Rental tenants - Rent changes 2021/22

rent variation - faq's
  • How is my rent change calculated?

    From April 2020 the way we calculate your rent changed.

    The period of rent decreases has now ended and the government have re-introduced rent increases based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), taken from the previous September, plus 1%.

  • What is the rent increase for 2021-22?

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for September 2020 was 0.5%. Therefore the increase we have applied to your rent for 2021-22 is 1.5%.

    If your property was built after April 2011, your tenancy may be subject to what we call an “affordable rent”. This is 80% of the market rent, in which case the total rent and service charges combined will increase by 1.5%.

  • What if I don't agree with the new rent charge?

    If you don’t agree with the service charge, please talk to us first and we’ll try to find a way forward.

    If you don't accept the proposed new rent and wish to dispute your rent variation you can appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) at www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/residential-property

    Further details on this process are also included on the above webpage.

    If your property was built after April 2011, your tenancy may be subject to what we call an “affordable rent”. This is 80% of the market rent, in which case the total rent and service charges combined will increase by each year compared to the previous year.

  • When will the new charges start?
    • Rent and service charge change letters will be posted mid-February 2021.
    • For monthly rent and service charge, changes will apply from 1 April 2021.
    • For weekly rent and service charge, changes will apply from 5 April 2021.
  • I pay my rent monthly – how has this amount been calculated?

    Because there are slightly more than 52 weeks in a calendar year, and to incorporate a leap year, we calculate your monthly rent as follows:
    Weekly rent x 52.18 divided by 12

    For example:
    If your weekly rent is £100, your monthly rent will be £434.83.
    £100 x 52.18 / 12 = £434.83

  • I pay by direct debit - do I need to do anything?

    NO.  If you pay by direct debit we'll alter this for you and you'll receive notification directly from Allpay.  Please check the details contained in this letter are correct.

  • I pay by standing order - do I need to do anything?

    YES. You'll need to contact your bank immediately to vary your payments.

  • How do I view my rent account?

    You can view your rent account online and update your personal information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on our customer portal, MyHomeOnline.

    If you haven't already, you can register on MyHomeOnline now.

    Once your details have been verified, we'll email you your registration code so you can login and view your account.

  • When should I pay my rent?

    If you pay your rent weekly:
    Your rent should be paid on Monday for the week ahead.
    If you don't do this, your account will be in debt and we will have to send you warning letters.

    If you pay your rent monthly:
    Your rent should be paid one month in advance. 
    If your account is not one full month in credit, we will write to you and advise you of the amount you need to pay. Please also refer to the above question 'I pay my rent monthly - how has this amount been calculated?' which explains how we calculate your monthly rent.

Service charges

  • What is a service charge?

    A service charge is an amount payable in addition to the rent. This is to cover the costs of services and repairs in shared (communal) areas. The exact services you pay for will be set out in your tenancy agreement or lease, but might include:

    • Gardening and grounds maintenance of communal areas.
    • Provision charges, such as repairs to communal car parking areas, private roads and pathways. This would also include items outside of an annual gardening contract such as major tree works.
    • Repairs to communal facilities such as door entry systems.
    • Lighting in communal areas.
    • Sewage pump stations for waste water.
    • Administration charges, such as to pay for the administration and management of our service contracts, paying contractors and other bills, and calculating and administering the charges.
  • How is the service charge calculated?

    The charge is calculated using the previous year’s actual costs, any known or estimated changes in costs for the current year, plus an adjustment for inflation.

    This gives us an overall cost for the scheme, which is divided equally between the customers who receive the services. So, you will only pay for your share of the services you receive.

    You'll receive details of your annual service breakdown with your annual rent letter.

  • What if I don’t agree with the service charge?

    If you don’t agree with the service charge, please talk to us first and we’ll try to find a way forward - email us or call on 0300 1234 009.

    If we are unable to reach an agreement, we would recommend you seek independent advice such as Citizens Advice.

    If you think you're being charged unfairly, you may be able to apply to the First-Tier Tribunal to determine whether you are liable to pay service charges.

Support

  • How do I pay my rent?

    We offer several ways to pay your rent.

    Take a look at our how to pay your rent page.

  • Housing Benefit and Universal Credit

    Do you receive Housing Benefit?

    If you receive Housing Benefit you can have it paid direct to us.
    If you do not receive the full amount to cover all your rent, then you'll need to make up the difference by an alternative payment method.
    You must notify the Housing Benefit department of your local council about your rent increase immediately.

    Do you receive Universal Credit?

    If you’re claiming Universal Credit you must let the Department for Work and Pensions know about this change in rent – to ensure you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to.

    To do this, update your online journal. You may also receive a ‘To do’ notification in your journal to remind you.

    If your Housing Benefit or Universal Credit stops for any reason and you begin to fall into arrears we will begin our arrears recovery procedure.

    Not claiming Universal Credit or Housing Benefits?

    You may be entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help pay your rent if you're on a low income or claiming welfare benefits. The amount you receive will depend on your income, savings and family circumstances.

    We can offer assistance to complete forms and refer you to the relevant agencies and/or advice centres.

    However, the responsibility to apply for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, and to make sure it's being paid is yours, even when benefit is being paid direct to us.

    Find out more about these benefits on our support pages.

    Further information about benefits and welfare reforms

    Take a look at out financial support webpages for further information and advice on Universal Credit and other benefit changes.

  • What if I'm struggling to pay my rent and service charge?

    We're here to help

    Whether you’re in employment or in receipt of benefit payments, money issues can affect anyone and if you're having difficulties paying your rent, we’re here to help.

    We understand it's a stressful situation, and the longer you leave it the worse the situation will get. We can help you with benefits and discuss how to manage your payments. We can also tell you about agencies who offer free and independent money advice to help you manage your debt.

    What happens if I fall behind on my rent payments?

    We'll do all we can to help and support you manage your rent payments. Find out more about what happens if you think you will fall behind.

    Where else can I find help?

    There are also lots of free services available online and in your community. You’ll find lots of links on our support pages to a range of support agencies, tools and information to help you manage your money and make sure you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to.

    If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on our support pages or need further assistance, please talk to your Housing Officer who can help you get the support you need.

  • Do you need more information?

    Please get in touch with us, we are happy to help you with any advice and assistance we can regarding benefits and arrangements to pay your rent.

    Have you liked our Facebook page? We post regular updates on financial support and benefits.