Rent First

Why Rent First?

whg understands that there are many pressures on household incomes but payment of your rent should always be the first priority as this means you can enjoy a safe and secure home. Your tenancy agreement requires rent payments to be made in advance.  Rent first is to help you to comply with your tenancy agreement, this will include agreeing payment plans to bring your rent account in advance over a period of time. This is especially important if you claim universal credit as welfare benefits will be paid in arrears directly to you and you will have to manage your rent payments.

As well as being able to offer well maintained homes, whg also offer a range of high quality services such as repairs, home improvements and support for community initiatives.  The provision of these services costs money and whg uses its rental income to fund them.  This is why it is so very important that you pay your rent regularly and on time. 

Getting ready for Universal Credit

Universal credit is a new benefit system replacing many of the current benefits and tax credits.  It is for working age individuals, including single parents.  You can claim it whether you have a job or not. View the budget calculator here.

Universal credit will be a big change for your family’s finances – so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re prepared for the switchover.  We’re here to support you, but there are different ways that you can start to prepare so we’ve put together some tips to make sure your family is ready for universal credit. 

  • When universal credit is introduced you will get one monthly payment for all benefits at once – so you may need to change the way you manage your money each month.  We have an online budgeting calculator which may help:-
  • Mind the gap! When you first claim universal credit you will have to wait over a month (almost 7 weeks) before you receive your money.  Make sure your rent account is in credit to prepare for this. 
  • Make sure you have a bank account or similar. You’ll need a bank or building society account, or an account with a credit union for your payments. If you don’t already have one our Money Advice Team can help you with this.
  • Make sure you have access to the internet – you’ll be expected to claim Universal Credit and manage your account online. If you require help with getting online or need some training contact our Click Start team.
  • Set up a Direct Debit to ensure your rent account is kept up to date.

Set up a Direct Debit

More than half of our customers pay by Direct Debit – and here are the reasons why:

  • It’s simple – paying by Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay your rent and you can choose to pay on a weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly or calendar monthly basis, on a day of your choice. Remember if you pay fortnightly or monthly you need to pay in advance. 
  • It’s hassle-free – your rent is always paid on time, no matter what the circumstance. Any changes are made for you without the hassle of going to the bank.
  • It’s secure – the Direct Debit Guarantee means your payments are secure and protects you in the rare event there is an error.
  • We are here to help – once a Direct Debit is set up, you can relax knowing that whg will help you to manage your account and sustain your tenancy.

To set up a Direct Debit simply visit and search Rent First.  Or alternatively, we can help set up a Direct Debit over the phone between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Call us on 0300 555 6666.

We’re here to help

Customers can get free, confidential, expert advice on managing their money from our Money Advice Service. 

The team will help with your money worries and can

  • offer advice on money management and budgeting
  • explain Universal Credit and the impact it may have on you
  • help you sort out any debts and speak to creditors on your behalf
  • make sure you are getting all of the welfare benefits you are entitled to
  • help you set up Direct Debits to pay your bills.

We’re here to help, so don’t struggle with your financial worries alone. 

The free service is available in your home or one of our offices, whichever you prefer.  Simply call us on 0300 555 6666 to arrange an appointment or complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.