Rent and Service Charges

We want to make paying your rent as easy as possible.

Direct debit is the quickest and easiest way to pay, but there are a number of other ways you can pay including via My Corner - the new way to manage your THCH account.

If you are having problems paying your rent, the most important thing to do is to let us know as soon as possible. We have a dedicated team of Tenancy Support Officers who can assist residents who may be entitled to benefits and who can manage referrals to 3rd party support agencies in Tower Hamlets.

Ways to pay

Direct Debit

Direct Debit is the easiest and most convenient way to pay. Please download and complete the DD Application Form [pdf]  and either:-

  • Email a scanned copy to us at customerservices@thch.org.uk

  • Post it to the Income Team, THCH, 285 Commercial Road, London, E1 2PS.

 

My Corner

The My Corner section of the website is the new way to manage your THCH account - it's a free, safe, and secure online service that can be used anytime, anywhere to view and manage your rent and service charge account.

Log into My Corner here or if you have not yet registered, you can create your account here.

 

allpay website

Please click here to go to the allpay website.

First time users will need to register and you will need your Payment Reference Number (PRN). Your Payment Reference Number is the long 19 digit number on your THCH Payment Card.

If you need a replacement Payment Card – please email us at customerservices@thch.org.uk to request a replacement card. Replacement cards take 5 – 10 working days to arrive.

 

allpay App

Residents with an iPhone or Android phone can download the allpay app and pay their rent, service charge and major works from their smart phone. Please click  here to download the app.

First time users will need to register and you will need your Payment Reference Number (PRN). Your Payment Reference Number is the long 19 digit number on your THCH Payment Card.

 

Text (SMS)

This service is provided by allpay. Residents will have to register first and must have their payment card number (the long number) with them when they initially register.

 

Pay at Shops

Payment can be made with a THCH Payment Card at:

  • PayPoint

  • Post Office

Problems paying your rent

If you are having problems paying your rent, the most important thing to do is to let us know as soon as possible.

We have a dedicated team of expert Tenancy Support Officers who can assist residents who may be entitled to benefits and who can manage referrals to 3rd party support agencies in Tower Hamlets.

Please e-mail: customerservices@thch.org.uk who will gladly refer to the Tenancy Support Team.

 

Tower Hamlets Financial Health Centre

Alongside our own Tenancy Support Team, there is a large range of free, confidential, and independent services available to all residents in Tower Hamlets.

Drop-in sessions will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to six people per session so we advise that you come early in either the morning or afternoon to avoid disappointment.

To view the services available please click here or call 020 7364 2200 to book an appointment.

 

Other advice

There is also a huge range of places you can find further information and advice online, please see the links below:

 

Benefits and Welfare Reform

You can check your benefits entitlement at Entitledto.

Request a rent refund

You can ask for a rent refund if you’ve paid too much rent or if you are a former tenant with a credit balance

Please note – it can take up to six weeks for your refund to complete. Before we can begin processing the request, we must:

  • check that you do not owe any other monies to THCH.
  • check with Tower Hamlets Revenues & Benefits Section to make sure there have been no over-payments.

As Housing Benefit and Universal Credit are paid to THCH in arrears, if you are in receipt of one of these benefits we will retain a credit of a month's gross rent on your account.

If you are not in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit we will retain a week, two weeks or a months credit on your account, based on your payment pattern and in accordance with your Tenancy Agreement.

If you do not pay by Direct Debit we will need to contact you to make an appointment to verify your ID and bank details.

 

In order to apply for a refund, please click the following link to download the Refund Request Application Form then complete it and return it to us. As long as there are no issues, we will be able to go ahead and process your refund.

 

If you have any queries, please contact customer services – customerservices@thch.org.uk.

How has my rent been calculated?

THCH is a charitable housing provider and we are committed to providing homes that our residents can afford.

We aim to set rents at the right levels, so that:

  • people in low-paid work can afford them
  • THCH can remain financially viable
  • people continue to want our homes, and
  • we meet housing law and the requirements of the Regulator of Social Housing.

 

From 1 April 2020 until 2024, our weekly rents for social rent and affordable rent tenancies will increase in line with the Government’s policy statement on rents for social housing (February 2019).

This lets us increase rents by up to CPI (a measure of inflation) plus 1%. We have to use the CPI figure from the previous September in our calculations.

You can find out more about our approach to setting rents in Rent setting policy.

 

View your rent statements online

The new My Corner service from THCH allows you to see your rent statement online.

The My Corner section of the website is a free, safe, and secure online service that can be used anytime, anywhere to view and manage your rent and service charge account.

Log into My Corner here or create your account for the first time.

Service charges explained

A service charge covers the cost of services we provide on an estate or block where you live, such as cleaning or gardening in your communal areas.

THCH makes no profit from service charges; they simply cover the cost of providing services to residents.

