Helping your tenants to get a bank account

Before people can start to manage their own rent payments, they need the right type of bank account. The Money Advice Service has videos, guides and tools to help your tenants choose and open an account that’s right for them.

Choosing the right bank account

When choosing a bank account, your tenants should aim for one that allows:

  • automated payments in - for receiving benefits and wages directly into their account, and
  • automated payments out - such as Direct Debits or standing orders - for paying rent and other bills like gas and electricity

Our video ‘How to choose a bank account’ explains the different types of account and how to choose the right one.

Opening a bank account

Some of your tenants might be wary of opening a bank account. It could, for example, be difficult for them to provide the right documents to prove their address and identity, or they might have had previous applications turned down because of low income or a poor credit history.

The video below will help to reassure people in this situation. It explains how opening an account works, with advice about what to do if there are problems.

Rent accounts and other specialist accounts

Some credit unions and other providers have started working with councils and social landlords to develop rent accounts and other jam jar-type accounts.

These specialist accounts are specially designed to help people budget and manage their rent payments. They work by automatically setting aside rent money so that it doesn’t get used for other expenses.

Although some of their features differ, they all do the following:

  • When money comes into the account, a set amount of money is automatically put aside for rent.
  • This rent money is then paid into the landlord’s bank account by automated payment.
  • The account charges an administration fee. This is often paid by the landlord.

Using a bank account to pay rent

Some people get confused about Direct Debits and standing orders and the difference between them. Others may need support to manage the timing of their payments out and to avoid refused payments and bank charges.

Follow the link below to see our videos and other resources designed to help people manage their rent payments through a bank account.