Do you have a question about your rent? Take a look at the frequently asked questions below.
Want to make a payment? Click here.
How your rent is set
Bield refers to the Rent Policy when developing proposals for rent.
We work to ensure rents are set at a level which covers the cost of running the Association, which involves managing and maintaining our homes and building new homes where they are needed.
The level of rent we consult on with you and the Board agrees is set to secure the immediate and long-term financial health of Bield, which protects the interests of both current and future tenants.
We start with a 'base' rent, which was calculated for us by an independent consultation in 2019. We then add charges relating to four criteria. These include:
- Property size - number of rooms
- Property type - studio, flat, bungalow or house
- Accommodation type - amenity, retirement, retirment with meals, retirement plus or general needs
- Landscape maintenance - the scale and size of maintenance, eg no grounds, small, medium and large
Rent is the main source of income for Bield Housing and Care and pays for:
- Managing and repairing your homes and managing tenancies
- Future repairs and improvements, which means things like new kitchens, bathrooms and energy efficient boilers, or new roofs and windows
- Repaying loans we took on to build or improve your homes
- Managing your home and neighbourhood, including communal areas
- Ground maintenance of common areas
- Common stair and window cleaning
- Lighting of common areas
In return for your rent, you receive:
- The right to live in your home in accordance to your Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement
- A responsive repair service that offers
- emergency repairs within six hours
- urgent repairs within three working days
- routine repairs within 20 working days
Please note, Covid-19 restrictions mean these response times may be longer
- A planned maintenance service that makes sure your home is kept in good order inside and out, eg roofs, windows, kitchens, bathrooms Please note, Covid-19 restrictions has meant much of this programme has had to be delayed
- Access to community facilities and the help of our community engagement co-coordinators if you need housing or welfare benefits advice.
Services Costs are made up of a single element and this is specific to each development. It relates directly to the number of staff employed there, and the number of hours they work.
Other charges that some Bield tenants pay for include:
- Meals - some tenants get meals provided by Bield
- Heating - some tenants benefit from shared heating schemes
Paying your rent matters
It is important that all tenants pay their contribution towards their rent and service costs each month.
If for any reason you are unable to keep up-to-date with your payments, you should contact us immediately.
We will work with you to agree the best way to repay any arrear that occurs. However, you should be aware that if you have persistent arrears and refuse to make agreed payments to reduce these, we will be required to take legal action. This action could result in you losing your home.
You should contact your local manager / area manager without delay as it is always easier to manage problems at an early stage.
You will receive reminder letters from our office. Please do not ignore these. If you are unable to clear the arrear for any reason, please contact us as soon as possible in writing, by telephone or email.
Our local managers and area managers can undertake a benefits check with you to establish if you may be entitled to further benefits that can increase your income. We can assist you to make Housing Benefit and other Welfare Benefit claims. If you need some more assistance we can offer to refer you to our Community Engagement Coordinator, who can assist you to get appointments and referrals with other agencies for help.
We can assist you to liaise with local benefits agencies, such as Housing Benefit, to try to resolve any issues, which have resulted in your benefit payments ceasing. Again, we may refer you to our Community Engagement Coordinator to assist.
You will receive a visit from your area manager, where you will be offered information and guidance on how the arrear can be cleared. We may agree a repayment plan with you, which you will be asked to keep.
We will undertake a financial assessment with you. This means we will talk to you about the money you receive and the expenses that you pay out on a monthly basis. This will allow us to agree with you a reasonable repayment amount towards your arrear each month.
If you break the arrangement we will work with you to try to bring things back on track. If you continue to break the arrangements agreed, then we will consider legal action to recover the arrear.
We will try to work with you to clear your arrear, however, if you continue to fail to make repayments we will serve you with a Notice of Proceedings. This is a notice from us to let you know that we intend to take court action to obtain the arrears. You will be served with papers and may be required to attend the Sheriff Court.
If Bield take legal action and are successful with this, we can request that an eviction takes place so that we can repossess the property. You will be asked to leave your home.
If an order for your eviction is made, or if you leave the property after Bield starts the court case but before the order is made, you may be ordered to pay your landlord's legal costs.
The Scottish Government have introduced the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund, which offers loans to tenants who are struggling with rent during coronavirus. The loans are interest free but you must pay the money back. You:
- have 6 months before you need to start to pay it back
- can pay it back over 5 years
The loan is available for a maximum of 9 months of agreed rent. You can use it to clear rent arrears from 1 January 2020. You can also borrow up to 3 months of future rent payments as part of the 9 month total.
If you do not think you will be able to pay back the loan, it might not be right for you. Applicants will need to pass an affordability check and a credit check before we can offer a loan.
Find out more at the Scottish Government website.