Guide to renting
Before you start looking for a property:
- What can you afford? – Think about how much rent you can afford to pay: 35% of your take-home pay is the maximum that most people can afford, this depends on what your other outgoings are.
- Are you entitled to Universal Credit or Housing Benefit? – if you are unsure whether you are entitled to receive any of these benefits, please speak to one of our advisors who will be able to give you some guidance on what you might be entitled to.
- What area do you want to live in? – Think about what area you would like to be based, near your children’s school or your place of work? The larger the areas you are prepared to look in the better your chances are of finding a suitable home.
- Have you got your documents? – You will need to confirm your identity, all landlords are now required by law to make copies of your identification as proof you have the Right to Rent in the UK. If you are unsure of what ID is acceptable please contact our Lettings Team.
Once you’ve found a property:
- Application form – You will need to complete an application form to apply for the property. Ensure you complete this correctly and return it with the application fee.
Download the application form here.
- Check what Deposit (Bond) is required – A deposit may be required at the start of your tenancy. The landlord or letting agent is required by law to protect your deposit in one of the 3 Government approved schemes within 30 days of receipt.
- How long will the tenancy be for? – Most Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements are for 6 or 12 months.
- Who will be responsible for the bills? – Before you decide to accept a property you need to be clear on what bills you are responsible for, and if any are included in the rent. On the whole the tenant will be responsible for all bills ie: Gas, Electric, Water & Council Tax
- Smoking and Pets – Check whether there are any rules about keeping pets or smoking in the property.
At the sign up for the property:
- Tenancy Agreement – Read the full tenancy agreement to ensure you understand what your rights and responsibilities are.
- Inventory – You should be provided with a copy of the Inventory to take away, be sure to check the inventory matches the contents and condition of the property. If you notice anything different you need to raise this with the landlord within the first week of the tenancy or amendments may not be made to the inventory and you may be responsible for damage or missing items.
- Contact Details – Your landlord must provide you with contact details, including a phone number you can use in case of an emergency.
Documents the landlord must provide:
- How to Rent Guide – A checklist for renting in England, either as a link or a paper copy.
- A Gas Safety Certificate – The landlord must provide you with a copy of a valid certificate at the sign up,this needs to be renewed every 12 months where there is a gas installation.
- Registered Deposit Scheme – The landlord must provide you with the prescribed information regarding which deposit scheme your deposit has been registered with. The landlord has 30 days to provide this information to you.
- The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) –The landlord must provide this to you. The EPC will show the efficiency of the property and the effects this has on your bills for the property, the more efficient the property the lower your bills will be.
Once you are a tenant you must:
- Pay the rent on time – You are at risk of losing your home if you do not pay your rent. If you are struggling to pay your rent you need to let your landlord know straight away.
- Look after the property – It is your responsibility to maintain the standard of the property. You will be putting your home at risk if you fail to keep the property to an acceptable standard. You must also seek the landlord’s permission in order to decorate the property.
- Be considerate to your neighbours – You could be evicted for Anti-Social behaviour if you cause a nuisance in the property.
- Report Repairs – If something is not working or is damaged in your property you must report this to the landlord immediately.
- Allow the landlord access where required – All landlords are required by law to carry out Gas Safety checks every 12 months, it is your responsibility to allow access for these checks to be completed. Landlords will also require access to complete repairs on the property.
At the end of the tenancy:
- Giving Notice – If you want to leave the property you are required to give the landlord 1 months’ notice. You are liable for the rent for the fixed term of the tenancy and can only give notice that is due to expire after the end of the fixed term.
- Rent – Make sure you pay your rent up to date, do not hold rent back because you think it can be taken out of the deposit.
- Clean the property – Make sure you remove all your possessions from the property and leave it clean. Take your meter readings and return your keys to the landlord.
- Deposit – Once you have vacated the property it will be inspected by the landlord. If there is no damage, the property is clean and free from any belongings the deposit will be returned to you in full. If you dispute an amount being deducted from the deposit you will need to contact the relevant deposit protection scheme – DPS.
We have dedicated team members that monitor the status of your rent account on a weekly basis. We want to make paying your rent simple by offering you as many payment options as possible.
