Frequently Asked Questions

To help you find information you need quickly, here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) we are asked.

To help you find what you need, the FAQs have been organised by category and include links to more information on this website.

Our Customer Service Centre is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, so whatever time you call, we can help.

To make it as easy as possible to report a repair, we offer a number of different ways for you to contact us:

Call charges

The '0800' number above is free if you call from a landline. The ‘01’ and '03' numbers are charged at the normal national rate by all providers, including mobile, and are included in ‘free minutes’ if you have them. For exact charges from your mobile phone, check with your provider.

For further information:

We offer a variety of ways for you to pay your rent:

  • By Direct Debit
  • By Standing Order
  • By payment card
  • Online
  • By telephone
  • By post to our offices

For further information:

What should I do if I can’t pay my rent?

Contact us straight away. If you do, it is easier for us to help. We can help you by:

  • Listening to what you have to tell us.
  • Agreeing a suitable payment plan with you.
  • Informing you of other agencies that may be able to assist you.
  • Helping to check if you are entitled to benefits.

For further information:

  • Please call us on 0800 916 1516 or 0300 123 3579.
  • Please visit our paying your rent  page.

If I pay my rent by Direct Debit, who will amend my Direct Debit for rent increases?

We will advise your bank of any increase to your rent.

If I pay my rent by Standing Order, who will amend my Standing Order?

You will need to contact your bank to make any changes to a Standing Order.

For further information:

Please visit our Rent, Housing Benefit and Universal Credit page for more information.

Can I claim Housing Benefit?

If you are over 16 years of age and are living in a rented property, you may be able to claim for help with your rent.

How do I pay my rent with Housing Benefit?

If you claim Housing Benefit this can be paid direct to us, which will make things easier and give you the peace of mind that your rent has been paid. Do remember though, if your Housing Benefit does not cover the full rent, you will have to pay the remaining amount.

I receive Housing Benefit, what do I do about rent increases?

Please send a copy of the rent increase letter you receive to your Local Authority Housing Benefit section. We will also let the Housing Benefit department know about any changes.

For further information:

Please visit our Rent, Housing Benefit and Universal Credit page for more information.

How do I rent a home with Sanctuary?

We are one of the largest social landlords in the country providing general rented homes. There are many different ways for people to rent a property from us, including:

  • Through your local authority
    Most of our homes are let though local authorities. The best way to rent a Sanctuary home through your local authority is to join their housing list.
  • Directly from us through our needs-based housing allocations system
    We hold our own waiting lists for properties in some areas of the country.

To join our housing list and be considered for these properties, you must meet our criteria for rehousing. Our criteria and application process is detailed in our Guide to applying for housing (PDF 608KB).

You can download our Sanctuary Housing waiting list application form (PDF 228KB) or you can make an application over the phone by calling 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511. So we can register your application, please provide full proof of your identification and circumstances, more details can be found on our Identification form (PDF 39KB).


If you are already a resident and need to move, we may be able to transfer you to another home if we assess you as being in housing need. You can download our Transfer application form (PDF 132KB) or call 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511 for more information.

How do I buy or part-buy a home with Sanctuary?

We have properties of various types, including shared ownership, homes bought under various right-to-buy legislation and retirement schemes.

We can help you find the home you need and the home ownership scheme that's right for you.

For further information:

Please visit our home ownership website (this link will open in a new window) or call 0800 916 1444 or 0300 123 3516.

How do I get involved?

We value the opinions of all our residents and want to involve you in the work we do, so if you would like to get involved, please email

For further information:

Please visit our Resident Involvement page 

What is Maureen’s Gift?

Maureen's Gift gives community groups across Rochford the opportunity to benefit from a share of £5,000.

How do I apply for Maureen’s Gift?

To apply, please complete the Maureen's Gift application form  (PDF 225KB).

For further information:

Visit our Rochford Housing page

What is Chester Community Chest?

Sanctuary’s Chester Community Chest Fund offers up to £1,000 to groups needing financial support to help deliver activities within their local community.

If you have an idea for a project that will make a positive and lasting impact in the Chester neighbourhoods, please complete the online application form.

For further information:

What is the Grand Ideas fund?

Sanctuary’s Grand Ideas Fund offers up to £1,000 to groups who need financial support to help deliver activities within their local community.

Who can apply for the Grand Ideas fund?

The fund is designed to support as wide a variety of projects as possible and it is open to applications from charities, community groups and voluntary organisations.

For further information:

  • Follow @hellosanctuary (this link will open in a new window) on Twitter for news and information about our services.
  • Like our Sanctuary Housing Facebook (this link will open in a new window) page to receive useful tips and advice about your home and information about your community.
  • Follow Sanctuary Housing on LinkedIn (this link will open in a new window) for the latest news, jobs and updates.

Our documents can be translated into other languages, large print and braille, or recorded on to audio CD/tape. Contact your local office or email

Feedback and complaints

Anyone using, receiving or affected by our service – this can include both residents and non-residents, as well as people who have applied to us for housing, support or other services.

If you are unhappy or dissatisfied with any aspect of our service, you should let us know as soon as possible.

Feedback, comments and complaints are an important way of telling us how we are performing and help us to improve the quality of the service we provide to you.

  • You can make a complaint by filling out the dedicated online complaints form
  • In person or by letter at your local office
  • If your complaint is about the housing service you have received, you can call our Customer Service Centre on 0800 131 3348 or 0300 123 3511. The centre is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, and Saturday, 9am to 1pm.
  • Emailing:

If your complaint is about our repairs service, you can call our Customer Service Centre on 0800 916 1525 or 0300 123 3561. The centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including public holidays.