All about your rent: April 2015

 

How we review your rent

Every year we review the rent you pay for your home, using a formula the Government gave all housing associations to use. The Government wants to make sure that the rent for all council and housing association homes is fair, and the formula they use helps do that.

The formula's based on average earnings in a county, as well as individual house values. It also takes the size of your home into account. We use it to produce a formula rent for your home. This may be higher than the rent you pay, or it may be the same. The changes we make are limited to a maximum of CPI (Consumer Price Index) plus 1.0% per week. The CPI level for increases in 2015/2016 is 1.2%.

The first question we ask when we review your rent is whether you’ve got an assured tenancy or a fair rent tenancy. There are different rules for these two types and it affects how we bring in the target rent. 

Have a look at your tenancy agreement to see which type of tenancy you have.

Reviewing the rent paid by assured tenants

If you have an assured tenancy, we'll review your rent on the first Monday in April every year, or on the anniversary of your tenancy (depending on when you became our resident). If you’re an assured tenant, this is how we set your rent. We:

  • work out the formula rent for your home for this year
  • compare the formula rent with the rent you pay
  • the maximum increase is currently set at CPI + 1.0%. The CPI level for increases in 2015/2015 is 1.2%.

Reviewing the rent paid by fair rent tenants

In general,  you’ll have a fair rent tenancy if you started to rent from us before 15 January 1989. The independent Rent Service reviews the rent levels for your fair rent tenancy every two years. When the Rent Service writes to you about your rent review, they’ll send you a leaflet to explain what they do. 

If you’re a fair rent tenant, this is how we set your rent. We: 

  • work out the formula rent for your home
  • compare the formula rent with the rent the Rent Officer has set, and choose the lowest
  • this may mean there's an increase or a decrease in the rent you pay. The maximum increase is currently set at CPI + 1.0% for a rent that's in linje with our assured equivalent rent. The CPI level for increases in 2015/2016 is 1.2%.
  • We won’t charge you a rent that’s higher than the one set by the Rent Service.

What about service charges?

As well as your rent, you may also pay a service charge for things like cleaning, gardening, estate supervisor services, lifts and other equipment and services.

We only charge you the amount it costs to provide these services, and we always look for ways to give the same level of service for the same or less money.

If you have an assured or fair rent tenancy we'll let you know how much your new service charge will be on the first Monday in April every year. We list the costs separately so you can see how much they are.

What about support charges?

If you receive support services, for example from a scheme manager, your support charge from April 2015 may change. If it does, we’ll write to you to  let you know. You may be able to get a supporting people grant to cover these charges.

Our commitment on rents

We always try our best to offer you good quality, good value services, and to maintain your home to a good standard. We normally provide rent statements every three months and a named Housing Officer to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. We’ll give you extra rent statements if you ask us to.

We want our rents to:

  • be consistent, so homes of the same size and quality have the same rent
  • be understandable, so our policy for setting rents is clear
  • reflect our commitment to repair, maintain and improve your home
  • be affordable for you if you’re on a low income. The cost of renting a home from us should not stop you from coming off  benefits to take a job. Rents should also be at a level that can be met by housing benefit.