When you become a tenant or sharing owner of Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association and you enter into a Tenancy or Occupancy Agreement, you are responsible for paying rent (and service charges, if applicable), details of which will be given to you at the start of your tenancy.
Rental income is spent on repairs, improvements to older properties, administration costs and paying interest on loans taken out to build your home. Your rent will be reviewed on 1st April each year and you will be given a minimum of one calendar month’s notice, in writing, of any proposed increase. Service charges are also reviewed on 1st April every year.
When should I pay my rent?
Your rent is due in advance on or before the first day of each calendar month.
How can I pay my rent?
You can pay your rent by a variety of methods:-
By Standing Order from your bank account
By Internet or phone banking
By Bank Giro Credit Slip (usable at banks or mobile bank vans) – a pay-in book will be issued on request
By paying at our office in Portree in person by cash/cheque/postal order or credit/debit card
By phone to our office by credit/debit card
By sending a cheque/postal order by post to our office (if you send cash, it must be sent by recorded delivery)
By claiming Housing Benefit through The Highland Council
Please note that if you make your payment by Bank Giro Credit Slip, there could be a delay of up to five working days before it shows up in our bank account.
A receipt will be given for any payments made to our office in person, by post or by phone.
What happens if I can’t pay my rent?
If you are unable to make a payment of rent, you should contact our office as soon as possible in the first instance. The earlier a problem is recognised, the easier it will be to resolve it.
Sometimes the arrears may arise as you are not claiming all the benefits that you are entitled to. If in doubt, you should contact the local Citizens Advice Bureau or Money Advice Agency.
The following are the steps that we will go through to collect rent that is not paid when it is due:-
This is usually sent out half-way through the month in which your rent has not been paid. You must either pay the sum due in full or contact our office to make an arrangement to repay the sum due in instalments.
This is sent out approximately two weeks later if your rent account is still in arrears and you have not contacted us or failed to keep to a repayment arrangement.
If you have not dealt with the matter within 10 days, we will complete any outstanding “Pre-Action Requirements” necessary under the Housing Scotland Act. The Pre-Action Requirements ensure you have been given information about your arrears and about where to get advice and assistance. We will then start a legal process, but we would rather reach a solution at this stage than instruct our solicitors to take legal action against you.
Notice of Proceedings for Recovery of Possession
This warns you that, if you have not made an arrangement with us to repay your arrears, after twenty-eight days we will take you to Court to seek permission to evict you. You will require to pay all legal fees in connection with court action as well as all sums due to the Association.
If the Court grants us a Decree giving permission to evict you, Management Committee approval will be sought to proceed with the eviction and you will then be informed by our solicitors of the date on which this will take place. This course of action will only be taken as a last resort when all other means have been exhausted.
- Paying your rent is not a matter of choice – it is a requirement of the Agreement entered into between yourself and the Association.
- Pay your rent on time or, if you have a difficulty in paying it, contact the Association as soon as possible.
- Respond quickly to any letters you receive concerning non-payment of rent.
- Keep to any repayment arrangements.
- Make sure that you provide all the information necessary to process your Housing Benefit claim as quickly as possible.
- Contact the Association’s Rent Account Manager or Tenant Adviser any other member of staff immediately by letter, fax, e-mail or telephone if you think you may not be able to pay your rent; or if you have set up a repayment arrangement and are unable to keep to its terms.