Rents can be charged over 48 or 52 weeks, this depends on your tenancy agreement.
Most of the homes we manage have their rent calculated over 48 weeks, rather than 52. If your tenancy agreement allows rent free weeks, there are 4 weeks in the year where rent is not charged to your account. These are often referred to as "Rent Free" weeks and are split into two, two-week periods: one at the end of March/April and one in December. Depending on the balance of your rent account, you may still have to pay during these weeks.
If your rent is calculated over 52 weeks, you will not be entitled to rent free weeks.
How often you pay changes what you need to do
If you pay your rent weekly by cash or debit or credit card, these are usually two weeks at Christmas and New Year and at the end of March.
If you pay your rent weekly, fortnightly or 4 weekly by Direct Debit or Standing Order, you still get 4 charge free weeks in the year, however, your payments will not be adjusted unless requested in advance. If you have paid over the rent free weeks and meet the criteria, we can arrange a refund if you contact us.
If you pay your rent monthly, your rent free weeks have already been accounted for in our calculations so you will be expected to pay the same amount each month. Your monthly rent is calculated as follows: weekly rent times 48 divided by 12 = monthly rent.
If you have missed rent payments, you will be asked to continue paying any agreement to repay the amount owed over the charge free weeks.
If your rent account is clear
If you are up-to-date with your rent payments, this means you can treat these weeks as "rent free" and you can choose not to pay during them.
If you owe rent or are behind on payments
If you are in arrears with your rent you must make payments during these weeks. As there is no rent debit, everything you pay will be taken fully from the amount you owe.
Do I get rent free weeks?
Yes, if you have a clear rent account and no other debt owed to Trent & Dove.
What does 'other debt' mean?
Other debt is anything else you owe to Trent & Dove such as a rechargeable repair cost, a debt from a former tenancy, or Court costs.
Do I still get rent free weeks if I pay by weekly or 2 weekly Direct Debit?
Yes, as long as you do not have any arrears or other debt on your account, your Direct Debit will automatically be amended to take account of the rent-free weeks, and you do not need to do anything.
What do I need to do if I pay my rent by Standing Order or bank transfer?
If you do not pay your rent by Direct Debit and you are up to date with your rent payments and you don’t have any other debt with Trent & Dove, you can stop your payments for the two rent free weeks. Please contact us if you are not sure.
Do I still get rent free weeks if I pay Monthly?
If you pay your rent monthly by Direct Debit or any other method of payment, your rent-free weeks have already been accounted for in our calculations, so your payments should continue as usual. Your monthly rent is calculated as follows:
Weekly rent times x 48 divided by 12 = monthly rent
Example weekly rent is £75 per week x 48 = £3,600 per year
£3,600 divided by 12 = £300 per month
Do I get rent free on Housing Benefit?
The rent-free weeks will already be taken in to account by Housing Benefit. If your benefit is paid paid directly to Trent & Dove you do not need to do anything. If your Housing Benefit is paid to you and you are not in arrears and you do not have any other debt, you can reduce your payment for two weeks. Please contact us if you are not sure.
Do I get rent free if I’m on Universal Credit?
Your payment has been calculated based on the rent you are due to pay for a full year as shown in the example above. This means that you already benefit from the rent-free weeks, so you should not cancel your direct debit or reduce your payments over the rent-free weeks. The same monthly amount is due.
If you are in arrears with your rent and you have an agreement with us to clear your debt by instalments, you must continue to make your agreed payments.
No charges will be added to your account for the rent-free weeks, so your payment will be used to reduce the amount you owe.
If you have any other questions, please contact us on 01283 528528 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: If your rent is calculated over 52 weeks, you will not be entitled to rent free weeks.