A rent increase will be coming into effect in April 2020. For most of our customers, this means that your rent will go up by 2.7%. We will be writing to you in February to let you know how much your new rent will be. If you pay service charges, this letter will also confirm how much your payments will be from 1st April.
Why is my rent increasing?
Rents are increasing in line with guidance from the government, which affects social housing residents across the country.
Most customers have seen their rents reduced in recent years, as part of a rent reduction programme announced by the government in 2016. This meant that social landlords had to decrease the rent they charged by 1% every year, for four years. Now we have reached 2020, this four-year period has come to an end.
In September 2018, the government confirmed that social housing providers would be able to increase their rent from 2020 – in line with the Consumer Price Index figure (CPI) plus up to an additional 1% per year, for the next five years.
In line with this announcement, the rent increase will combine the CPI for September 2019, which is 1.7%, with an additional 1% – meaning the overall increase will be 2.7%.
I pay service charges – will they change too?
Yes, your service charge will also be updated to reflect the estimated cost of providing your services over the next year. The money you pay us for service charges goes directly towards the cost of providing services to your block. As always, we are putting a cap on service charges so that nobody pays over a certain amount, even if the estimated cost of providing these services is higher. This year, the cap will be £22 per week.
What do I need to do now?
In February, you will receive a letter from us which will confirm how much your new rent and service charge payments will be.
If you claim housing benefit, you don’t need to do anything. We will let your local authority know what your new rent and service charge payments will be, so they will be able to reassess your claim.
If you claim Universal Credit, you will need to inform them of your new rent once it comes into effect from 6th April. They won’t be able to accept this information in advance.
If you’re worried about money and think you may have difficulty paying your rent at any time, you can get in touch with our Tenancy Support team or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ for help and advice. You can also check to see if you are entitled to benefits at wcht.entitledto.co.uk/.
Where does my rent money go?
As a not-for-profit organisation, we reinvest your rent back into maintaining and improving existing homes and communities and developing more much-needed affordable homes.
Following four years of rent reductions for customers, this increase will allow our income to keep pace with rising costs – and ensure that we can continue to provide great services for you.
If you would like to learn more about how we use this money, you can find out in our Annual Report.
If you have any other questions about your rent increase, you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 218 2247. Please note, if your query is regarding the specific rental cost for your property, we won’t be able to advise you of this until February, when we will write to you with this information.