Temporary accommodation: how to pay your rent

Clients of the Housing Options Service who have been placed into temporary accommodation will have to pay rent on the property, to either the Housing Options Service or a housing association.

Find all Housing Options self service advice here

Keep your rent account up to date

It is very important that your rent is paid, even if it is being paid by housing benefit. It is your responsibility to ensure that your housing benefit is being paid into your rent account.

If you have not yet claimed housing benefit, call 020 7364 5000 and ask to make a claim.

Paying your rent

You will be sent a rent payment card within 14 days of signing your tenancy agreement. If you do not receive a card, or if you lose your card, contact the Housing Options Service or your housing association to receive a new one. You will be sent a new card each time you move to a new property – always use the latest card you have received.

If your property is managed by the Housing Options Service, you can pay your rent at any of the following locations:

  • any Post Office or shop with a Paypoint or Payzone terminal
  • by telephone (with a debit card) – 020 7364 3800
  • by post – send cheques* directly to the Housing Options Service or postal orders to the Payment Point
  • by standing order – regular payments can be taken from your bank account, call us for a form to set up a standing order

* Make cheques payable to 'London Borough of Tower Hamlets’ and write your rent reference number on the back.

Problems paying your rent?

If you are having problems paying your rent, seek help and advice as early as possible. You should contact your Housing Officer, either at the Housing Options Service or at your housing association (dependent on who your landlord is) to agree a payment plan that will clear any arrears.

Remember, once a repayment plan is agreed you must try to stick to it.

Assistance can also be sought from tenancy sustainment officers at the Housing Options Service and you can get housing-related debt advice from the money advice officers in the Housing Advice team. 

More information about money advice.

Rent arrears affects your bidding

If you are bidding for a permanent property, this is done through the Homeseekers Scheme. If you have arrears of over 10 weeks rent and are not reducing the debt, you are unlikely to be offered any property you successfully bid for as they always check your rent account before making an offer.

Rent arrears can lead to eviction

If you are evicted, the following is likely to happen:

  • You are likely to be found intentionally homeless, your homeless application will close and you will have to find your own accommodation.
  • Your homeless sponsorship to the community housing list will be withdrawn and your application placed in a lower community group.
  • You will have a County Court judgement against your name that will affect your credit rating.
  • You will still have to pay your rent arrears.

Former rent arrears

If you leave temporary accommodation owing rent, and are not making payments to clear the debt, we will take further action to recover your arrears. Action taken will include:

  • referring the arrears to a debt collection agency
  • securing and enforcing a County Court judgment
  • using a bailiff to collect the debt.

Where additional costs are incurred through this action, the cost will be added to the original debt. Find out more information by visiting the Former Arrears.

Find all Housing Options self service advice here