Help about my rent / service charges

Last updated: 06/12/2021

Plumlife appreciates that this continues to be a difficult time and this may impact your ability to pay your rent or service charges.

If you are in receipt of benefits or still working, you will be expected to pay your rent and / or service charge as normal. We understand that each of our customers’ personal circumstances are different; so we have put together some frequently asked questions to assist you.

Remember, we are here to help. If you need advice or you are struggling and need help or support then please do get in touch with us as soon as you can, so we can assist you.

What should I do if I can’t work or I have lost my job?

If you are unable to work or your income has been affected, you may be entitled to benefits.

To find out if you are entitled to Universal Credit or to check what other benefits you can access, visit the Government's website.

The benefits you can claim will depend on your circumstances. You should make a claim for benefits (i.e. Universal Credit) immediately because you may be entitled to help towards your rent. Click here to make a claim.

Universal Credit is available for customers in rented accommodation and shared ownership properties. If you are already claiming Universal Credit or Housing Benefit and your circumstances change during this period you must inform the relevant office immediately. Under the current circumstances we advise you to contact them by phone or visit their website for advice on how to contact them. If you claim Universal Credit you will be able to apply for an advance payment and you will be expected to pay your rent as normal from this.

If you have lost your job or seen a reduction in your earnings you may be entitled to claim Universal Credit. This will depend on your personal circumstances and you will need to apply for Universal Credit online.

If you have been working for at least 2 to 3 years and paid National Insurance contributions then you may be able to claim ‘New Style’ Job seekers Allowance. Click here to find out more about JSA.

In addition, if you have been paying National Insurance for at least 2 years and are not fit to work then you may be able to claim ‘New Style’ Employment and Support Allowance. Click here to find out about ESA

You can apply for Universal Credit online. The following links contain the relevant information about making a claim. It is essential that you do not delay any application for benefits as you may lose out on money you would have been entitled to.

It is important to time your application for Universal Credit carefully. If you are still waiting for any final wage / salary payment you might be best to wait till you have received that money before you apply for Universal Credit. Otherwise, you might find you have to re-apply again because your final wage / salary payment meant you were not entitled to Universal Credit and your claim was closed.

In each of the links you will see reference to the usual process of attending appointments and providing certain pieces of evidence. During this time the Department of Work and Pensions has relaxed its rules around these aspects of claiming the benefits. Therefore, you will not necessarily be required to attend appointments or provide evidence. Due to the current circumstances we advise you to contact them by telephone or via their website for more information.

It is vital that you contact a Property Income Manager in the Plumlife Team to discuss your present circumstances. You will need to advise us of any reasons why you cannot pay and discuss what you will be paying in the meantime.

The Property Income Manager will discuss any existing payment arrangements with you and advise you of what information they need to support these arrangements. If you are still in work with no change to your income you will be expected to pay your charges on time.

If you have been made redundant or are now out of work for other reasons you will need to claim Universal Credit. Once you have your benefit claim in place we can then set up a payment arrangement that’s realistic and affordable. If you claim Universal Credit you will be able to apply for an advance payment and you will be expected to pay your charges as normal from this.

If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your rent or your service charge, you need to talk to us, we are here to help you. By getting in touch with us we can discuss existing arrangements and make new agreements based on your individual circumstances.

Remember, do not stop making payments or choose to reduce payments without discussing this with us first . If you are in a position to pay your charges and you choose not to pay we will have to take appropriate action. You risk losing your home if you do not pay your charges in full and on time. It is therefore essential to discuss your situation with the Plumlife team as early as possible, so we can work with you.

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage you will need to contact your mortgage provider to find out what options are available to you. If you are a shared owner you may be entitled to some financial help through Universal Credit.