Sophie is responsible for rent collection, monitoring and management this is her main role within MBH. Sophie acts as primary contact for every tenant undertaking daily contact with tenants concerning any aspects of rent, income collection including home visits, telephone enquiries, office interviews and taking payments by telephone. Sophie aims is to build relationships with tenants and provide a high level of customer service, Sophie is key to this.
When is my rent due?
Your tenancy agreement will provide details of when your rent is due. Some tenants are on a weekly tenancy agreement, meaning their rent should be paid each week, and others are on a monthly agreement and should therefore should be paid monthly.
We understand that sometimes you may receive your income at a different time to when your rent is due. If this is the case, please contact our lettings team to arrange a payment schedule that fits around your income.
Paying rent is your legal responsibility which you accepted when you signed your tenancy agreement, so it is important that you keep your payments up to date.
If you do not pay your rent when it is due you will get into arrears. My Blackpool Home take rent arrears very seriously, and will take action if you fall behind with your rent. This could result in you losing your home.
Struggling to pay your rent?
What can I do if I am struggling to pay my rent?
We understand that there may be times during your tenancy when you struggle to pay your rent, and we want you to know we are here to help.
If you are in rent arrears, we can agree an affordable repayment plan based on your financial circumstances; however, we can only do this if you get in touch with us. Our dedicated team can provide advice and assistance in relation to money matters, please contact us on 01253 477222.
Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work. It replaces some of the benefits and tax credits that you might be getting now, including:
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Housing Benefit
Within your Universal Credit payment, you may receive money for your rent. This is known as your ‘Housing Element’.
This may not cover all of your rent, but you are still responsible to make sure all of your rent is paid using other income you have coming in.
If you need any further information about Universal Credit, or would like to know if you can claim this benefit, please contact a member of the team on 01253 477222.
If you have recently made a claim for Universal Credit, please let us know here.
How to pay your rent
1. Online – pay here
2. Internet Banking (Faster Payments)
Paying via your own banking app is a quick and efficient way to pay your rent. Please contact a member of the team for our bank account details and remember to quote your name and address with your payment. Tel. 01253 477222.
3. Standing Order
You can pay directly from your bank account either weekly, fortnightly, four weekly or monthly. Please contact a member of the team for a standing order form.
4. By phone using your debit/credit card
You can pay your rent using a debit or credit card over the phone. Contact us on 01253 477222 between 9am – 5pm to make your payment.
5. Mobile Phone App
When you move in via My Blackpool Home we will provide you with a Unique Payment Reference Number (UPRN).
Card payments can be made at your convenience 24/7 through the allpay Payment app, available to download for free for Apple, Android and Windows smartphones.
Visit www.allpay.net/app for more information.
6. By Text
First Time Registration:
Click Register, and complete the following boxes:
- Mobile – Enter your mobile phone number, click continue
- Payment Card Number – Enter the 19 digit payment card number given to you on sign up by the My Blackpool Home Team, if you do not have this please contact the team for this number.
- Text code – Enter the word RENT
- Password – enter the password you wish to use on this account
- Confirm password – confirm the password
- Email address – enter your email address
- Your name – Enter your full name
- Click Create Account and Continue
- Email Address – enter your email address
- Mobile Phone – enter your mobile phone number
- Post Code – Enter you post code, then click look up address.
- Click Continue to add card
- Complete your payment card details and click Save Card
- You will receive Text and Email confirmation of your account set up.
To Make Payments
Once your account is registered send a text to 81025 in the following format to make payment
- Must start with the word – PAY
- Then your text code – RENT
- Then the Amount you want to pay including £ sign
- Then the last 4 digits of your 19 digit Payment Card Number given to you by the My Blackpool Home Team that you have registered to the account.
Example: PAY RENT £5.00 1234
You will receive a text reply to advise if payment has been successful.
7. At Our Office
We accept payments by card, cash or cheque please call in and see us at 348/350 Lytham Road.
Our office opening hours are
- Monday 9am—5pm
- Tuesday 9am—5pm
- Wednesday 9am—5pm
- Thursday 9am—5pm
- Friday 9am—5pm
- Saturday Closed
- Sunday Closed
Payment by cheque should be sent to My Blackpool Home, 348-350 Lytham Road, Blackpool FY4 1DW. Please make your cheque payable to Blackpool Housing Company and write your name and address on the back. Post-dated cheques are not accepted. If you require a receipt you must request one with the payment.