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Direct debit

Direct debit - your questions answered

We always give you at least 3 working days notice of any change to your monthly instalments, for instance when the rent changes in April every year.  Also if your housing benefit changes.


Why has my monthly Direct Debit instalment increased?

New charges for rent, service charges and water rates commence in April each year.  Apart from this, the most common reason for an increase in direct debit instalments is where there is a reduction in your housing benefit.

Your monthly instalment includes your rent, service charges (if any) the water rate and any arrears on your account. If you have any arrears we will work out your instalments to reduce or clear them by the end of the financial year. In some cases we allow a reduced amount of arrears to be carried forward to next year.

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How is the monthly instalment calculated?

If you have a clear balance as at 1 April we take the year’s rent and divide it by 12 equal months so that it is fully paid by the start of April next year. If you have arrears on your account, your monthly instalments will include an element to help reduce or pay them off.

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Does the monthly instalment include any arrears?

Yes. In addition to your monthly rent, you will pay something towards any arrears on your account every month until it has been cleared.

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Does the monthly instalment include any previous overpayment?

Yes. Your monthly instalments will be reduced if you have overpaid on your rent account.

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What happens if my circumstances change?

You must always notify the Benefits Service of any change in your circumstances (for example a change in benefit entitlement from the DWP or any changes in your household).  We will then tell you in writing if there is a change to the amount of your Direct Debit instalments. You will receive written notification of the new amount at least three days before it is deducted from your bank account.

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What happens if a mistake is made?

If Homes for Haringey or your bank or building society makes a mistake, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your bank or building society of the amount paid. This is an important part of the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme. If we have notified you of the amount to take within the correct time frame but you do not have sufficient funds in your bank/building society account and you incur charges from your bank this will not be classed as Haringey’s fault and you will be liable for these charges.  

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When will my bank account be debited?

A monthly rent instalment will be deducted from your bank account on the 1st, 15th or 22nd day of the month. If this date falls on a weekend or bank holiday, the instalment will be collected on the next available banking day.

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What happens if I miss a payment?

If you do not have enough money in your bank or building society account to pay your monthly instalment we will write to let you know.  If the same thing happens the next month then we will cancel your direct debit. We will send a letter to inform you that you will need to pay by another method.  If a failed payment results in a penalty charge from your bank or building society, we will not accept any responsibilty for this.

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How do I cancel a Direct Debit?

You can cancel your Direct Debit at any time quite easily.

Simply contact your bank or building society. If this is by phone or internet, written confirmation may be required. We also ask you notify to us, you can do this by sending us a copy of the letter you send to your bank.

If you write, your letter should include:

  • the name of the organisation being paid

  • the name(s) on the account

  • the branch sort code (see your cheque book)

  • your 15 digit rent account number (found on your bill)

Your bank or building society will generally require at least one day's notice before the Direct Debit is due to be paid. Remember you will have to pay any arrears in full.

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Can money be collected from my account after I have cancelled my Direct Debit payments?

No, money cannot be collected once your bank has completed the cancellation request. If you want to make another payment after cancelling, you can pay by a number of methods – see the section paying your rent.

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Can I authorise a third party to sign up by giving my bank or building society account details over the phone or online?

No. Only the account holder can set up the payments. If the council gets an instruction from someone besides the account holder, we will send you a form for you to complete, sign and send to your bank.

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What if I change my bank account?

If you change your bank account, you will have to complete a new mandate form which will take some time to set up. During this period it will be necessary for you to keep on paying by another method to prevent your account falling into arrears.

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If you have any questions about your Direct Debit payments please talk to the Income Collection team on 020 8489 5611 (lines are open Mondays to Fridays, 8.45am to 5pm).

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Page Last Updated:

5 October 2016