Your accommodation charge is split into two elements — the rent and the service charge. Some charges may increase once a year, and we’ll give you one month’s written notice in advance.
Your accommodation charge covers the costs of running your home and it varies depending on the type of accommodation you live in. If you are living in self-contained accommodation, the electricity, gas and council tax are paid by you direct to the supplier. If you are in shared accommodation some of these charges are included in your rent and may be included in your housing benefit payment and you will pay Solo a ‘top up’ fee. See page 8 for more details.
If you are unemployed and claiming Housing Benefit, most of the cost of your accommodation and services will be paid directly to Solo Housing. There are some ‘ineligible’ charges which Housing Benefit does not cover, such as heating and lighting your room. See page 8 for more details.
When you move in you should complete an application for Housing Benefit, but if your circumstances change, or you need help, please speak to your Support Worker immediately.
Even where most of the weekly charges are covered by Housing Benefit, which should be paid directly to Solo Housing, as the resident you are responsible for making sure payments are made and your accommodation is at risk if payments are not made.
We will always encourage you to work. If you are earning you may not be entitled to full Housing Benefit, but we can provide a form of rent subsidy to help you afford the accommodation until you are ready to move out. Please talk to your Support Worker if you are in work or about to start work.
If you are responsible for paying any element of your accommodation charge to Solo Housing, please pay this promptly, as late payment will take your account into arrears. You can pay by cash, cheque, or through a standing order with your bank. Make sure you always get a receipt from the staff member you give the money to.
You can ask for a rent statement at any time to show how much you have paid and this will give your current position, any arrears or credit.
Please note: You are responsible for paying your accommodation charge, even if you are claiming Housing Benefit. If you don’t pay you could be evicted. If you start work, stop claiming Housing Benefit, or miss signing on, you must let us know immediately, because if your Housing Benefit stops your rent to us will not be paid. Please make sure you keep your Support Worker up to date with any changes in your circumstances.
If there are amounts outstanding on your rent account, you will receive a letter from our head office advising you of the amount and asking for a repayment plan. Please speak to your Support Worker — they will help you to manage your debt and if necessary, set up a reasonable repayment plan based on your outgoings.