Paying your rent and service charge is an important part of living at one of our properties. It means that we can provide you with a place to live, and if you are a supported customer, that you are able to stay with us to receive the support you need.
This page is your guide to making rent and service charge payments to Look Ahead. It will tell you about all of the different ways that you are able to pay, and also covers some of the most common questions that customers have about rent and service charges.
Many Look Ahead customers receive Housing Benefit, which will cover their rent. However, Housing Benefit will not pay for most service charges, for example personal heating, light, or catered food. This means that our customers are responsible for paying their service charges themselves.
Customers that are not entitled to Housing Benefit may have to pay for their rent and all of their service charges themselves. Look Ahead use a payment system called allpay to manage customer’s rent and service charge payments.
Need some help?
For more information on setting up a Direct Debit or for help with your payment options, please speak with your Support Worker or contact Landlord Services on firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Pay
You can make secure and easy rent payments via the allpay website. The link will take you away from the Look Ahead website to allpay’s own site, where you will need to sign in, or register if this is the first time that you are paying online. When you come to make your payment, you will need your payment reference number (19 digit number on your allpay card) and a debit or credit card.
If you have lost your allpay card, please talk to your Housing Officer who can order you a new one.
Please see the FAQ’s for more information on what allpay is.www.allpayments.net
You can set up a Direct Debit with us so we can take your payments automatically. You can choose to how often we take the payments i.e. weekly, fortnightly, four weekly, monthly, and the date we take the payment. You will need to have a bank or building society current account before you can set up direct debit payments.
To set up a direct debit you can call us on 020 7368 4869, or speak to your Housing Officer.
Make secure payments through your mobile device or tablet through the free Allpay Payment App. You will need to register the first time you use the app, but after that you can save your payment numbers, amounts and bank card details so that you don’t need to keep entering the same information.
Visit www.allpay.net/app for more details.
You can also pay your rent by visiting any Post Office, or any shop that displays the ‘PayPoint’ logo. Have your Allpay payment card and chosen form of payment ready when you visit the shop.
Cash, Cheque or Debit Card at any Post Office store
Please contact your Housing Officer if you have lost your allpay card.
Understanding Your Rent Statement
Housing benefit is paid to Look Ahead every four weeks so any arrears on your rent account may be due to the housing benefit cycle if your rent is paid for by housing benefit.
If Universal Credit pay your housing costs directly to Look Ahead – the DWP tends to pay in arrears of 6 to 8 weeks.
If you have any queries at all regarding your rent account please contact your support worker or Income and Housing Officer.
You pay rent to Look Ahead as we are your landlord or are managing the property for your Landlord.
You signed an occupancy agreement which is a binding agreement to pay the cost of the rent charge weekly.
Your housing service charges cover the costs of the services that are provided to you in your accommodation. This may include cleaning, furniture, fire safety equipment, gardening and more.
You should have been given a breakdown of your service charges when you moved in.
These charges are for services that are for your personal use such as personal heating, lighting, water or more. These are ‘ineligible charges’ – this means that Housing Benefit will not pay for them.
Please click here to see a document that provides more information about service charges.
Allpay is a payment system that is used by many housing associations to manage tenants rent and service charge payments.
If you have lost your allpay payment card please talk to your support worker or Housing Officer, and they will be able to order you a new one.
A Direct Debit is an instruction from a customer to a bank or building society authorising an organisation to collect amounts directly from their account, as long as the customer has been given advance notification of the collection amounts and dates.
Every Direct Debit is protected in three ways:
- An immediate money back guarantee from the bank or building society if an error is made.
- Advance notification if the date or the amount of the Direct Debit changes.
- The right to cancel your Direct Debit at any time.
If you have a low income or if you are in receipt of universal credit, job seekers allowance or Employment and Support Allowance you should be eligible for housing benefit which will cover most of your rent (not including your personal service charge) or part of your rent if you are working.
You claim this from the local authority you are living in. Your support worker can help you to claim housing benefit but you are responsible for making sure your housing benefit is in payment. Please keep your housing benefit letters as they contain important information.
If you are new to our accommodation Look Ahead will make an agreement with the council or social services to pay the rent on your behalf. If you lose your eligibility to benefits it is really important that you let your support worker or housing officer know so that we can look at if there are alternative ways for the rent to be paid. If your rent is not paid Look Ahead would have to take action to obtain possession of your property.
You should be eligible for universal credit to give you a personal allowance to live on and housing benefit to pay for the rent. You need to claim these benefits as soon as you lose your job and your support worker can give you advice on how to make a claim. Don’t delay making a claim for benefits as normally the start date is the date the claim is received by the Department of Work and Pensions and the housing benefit office.
Paying your rent is not optional; it is a condition of your Occupancy agreement. If you do not pay your rent, you will be served with a notice to evict you and you will lose your accommodation.
If your full rent is not being paid either by you or Housing Benefit then your account will go into arrears and you will owe money to Look Ahead.
- You will receive a letter to remind you of your obligations to pay your rent under your occupancy agreement and you will be requested to clear the arrears.
- You will be given a short time to sort out your Housing Benefit claim or pay off the money you owe.
- If your arrears continue to increase then you will receive a further 2 letters reminding you to pay us the money you owe. You may also be requested to attend an appointment to discuss your arrears.
- You will be given the opportunity to agree to a payment plan in order to reduce your arrears.
- If your arrears continue to increase through non-payment or a failure to take actions to put your benefits in place then you will be served with a Notice to evict you. The type of notice will depend on your occupancy agreement.
- When the notice expires, you must hand back your keys and leave. If you do not leave on the date your notice expires then Look Ahead will either change the locks if you have a Licence agreement or will apply to court in order to obtain a court order and a bailiff warrant.
If you are in rent arrears you should have received letters from Look Ahead- please do contact us so that we can talk to you about the arrears.
If you need help you should go to your Housing Officer as the first point of call, but if you don’t know who your Housing Officer is, or if you can’t get hold of them, you can get in touch with our housing management duty service. You can get in touch with the housing duty team by calling our Customer Contact Centre on 0333 010 4600.
They will be able to support with queries about rent accounts, complaints about anti-social behaviour or other breach of tenancy or police enquiries about properties.
You can also get in touch with our Housing team by sending an email to LandlordServices@lookahead.org.uk.