I'm struggling to pay my rent - what should I do?
If you are struggling with your rent payments and/or suffering financial hardship, then you should contact the Rents Team on 0121 737 5148 to discuss your circumstances. Contacting us as soon as possible enables us to provide you with the appropriate support and advice to prevent you from falling into arrears and to sustain your tenancy.
What happens if I fall into rent arrears?
Your rent should be paid on time as it is part of your tenancy agreement. If you fall into rent arrears, then you need to contact us to discuss your circumstances on 0121 737 5148.
If you do not contact us, our Income Recovery Officers will contact you to discuss the rent arrears and your household circumstances. You may receive arrears letters and text messages from us. Our priority is to help you sustain your tenancy and we will do our best to help you resolve any hardship you are experiencing.
Can I be evicted for not paying my rent?
If you do not pay your rent, then the Council can apply to the County Court for a possession order for your home. If you do not comply with the terms of the order, the Council can apply for an eviction warrant which could lead to you being evicted and potentially becoming homeless.
Eviction is a last resort and we want to help you, it is therefore important that you contact us straight away if you are unable to pay your rent as we may be able to set up an affordable arrangement for you to pay the arrears.
My Housing Benefit does not cover my full rent charge, what can I do?
If your housing benefit does not cover your rent charge it is your responsibility to pay the shortfall (this is the difference between how much you get in housing benefit and how much your actual rent charge is).
If you will struggle to pay the shortfall you may be entitled to some help. This is called a Discretionary Housing Payment or DHP.
What if I owe rent on a property I previously rented from the council?
Rent you owe from a property you previously rented from us is known as former tenant arrears and needs to be paid. If you are unable to clear the former arrears, you should contact us by calling 0121 737 5366 to arrange paying by instalments. If you do not pay the former rent arrears, we can take you to court to get the money back.
How do I make rent payments?
The safest and easiest way to make your rent payments is by setting up a Direct Debit. You will also be protected by the Direct Debit guarantee.
I have made a new claim for Universal Credit. What happens next with my rent?
When you submit a claim for Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions will notify Sandwell Council. We will verify your housing costs to ensure your housing costs are paid at the correct rate.
If your housing costs do not cover your rent charge it is your responsibility to pay the shortfall (this is the difference between how much you get in benefit and how much your actual rent charge is).
Your housing costs may not cover your rent if you are under-occupying your property and or have other adults who live with you in your household. If you will struggle to pay the shortfall you may be entitled to some help. This is called a Discretionary Housing Payment or DHP.
You should contact the Rents Team to discuss your claim and advise us of your first payment date. We will discuss your circumstances and provide you with the appropriate support to enable you to sustain your tenancy.
If you have taken an advanced payment, then you should use this to cover your rent and ensure that your account does not fall into rent arrears.
Why have I received a text message regarding my arrears?
The Council has an automated text message system to text customers who fall into arrears. To stop receiving the messages you should either pay your rent on time so that your account does not fall into arrears or contact the Rents Team on 0121 737 5148 if you are unable to pay on time to discuss making an affordable arrangement. Providing you maintain the arrangement you will not receive any further text messages regarding your rent arrears.
What is MyAccounts?
Your MyAccounts enables you to have 24/7 access to your rent account. You can use your MyAccounts to make payments, set up a Direct Debit, download rent statements and access useful support links such as benefit, money and employment advice.
Registration is free and easy and requires your surname, account number and date of birth. If you have a MySandwell account, select 'MyAccounts' and then register your rent account.