Paying your rent
Your rent helps us to maintain and make improvements to your home, provide housing services and give you help where necessary. Your rent and service charges must be paid regularly and always in advance. There are a number of ways you can pay:
Direct Debit is the easiest way to make payments (including rent, service charges and parking payments). Complete and sign the form and return it to us to enable us to set up a direct debit payment:
Call your bank / building society directly to arrange for the standing order to be set up. You will need our bank account details:
Head Office Collection Account
Housing Rents and Service Charges
Sort code: 57-20-40
Account number: 00000000
Please contact us to find out your swipe card / payment reference number before setting up a Standing Order.
If you have a debit or credit card, you are able to pay over the phone by ringing 0800 137 111 or 020 3617 7080 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you are able to use the automated payment line (which also operates out of hours) on 0203 974 4670 and selecting option 6.
To make an online rent payment visit the Housing Management online payments webpage.
Please make your cheques payable to, ‘Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’ and include your address and payment reference details on the back.
Please send a cheque or postal order to:
Director of Finance
PO Box 5523
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX.
At any post office
You can pay with cash or by cheque. Please make cheques payable to The Post Office Ltd. You will need your swipe card. Please allow three days for the payment to reach us
At the Town Hall
You can make payments by cash, cheque or debit card at the Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX.
If you are claiming Housing Benefit it will usually be paid directly to us. Remember though, your Housing Benefit does not cover the full amount of your rent. Please make sure that you make arrangements to pay us the outstanding amount.
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, your rent element of your claim will be paid directly to you so you will need to use one of the methods above to pay your rent. Direct Debit is our preferred option and you can arrange for your rent to be taken shortly after your monthly Universal Credit payment.
Late or missed payments
It’s important that payments are made on time. We collect rent on a weekly basis which is payable in advance. If you choose to pay your rent monthly you should make sure your account is one month in credit to keep in line with the terms of your tenancy agreement.
You will be informed of your rent charges when you sign your tenancy agreement. Water rates are included in your weekly rent and are not eligible for Housing Benefit. Some estates have communal heating charges which are also not eligible for Housing Benefit.
What should I do if I miss a payment?
If you’re having difficulty with paying your rent, please contact your rent income officer immediately on 0800 137 111 or 020 3617 7080. We can give you confidential support and help with:
- benefit entitlements
- Housing Benefit claims
- a payment plan to help you to clear the arrears
- money management advice and signposting to specialist advice agencies.
What happens if I fall behind with my rent?
We will try and contact you by telephone and letter. We can also visit you at home if you are elderly, disabled or unwell.
If the arrears continue to increase then you will receive a Notice of Seeking Possession, or Notice of Possession proceedings if you are an introductory tenant. This is the first stage in the legal process where the matter could be referred to court.
The notice gives you four weeks to pay the debt and also offers an appointment with your rent income officer.
A letter will be sent signposting you to local agencies who can give you independent advice relating to debt, benefits and money management.
If you do experience any issues with paying your rent, please contact your rent income office on 0800 137 111.
If no arrangement is made to clear the arrears within four weeks of a Notice of Seeking Possession being served, we may apply to the county court for a possession order. You must attend the court hearing.
In court we may ask for one of the following:
A suspended possession order. This means you will be able to keep your home if you agree to the terms for repaying rent as set by the court.
An outright possession order. This means your tenancy will be brought to an end.
A money judgement will be requested if either of the above is awarded by the court. Having a money judgement against you can affect your chances of obtaining credit in the future.
Court costs will also be added to your debt.
The Council only uses eviction as a last resort and will do everything possible to work with you to avoid this outcome.
If we do have to apply for a bailiff’s warrant to evict, and the eviction goes ahead, you may be considered to have made yourself intentionally homeless. This means it is unlikely that the Council will have any obligation to rehouse you and you will also struggle to find accommodation elsewhere. We will also continue to pursue you for the outstanding debt.
Struggling to pay your rent?
If you do get into difficulties meeting your rent payments, please contact your rent income officer as soon as possible on 0800 137 111. They will give you free advice and support or refer you to an independent advice agency. We are here to help.