Paying my rent
I've been sent a text message from Raven about my rent account - is this really you?
As part of our ongoing work to improve overall customer experience, we’re introducing text message updates to keep you informed about your rent account.
These text messages will come from +447984444087 and direct you to a Raven web page to display your message.
Some examples of messages you may receive are notification of arrears texts, returned Direct Debit notifications and repayment plan reminders.
We hope you’ll find these text messages useful to keep up to date with your rent account. If you’re concerned whether a text message is from us, please call us on 0300 123 3399.
Remember – we will NEVER ask you to share personal details including name, address and banking details by text message.
How do I pay my rent?
When is my rent due?
Your rent is due either weekly or monthly and in advance as set out in your tenancy agreement. You need to be in advance as per how often you pay, so if you pay monthly you need to pay a month in advance. If you pay weekly, you need to pay a week in advance. If you have concerns about this, please discuss them with your income officer.
How do I check my rent balance or get a copy of my rent statement?
A quarterly rent statement will be posted to you or you can check anytime on your MyRaven online account. Log into the MyRaven using the below link, select ‘My accounts’, then you will see your account details, statements and charges breakdown. You also have the option to opt out of receiving paper statements and receive an email to view this online.
Why does it say my rent has to be paid in advance - I get Housing Benefit/Universal Credit?
Your tenancy agreement is a contract and payment in advance is one of the terms of that contract. This applies whether you receive benefits or not. If you’re unable to bring your account into advance straight away, you need to make an arrangement with your income officer to pay extra over time. You must pay in advance by the frequency you pay, for example if you pay monthly then you need to be a month in advance.
I already pay by Direct Debit, will you adjust this for my new rent amount?
Yes, if you already pay by Direct Debit, we will amend it to reflect the change. You’ll receive a letter to advise you of the new Direct Debit amount a couple of weeks before your rent changes. If you don’t currently pay by Direct Debit and want to change over, please see paying my rent and charges to set this up.
You’re now able to receive Allpay email confirmations for Direct Debits where you would have received a letter before, please contact us to set this up.
If you pay by Direct Debit and are registered to MyRaven, we have set you up with this option already. These emails will be from firstname.lastname@example.org. The first time you receive this you’ll need to click the link to verify your email address.
My rent statement looks different
From Monday 6th November 2023, the way we display your rent and service charge balances changed.
Previously, when you check your balance, a negative number (for example -£125) indicated that you were in credit and a positive number (for example £125) meant you were in arrears. This has been standard in Housing Associations for many years. However, we’ve chosen to align our balance display with other industries like banks, utilities and other bills to make it easier for you.
Here’s how your rent is presented now and moving forward:
- when you see a positive number (for example £125) next to your balance, it means you’re in credit.
- when you see a negative number (for example -£125) it indicates you’re in arrears and you owe some money.
I’m struggling to pay my rent, what should I do?
If you’re struggling to pay your rent, please request an email/call back from your income officer by completing the form via your MyRaven online account. You can access this by clicking the button below and then selecting ‘Manage account’ from your current agreement, select ‘request contact’ and choose the best way for us to get in touch.
There are lots of different ways we can help with advice and support. We have a whole section on our website dedicated to this: Help with money and benefits.
Why is my rent increasing?
Following four years of rent decreasing by 1% from 2016-2019, the government started allowing rent increases in 2020 to cover increased costs.
When we’re setting the rents and service charges each year, we consider our costs, where we plan to invest more in services, and the impact on affordability.
To get the balance right, we need to make sure our income covers all of our costs, and that we provide the right support and advice if you have difficulty paying rent.
It says my rent is going up by 7% and my service charges are going up by 7% - does this mean the total is going up by 14%?
No, the total is still 7% for rent and fixed service charges. If you have other charges, for example for personal or block heating, these may go up or down at a different rate depending on actual use.
What is a Section 13 Notice?
This is a legal notice we’re required to serve on some tenancies to advise that we’re increasing the rent.
Why is my rent increase less than 7%?
There are a small number of tenancies where a 7% increase would be over either the government’s rent cap for regulated rents or one of our caps here at Raven. This is explained in your rent increase letter, if it applies to you.
Why is my rent increase more than 7%?
Rent and fixed service charges have been capped at 7% to help with affordability. If you have other charges, for example for personal or block heating, these may go up or down at a different rate as they’re based on actual use.
What are my service charges for?
Examples include cleaning your block, lift maintenance or grounds maintenance. What you pay for will be listed in your tenancy agreement. These are fixed service charges and will generally be increased by the same amount as the rent each year. Some homes also have other charges that change to reflect actual costs. For example, if you live in a sheltered housing scheme or temporary accommodation scheme where heating charges are included, the cost will be based on use and may go up or down.
I have a 48-week tenancy and I pay by Direct Debit, will this be adjusted automatically?
If you pay monthly, your monthly rent will already have your rent-free weeks factored into your payments.
If you pay by any other frequency, we’ll amend your Direct Debit to account for the rent-free weeks.
I’m in rent arrears, do I get the rent-free weeks?
Although you won’t be charged rent on these weeks, we’d strongly advise and expect you to still pay to get yourself back into advance as soon as possible.
Universal Credit and Housing Benefit
Which charges are included in Housing Benefit / Universal Credit calculations?
Your letter will show whether your charges are Housing Benefit/Universal Credit eligible or not. But if you’re unsure, please contact us.
Will you inform Housing Benefit / Universal Credit of any changes?
No, you need to notify Housing Benefit or update your Universal Credit journal.
If you don’t report the changes, it could cause delays or mean your increase doesn’t get covered by your benefits. You’d still be liable to cover your full rent.
The one exception is if you live in the Borough of Reigate and Banstead and receive Housing Benefit payments paid directly to us. In this case, we’ll notify them with your new rent and charges for you.
When will I know what my new Housing Benefit / Universal Credit payments are?
Once you’ve updated your Universal Credit journal with your new rent and service changes from April 2023, Universal Credit should tell you what they’re going to pay towards your rent on your April statement.
Once you’ve informed Housing Benefit of your new rent and service charges from April 2023, they should send you a letter to let you know what your new entitlement will be.
If you need to adjust your payments, please contact us. We can help set up different payment methods that work best for you. We can also give you free support and advice if you’re struggling to pay or need help with benefits.
Remember, we’re here to help if you’ve got any questions or concerns about your rent and charges. Here’s how to contact us.