Every time rent statements go out we receive some recurring questions.
We have put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to help you understand your Rent Statement:
What is a Rent Statement?
Your rent statement shows the weekly charges and all the payments made by you, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
The statement will explain if you have a credit balance or if you owe money (arrears) to Ocean Housing.
You can review your rent statement at any time online via My Ocean or the Ocean Housing App.
What does the breakdown of rent and service charges mean?
Rent is the money you pay to Ocean Housing to live in your home.
Service Charges cover the cost of additional services provided to you, such as grounds maintenance, sewerage or street lighting.
Some service charges can be included in a claim for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.
Other charges cannot be covered by Housing Benefit or Universal credit and you will need to pay these out of your own funds.
What does “Other Non Rent Account Charges” mean?
A balance under “other non-rent account charges” indicates monies owed other than rent.
This may include, but is not limited to, court costs or repair charges.
Please phone 01726 874450 to pay in full or to discuss a payment plan to clear the debt.
Why are some payments missing?
If you have made a payment within the last 3 days, it may not show on your account yet.
Please allow time for your payment to credit your account and check back via My Ocean or the Ocean Housing App.
If you are entitled to Housing Benefit and have this paid direct to Ocean Housing, this is paid four weeks in arrears.
If you are entitled to Universal Credit and have your Housing Costs paid direct to Ocean Housing, it can take up to 3 months to receive the first monthly payment.
The monthly amount of an APA Managed Payment is paid on a 4 weekly schedule – meaning a payment will be missing over a 12 month period.
If UC is paid directly to you, it is your responsibility to pay your full rent to Ocean Housing.
What does a minus (-) mean?
A minus (-) indicates a credit balance. E.g. -100 signifies £100 credit.
What does “arrears” mean?
Arrears means that some money is owed to Ocean Housing.
Arrears may have been accrued via missed payments, under payments or benefit delays.
If your account is in arrears, and you do not have a formal agreement for repayment, please contact your Customer Accounts Advisor on 01726 874450.
What should I do if my Direct Debit does not cover my new rent and service charges?
Your Direct Debit is reviewed at the end of every financial year and is calculated using the new charges, outstanding arrears and any Housing Benefit paid direct to Ocean Housing.
If you have concerns about your new Direct Debit amount, please contact us so we can review and adjust your direct debit, where applicable.
I am in credit, can I have a refund?
Rent should be paid in advance. If you pay weekly, you should be in credit by a minimum of one week at all times.
If you pay monthly, you should pay a month in advance and carry a 1 week credit at the end of each month.
All accounts should end the financial year with a minimum of 1 week credit.
If your credit balance exceeds this, please contact 01726 874450 to discuss a refund.
I have had a change in my circumstances, what should I do?
If your change in circumstances will affect your ability to pay rent and you are worried about accruing rent arrears, please contact your Customer Accounts Advisor on 01726 874450.
If you have had a change in circumstances and claim;
- Housing Benefit and / or Council Tax Support – please contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 121 to update your circumstances.
- Working or Child Tax Credits – please contact HMRC to update your circumstances.
- Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or any other DWP benefit – please contact the DWP to update your circumstances.
Why is a Direct Debit showing as a charge?
If you pay by direct debit and a payment fails to collect, it will show as a payment received followed by a payment charge, as indicated below.