Understanding how work will affect your rent and benefits can seem daunting, but don’t worry – This guide is here to talk you through it.

    To get started please let us know the following:

    Tell Housing Benefit about your change of income.

    You can do this by phoning Exeter Council on 01392 277888 or doing their online form.

    Note: YMCA Exeter is a Housing Association. If you live in our Exwick houses, remember to include your room number in your address.

    YMCA Exeter have a rent management team with friendly staff who are here to help. They may call or email you to check details about your work, or we may include them in emails that we send to you. Here are their names:

    Mwaka Chulu – Rents Coordinator
    Ashlin Lobo – Rents Officer

    If you know how much you will earn every week/month, you can work out your weekly/monthly pay using the Rent Calculator and set up a standing order.

    If your earnings will change every week/month, you will need to work out how much rent you owe every week/month with the rent calculator – sorry about that!

    Complete a new Rent Agreement to let us know how much you will be earning, and on what day you will be paying rent. This should be the same day or very soon after the date you get paid by your employer.

    Please also let the YMCA know:

    -The name of your new employer
    -The date you started work
    -The date you get paid
    -How much you will be paid and how often

    If you have not already, apply for Council Tax Support online.

    If you already have a claim for Council Tax Support, phone Exeter City Council on 01392 277888 to update your circumstances.

    Once you start getting paid, you will need to send your first three payslips to Housing Benefit. The best way to do this is by emailing: housing.benefits@exeter.gov.uk. Please also send this email to a YMCA tenancy officer so that we can check everything is correct. You can do this by copying SidwellandExwickTeam@ymcaexeter.org.uk into your email.

    Your email should be polite and clear and include your Housing Benefit (HB) number (or national insurance number). You could use this template:

    Subject: Wage Slip for [YOUR FULL NAME & HB NUMBER] for [MONTH/DATE]

    Dear Housing Benefit

    Please find attached my most recent wage slip for [DATE].

    Many thanks


    Having trouble getting hold of your payslip? ACAS have a guide to what you are entitled to from your employer: www.acas.org.uk/payslips.

    If your earnings will change every week/month, then you will need to keep sending your wage slips to Housing Benefit, as outlined above. If they stay the same, you could stop sending them after the first three.


    If you haven’t already, you need to start a savings bank account and work towards adding a little each month.

    This is in case you change your job in future, as there is almost always a delay between one job paying your last wage slip and the next job (or universal credit) paying the following one. This can leave you short if you have not prepared.

    Also, some jobs don’t pay sick pay at first, so it is worth having a “rainy day fund” ready.

    Look at your bank’s website for more information about what kind of savings accounts they offer and how to open one. You can also think about shopping around for the best deal. Here are some websites that offer advice on savings accounts: