you complete the above before your Universal Credit assessment period finishes.

Housing Benefit

If your housing benefit is paid directly to you, you will need to inform your local council of your new rent and service charge.

If your housing benefit is paid directly to us, we will contact the local council. It is important that you check that they have your entitlement correct.

If your housing benefit goes towards your rent, , your local council will contact your to confirm your entitlement.  When you receive this letter, please contact us on 0117 942 4600 as soon as possible.  We can help you understand what you need to pay to prevent your rent account falling into arrears.

Direct Debits

We will amend your Direct Debit.  Please check that the amount is correct when it is debited from your account in April. If you have a payment plan, or court order with us, please contact us to agree a new Direct Debit payment.

If you need any further support, please do not hesitate to contact your income officer on 0117 942 4600 or email info@brighterplaces.co.uk