Rent Direct

A service for landlords and tenants

Outline of family with outline of house behind themChanges in Housing Benefit payments can make life complicated. Moreover, the introduction of Universal Credit (“UC”) means Housing Benefit money - paid via UC - is normally paid direct to the tenant rather than┬áto the landlord, putting the responsibility for ensuring the rent is paid solely on the shoulders of the tenant.

Whilst many tenants will cope perfectly well with this change a substantial number may, for various reasons, find this change challening as well as inconvenient. The results of missing payments or not paying the rent could be disastrous - with rent arrears, evictions and, in the worst cases, homelessness.

Not only can our Rent Direct account help to prevent these problems, it could also help to improve budgeting skills, especially if used in conjunction with our Engage Classic account and Prepaid VISA Debit Card.

Clearly many landlords will also be concerned about the potential loss of control with Universal Credit/Housing Benefit going straight to the tenant. Perhaps even making them think twice about accepting tenants on Benefits?

To help with this problem Essex Savers net Credit Union has introduced a service that allows tenants to have their Universal Credit/Housing Benefit paid direct into an Essex Savers Rent Direct account. This amount is then ring-fenced and paid directly to the landlord each month, ensuring that payments are made on time.

To join our Rent Direct account service we simply need the agreement of both parties, together with proof of identification and address. To cover our costs we deduct a small charge from the landlord’s payment each month - meaning that there are no costs to the tenant for this service.

How does the Rent Direct account service work?

  • To use this service, both tenant and landlord have to agree to take part.
  • Essex Savers will act as an open and honest third party, looking after the rights of both landlord and tenant.
  • Once a tenant has become a member of the credit union, we will open a Rent Direct account. Universal Credit/Housing Benefits/Local Housing Allowances (“LHA”) will then need to be paid directly into the credit union account.
  • Once sufficient money is in the Rent Direct account, Essex Savers will transfer the money direct to your landlord.

Benefits to the Tenants

  • Tenants can be assured that their rent is being paid on time each month, helping them to avoid rental arrears, eviction and even homelessness.
  • If there is a dispute between the tenant and the landlord, we can provide clear statements of all payments made.
  • Tenants can benefit from all the other services available to Essex Savers members.

Benefits to the Landlords

  • Landlords can be assured that their rent is paid regularly and promptly each month.
  • If there is a dispute between the tenant and the landlord, we can provide clear statements of all payments made.

Limitations of the scheme

Essex Savers net Credit Union will only transfer monies received. If there are insufficient funds in the account to pay the rent in full, we cannot make up any shortfall.

How to sign up

To join the Rent Direct account service, please download the attached forms and leaflets:

If not already a member of Essex Savers net Credit Union, please also download and complete the Adult New Member application.

Leaving the scheme

If, as a tenant, you no longer wish Essex Savers to pay your rent on your behalf, you must give us at least 30 days’ notice. The credit union will inform your landlord of any notice of termination.