Coronavirus: Rent Advice

Rent Advice

We recognise that the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us in a huge number of ways with every day bringing new challenges.

One concern is that people are either losing their jobs or working reduced hours, resulting in smaller incomes coming into the home.  For benefits advice, please do phone Fiona McLuckie, our Welfare Rights Officer on 07908 951297, she'll be happy to hear from you.

We want to reassure our tenants that we are aware of this and want to work with our tenants affected in this way as follows:

If you currently receive housing benefit, tax credits or disability benefits and have a reduction in working hours or lose your job:

 Please contact our Welfare Rights Adviser, Fiona McLuckie and she can help you assess which benefit will be best for you. Email fiona.mcLuckie@prospectch.org.uk or phone 07908 951297.

If you lose your job and you are NOT currently receiving any other benefits

  • You should apply for Universal Credit (UC). This is a payment for working age people which will help with your living costs. If you’re eligible, you’ll receive a monthly or fortnightly payment into a bank account. You can apply for Universal Credit here.
  • Speak to your Housing Officer if you are applying for Universal Credit, they can offer you advice and guidance on how to apply and the implications for you. Email us on housing@prospectch.org.uk or phone us on 0131 458 5480.
  • If you choose to take an advanced payment, please make sure you make a payment to your rent. Bear in mind, if you take an advance payment, this will need to be paid back over the next 12 months and so it will be taken off each of your monthly UC payments.
  • We recommend that you ask for your UC housing costs (the contribution towards your rent) to be included in the payment you receive. You can then pay all of your rent due to us each month. There is an option for people in Scotland called the Scottish Choices where you can choose for your payments to come directly to Prospect. We do not recommend you chose this as this often results in significant arrears on your account. Please talk to us if you are thinking about this.

If you need to take time off work to self-isolate or to look after your children:

You can find out more information on your rights as an employee from this website: Gov UK: Guidance

If you are not sure how to pay your rent:

Rent payments can be made using your Allpay card at the Post Office or PayPoint outlets.   If you do not have an Allpay card then contact us and we will order a new one.  We have a range of other ways you can pay your rent:

-By direct debit
-Over the phone
-Online by clicking here
-Using the Allpay App

We also want to highlight how easy it is to pay rent over the phone. We understand that some tenants might be nervous about doing this if they have not paid rent this way before. You just need to have your bank card in front of you. Our staff will then take you through the information they need to complete the payment. We can also send you a rent statement to show that the payment has been received. If you would prefer us to phone you, just text or email us and we will call back. Text 07860 047548  or email housing@prospectch.org.uk. 

If you want to speak to someone about what benefits will be best for you:

  • We can offer welfare benefits advice, please contact Fiona McLuckie by email Fiona.mcluckie@prospectch.org.uk or directly on 07908 951297
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau also have good advice, read more here.
  • CHAI have produced a factsheet and flowchart to show when and what to claim.

If you are worried about arrears, please contact us.
We will work with you to find an arrangement that you can manage. When the country gets back to normal, we can review this arrangement and agree a way for the arrears to be cleared over a longer period of time than we’d usually agree to.

Our current position is that whilst the pandemic is in place we will not take any new cases to court, nor will we ask Sheriffs for eviction orders. However, when the pandemic ends, we will work with you to pay back the rent you owe. When this position changes, we will keep you updated.

Get in touch

Prospect Community Housing
6 Westburn Ave,
Wester Hailes,
Edinburgh,
EH14 2TH
0131 458 5480