It is each tenant's responsibility to pay their rent each month.
We try to make sure that people on low incomes can afford our rents.
Everyone pays a basic rent for their home, and some tenants have to pay a service charge as well. Rent is due in advance on the 1st of each month.
The rent you pay is used by us to manage, repair and maintain your home and communal areas. In return we expect you to pay your rent on time.
Service charges vary according to area, but some common charges are listed below:
You can find a list of your service charges at the back of your tenancy agreement.
We look at your rent each year to see if it should go up or stay the same.
ARK tries to keep increases as low as possible. Rent increases are worked out using the rate of inflation (which the government tells us) our rent increases are normally limited to the rate of inflation plus a percentage.
We always ask for tenants’ opinions before we make any changes to rent. This is called our ‘rent increase consultation’.
We send the ’rent increase consultation’ in the Christmas Newsletter. It is very important that you take the time to let us know what you think about the rent increase.
You could be entitled to housing benefit to help with your rent if you are unemployed, or if you are on a low income. You may also be able to claim if you have a disability or you are on long-term sick leave.
Your claim will depend on your income, any benefits you receive and how many people live in your home.
Due to new changes by the government if you are under-occupying your home (have more bedrooms than you need) you will get less housing benefit, although we would encourage tenants to make a claim for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). ARK's Housing staff can help with this.
If you want to swap to a smaller property there are a number of home swap schemes you can take part in. Please contact your housing services officer on 0131 478 8146 for more information about doing a swap.
If you're claiming housing benefit and your situation changes you need to tell the housing benefit department straight away.
A change could be someone in your household moving out, a new person arriving, or a change in anyone in your household’s financial situation. All these things can affect how much housing benefit you are allowed to claim.
We understand that sometimes our tenants can have problems with money. We are here to help!
If you're having money problems and are likely to fall behind with your rent payments, the best thing you can do is tell us straight away. If you speak with us we can work out a payment plan that you can afford, and stop yourself getting into more debt.
You can speak to a member of the housing team who can offer confidential advice and support and also give details on where to get debt advice. We can arrange for a welfare officer to visit you at home.
If you don't pay your rent or arrears, and do not stick to your repayment plan, we will have to take legal action against you. This could cause you to lose your home. Please don't let it get to this point.