We calculate service charges separately to rent and they are not affected by the Governments rules on rent setting.

 

How do you work out my annual service charge?

We calculate your service charge by working out the exact cost of providing services to your estate and block, and then charging you a share of these costs.

As we don’t know all the costs in advance, we base your charge on an estimate of how much services are going to cost over a 12 month period and where possible, include any upcoming one off charges. 

We use the previous year’s costs to help prepare the estimate for the coming year. We have no control over charges such as VAT, or other external costs, so we can only anticipate what they are likely to be. 

 

Why has the service charge increased when services stay the same?

Where an increase in the service charge is shown on the budget, this will be an estimate, based on expenditure from the previous year, as well as including any programmed works for the next 12 months that we are aware of. In addition, prices will go up in line with market values and contract costs. 

 

How do you monitor the level of service?

We will normally make regular visits to our estates to make sure the level and quality of services are of a good standard. We encourage residents to get involved as Estate Inspectors and help us monitor these standards. There is more information on this on our website under ‘get involved’. 

 

What is the management charge for? 

The management charge covers the costs we incur as a landlord in managing service charge accounts and other costs associated with managing your estate/block and account. The management charge is set at 15% of the total cost of services.

 

Why am I paying for fire safety equipment and emergency lighting?

The payment for fire safety equipment and emergency lighting is for the maintenance and the annual contract for servicing items such as fire alarm panels, automatic opening vents, and emergency lighting. These assist in the prevention and early detection of a fire and aid in your escape in the event of an emergency.

 

Does THCH make a profit from service charges?

THCH makes no profit from service charges; they simply cover the cost of providing services to residents.

Service Charges for Tenants

Service charges are the amount that tenants pay to cover the cost of providing communal or shared services to a building and, if applicable, the surrounding estate.

These communal services might include:

  • caretaking
  • lifts
  • door entry phones
  • gardening in communal areas
  • lighting in communal areas
  • communal TV aerials

 

Service charges don't include services to individual homes, such as:

  • heating and hot water
  • lighting and water charges within your dwelling
  • TV licences. 

 

The way charges are calculated and what they cover are set out in your tenancy agreement.

We are committed to providing all our tenants with services that are of high quality and that reflect our commitment to value for money. We do not make a profit from the money we collect.

If you have a question or concern about your Service Charge, you can contact: charges2020@thch.org.uk

Service charge information for leaseholders

What is a variable service charge? 

A variable service charge will change depending on the cost of providing the service. This is so you only pay for the services that you receive. The charge will only change once a year. This is because we estimate the cost of the services for the coming year. 

Once the year ends, we compare the estimated cost with the actual costs using the invoices sent to us by our contractors.

 

We use this information to identify whether our estimate was:

  • Higher than expected and you may have been charged too much (a surplus) or,
  • Lower than expected and you may not have been charged enough (a deficit)

If there is a surplus, we will pay money back to some people whereas if there is a deficit we may have to ask for further payment from residents. 

 

What is the difference between the service charge budget and the service charge statement?

The budget, which you receive in April, is an estimate of the coming financial year’s expenditure.

 

The statement, which you receive in September, is the document that states the actual expenditure for the previous financial year, which ended that April.

 

When can we challenge the charges outlined in the budget or statement?

As the budget is an estimate we will only deal with queries about the amount charged once the statement has been sent out in September. However, we will deal with general queries at any time. You can only request to see invoices once the statement has been issued. Please see the service charge rights and obligations sheet for more information.

 

How can we challenge the service charge? 

When the statement is sent in September you will be provided with a leaflet outlining your rights and obligations. This will explain how to challenge the service charge. Challenges can only be made after the statement has been issued.

 

Will I be informed about any unexpected service charge increases?

Your service charge can increase as the cost of services rise. However, we will involve residents via a ‘Section 20’ consultation process if any proposed work will cost you or any other resident more than £250. In these instances, a letter will be sent out in advance to inform residents. If there is a third-party managing agent we are not in control of their costs but are obliged to pass them on to residents.

 

What if I believe the charges are unreasonable?

After receiving your statement of accounts, you can contact THCH with any queries by emailing customerservices@thch.org.uk if we discover an error we will make any necessary amendments. We aim to provide full explanations to justify the charges. When the service charge statement is issued in September, this will show the budget estimate and also the actual amount spent in the previous year.

 

If you feel that the actual amount you are being charged is unreasonable you can request to see invoices to corroborate our charges. You can also contact us if you feel the works are incomplete and we will investigate. 

 

If you are a Shared Owner or Leaseholder you can take it further by going to a First Tier Tribunal. The tribunal will look at both sides of the argument and then rule on whether the charge is fair.

 

If you are dissatisfied with their decision you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). We can provide you with information, or alternatively, you can contact - LEASE (The Leasehold Advisory Service), at www.lease-advice.org

Got a question? You can call us on 020 7780 3070 or