Housing Benefit and Rent

Universal Credit (UC)

Universal Credit was introduced into Lambeth on the 8th February 2016 for new benefit claimants in single-person households with “straight-forward” claims. In addition, 528 properties in the north and the south of the borough served by London Bridge JCP has moved across to “full service” Universal Credit from October 2016.

Planned roll-out of the “full service” is as follows:

  •  Brixton  and Stockwell JCP – December 2017
  •  Clapham and Streatham JCP – February 2018

 It is anticipated that claimants in receipt of legacy benefits will transfer onto Universal Credit between July 2019 and March 2022.

From 6 April 2017, Child Element will only be payable for the first two children for all UC new claims on or after 6 April 2017. For claimants with more than two children, will be sign posted to claim existing benefits.

As part of the award process for Universal Credit, claimants are assessed by the DWP to determine whether they require additional budgeting support and / or to have their housing element paid directly to the landlord through an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA). Lambeth Housing Services (as landlord) are also able to request direct payment be made to us to cover the housing costs, however we remain reliant upon the DWP agreeing to this.

Please see as follows link for further information and guidance on Universal Credit - universal-credit-and-you-march-2017

Applying for housing benefit

You may be eligible for housing benefit to help with your rent. You are responsible for making the claim and for informing the Housing Benefit office of any changes in your circumstances, such as changes to the people living in your home or changes in income.

TMO tenants can apply for Housing Benefit if they are on income support, invalidity benefit, in receipt of family credit or working with a low income.

The amount of Housing Benefit you receive depends on your income. If you are in receipt of Housing Benefit, you will still be liable to pay for your water rates and in some cases, heating and hot water charges and a proportion of your rent charge.

If this applies to you, the Housing Benefit form needs to be returned completed along with proof of your income. Housing Benefit will not assess your case without proof of income. Please note that you are liable to pay your rent charges until your Housing Benefit has been assessed. If you do not fill in renewal forms or do not provide of income on time, Housing Benefit will not backdate your claim, which means that you will be responsible for paying full rent for that period.

 

Paying your rent

The rent should be paid on a regular basis. If you choose to pay monthly, it should be paid one month in advance. If you choose to pay weekly, rent is due on Monday, one week in advance. There are many ways to pay your rent, regardless of what method you choose, it is your responsibility to ensure the rent is paid on time.

For a list of payment methods, click here.

 

Keeping track of your rent

All residents can contact CETRA at any time to print a statement out or to ask for an update on their rent balance.

Lambeth also send out rent statements four times a year, or you can telephone the Lambeth Service Centre on 020 7926 6000 or email Central Income Team on citenquiries@lambethliving.org.uk, for a balance update.

 

Rent arrears

The tenancy conditions, which you sign at the start of your tenancy mean that by law, you must pay your rent regularly and not get into debt. If you do not pay your rent on time or you do not pay at all we will have to take legal action and we could end your tenancy.

You will also not be legible for any amenities such as parking permits, garages and sheds.